John Andrews, CEO of Evans Data, says the developer world will
continue to become a more collaborative environment, thanks to Web
John Andrews is the president and CEO of
Evans Data, a market research firm that focuses on developer issues. Andrews
sat down with eWEEK Senior Editor Darryl K. Taft at the Evans Data Developer
Relations Conference April 8 in Redwood City, Calif.,
to discuss trends in the developer world.
What are some of the trends that you see right now in the developer
I think one of them is the developer programs in the past have been really
content-driven, and most of the vendors have been pushing content out to the
developers and developing content internally. Whereas now, as we think about
Web 2.0 technologies as well as the whole more collaborative environment, most
companies are trying to develop a community that really is much more interactive.
And in some cases, they've developed community properties that are really
controlled by the developers or the users. IBM
has examples of that on its site, but also you can see evidence of this in many
other companies and how they're performing. I think that's one key trend.
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I think the whole notion of continuing to provide free software and/or APIs
to the developer community is really growing as well. And, again, trying to
make the developer more productive is key in this much more open and open
standards world. And we're seeing one of the last areas of the market start to
think that way, too, which a year ago you might not have thought possible ...
and that's talking to people like Sprint or AT&T. They're really thinking
through now how to change that walled garden perspective and really go open and
open access and create a much more open standards world and give developers
more paths to get their applications to market.
Can you elaborate on that last point about the carriers?
The carriers have always been very controlling of developers. Verizon's
probably been the most controlling. Recently they said they were going to open
up their network and allow far more applications to be accessible using their
network. So they've said that, but if you look underneath the covers, there are
a lot of stipulations. But then you got AT&T and Sprint here that are
indeed talking about the same things. And I think in the mobility space, one of
the complaints the handset guys have always had is the carriers control the freeway
and access. And the carriers are now starting to learn they can't do that
anymore if they want to have a vibrant community. And given the fact that much
more of their business is going to be data driven and the only way they're
going to get that data-driven business is through applications, and the only
way they're going to get those applications is through more numbers of
developers developing, they've had to open up their world.
But will it be a situation like Apple and the constraints it's put on
developers with the iPhone SDK [software development kit]?
It's a possibility. And, again, Verizon would be a case in point where there
are constraints. But I think, from discussions with a couple of the other
carriers, they're looking at becoming as open as they need to be.