Peter Coffee, eWEEKs former technology editor, has landed at Salesforce.com as director of platform research.
In his new role with Salesforce.com, Coffee will be responsible for developer evangelism in bringing developers to the companys Apex platform. Apex is an on-demand platform and programming language that enables developers to create on-demand applications that can be hosted by Salesforce.com.
"Well let people write code that reaches across to our side of the wire," Coffee said. "Developers will be able to write their application, bring it to market, and offer it as an on-demand application through our facilities."
Applications built with Apex will run on Salesforce.coms service, freeing developers from having to deploy expensive hardware and software infrastructure, he said.
"My job is to convey the proposition of Apex development to the developer community." Coffee said. "We worry about platform integrity and scalability, great uptime and reliability for enterprise applications. But with Apex, all you have to do is come to our front door with an idea and write some code—and you can compete with the big boys."
Indeed, at the launch of the preview release of Apex on Jan. 16, Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, told developers, "You can start the next Salesforce.com" or any other on-demand business.
Moreover, Coffee said he believes Apex "is to on-demand applications what Visual Basic was to Windows applications…Were bringing developers to parity."
In addition, Coffee said his move to Salesforce.com was attractive because it was "a unique opportunity…It gets me excited about writing applications again," and because it is a move away from the baggage associated with thick-client platforms, he said.
And his new position enables Coffee to continue to express his passion for software, for developers and for application development that he brought to his work at eWEEK (and the formerly named PC Week) for 18 years.
"The communities of developers who today are trying to think of a way to take a great idea and turn it into a compelling application are the people I want to talk to to convince them that our way is the best way," Coffee said.
Moreover, he said, "On-demand applications are more attractive, and developing them in an on-demand environment from day one is the way to do it."