I had a company yesterday tell me that they weren’t going to exhibit at Gluecon because Gluecon is “developer-focused,” and they want to talk to the C-level decision maker types. Now, it doesn’t really bother me if someone doesn’t want to exhibit at Gluecon (hell, I’ve *advised* several companies not to), but, for some reason, their statement made me pause.
Specifically, it made me question a choice I made. From the moment the very first Gluecon ended, I knew it would be a developer show. To be clear, we had “C-level” types at the first Glue. We also had developers. One thing was clear: the developers were driving EVERYTHING (including the decision making process) in the cloud.
It’s standard enterprise software lore: the CIO makes the decision on some “enterprise-wide” initiative and the big contract is yours. One problem: it’s not happening (nor is it going to happen) that way in the Cloud. Reason: APIs and developers.
As we’ve been saying for several years now, the movement to the cloud is a two-step: 1) turn infrastructure into a “utility,” so that the enterprise can 2) easily expose that infrastructure for things like app development, mobile, big data analytics, etc. To be sure, there’s money to be made in both 1 and 2 — but the BIG move (on a time-scale) isn’t the move to utility infrastructure. That’s inevitable (that’s why we position Gluecon as “post-cloud” — we assume #1). The big move is to expose things to the developers in such a way that improves their efficiency (in development, deployment and maintenance) across several platforms. And one of the huge chunks of that is the API.
That thought process led me to the choice. Focusing on the C-level is to focus on the wrong target. It’s the stable target, the “easy” target — hell, it’s the target that your board wants you to focus on. It’s also the wrong target. If you want to “win” the cloud, you win the developer (unless you’re purely infrastructure — and even then, you win the admin, not the c-level).
Bottom-line: it is ALL about the developer.
So, when Alcatel-Lucent came to me and said, “hey, we think the cloud is all about APIs and developer. And we wanna help you support them.” Well, you can imagine the smile that came across my face. 😉
If you’re a developer, I hope you’ll join us. If you’re not a developer (and you’re a c-level type), you should send your developers (we’re the place that’s going to provide the most value). See you at Gluecon!