Developers and Technology Adoption

During my last talk in the Community Launch of Windows Vista and 2007 Office system, a question was raised and it was like this “I’m interested developing applications for Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and .NET 3.0 but what can you suggest to help our company adopt the technology”. I am quite surprised being thrown a question like that where to begin with, my work/exposure on WPF isn’t at all work related but just hobby (and will be soon a sideline :P) .  I answered him back with “motherhood” statements (the lines most evangelists say)  but at the back of my head, “with a technology this cool, what will really drive companies to adopt these technologies”.

Interestingly, last night while cleaning my room,  I saw pieces of paper with information/”answers” to the question posed to me. I forgot what specific event was this but I am pretty sure it is not a Microsoft event.

The image is interpreted in this way: “Adoption of technology/software starts with the developers’ interest toward that specific product. Eventually, when the developer starts playing the tool and he/she finds it interesting, it becomes his/her preference for development tool of choice. When this becomes a preference, he/she will make a recommendation and this recommendation will drive sooner for software vendors volumes of sales for their software.”

One way or another, this helps solve the question that lingers at the back of my head. Of course, developer’s interest should start first and perhaps, “real” adoption, begins when the developer starts to prefer it over their competitors. Preference not only drives adoption but free marketing as well for the software vendor. Although before the cycle reaches the “volume” part, certain constraints are put into consideration such as “what would be the cost of shifting/adoption”. I guess on this part, it would be highly subjective on how the company spends on operating their business. However, to get back on track, developers start adoption but at the end of the day, the CIO/CTO decides on whether to proceed or not. The answer perhaps to the question is “if there’s a need to change and it will improve the company’s growth, why not? but [put all the constraints here] 😛 “.

But then, it’s so easy to understand why software vendors invest so much in evangelizing their products. They’re trying to reach the “volume” part.  🙂


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