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I try to work on things I am excited about as much as possible because I work “harder, better, faster, stronger.”
Here are a few things I’m excited about at the moment:
(2) 12 Factor App. Not commented on heavily with the Salesforce community though a product not only of top-notch Heroku smarts but also with commentary from top Salesforce eggheads (e.g. Mountjoy), I think this is the sort of document we will be reviewing in five years as “prophetic.” In many ways, the future is already here, but it will take most of us a long time to realize it.
(3) jQuery. I know that there is nothing new here, but as a diehard jQuery enthusiast, I still think its time of triumph “in the enterprise” is coming soon as people finally get the message (and also realize that UI of their product is important).
(4) Berlin. Not quite Silicon Valley but people are picking up the torch and I expect to see more significant European-based challengers instead of just imitators over the next few years. Don’t doubt the Curry Wurst.
(5) Polyglot solutions. Even though it has often failed to invest substantially in its own open source ecosystem, Salesforce has taken something of a lead in acquiring in the fascinating although occasionally murky world of “polyglot” solutions, where various languages are used to provide what presumably is the “right tool for the job.” Despite the occasionally murkiness and gangs of cheerleaders without any real understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of various technology sets, I’m excited to see more definition about what constitutes the “right tool for the job” and robust composite solutions — of course, expect to see this more on the “bottom up” Heroku side than the typically top-down Salesforce side.
(6) Fractals. Okay, probably you know this already, but I think other people are finally starting to get the message about just how “fractal-eque” many parts of the world are.
In case you aren’t all aware, there is a very interesting new development in the cloud space which is Cloud Spokes, a bunch of challenges for developers that Appirio has pledged $1 Million dollars to. The basic way things work is that the Appirians set up a challenge, everyone submits their entry, and someone tests the code and decides who gets the prize.
Although some of the challenges read like RFPs or solicitations for subcontractors and one wonders why someone would spend lots of time on a project that is less than they would probably make hourly with only a chance of getting the prize, there are also some genuinely interesting projects out there.
So far I’ve worked on the following:
(2) Beat Jeff Douglas ( Force.com Utility Belt Extension for Firefox). Included all of the features of JD’s Utility Belt and added some nice improvements. I already submitted this one but might add some more features if I get some suggestions via the #Salesforce IRC channel (check us out on Freenode!) or twitter ( give me a shout out @fractastical ).
(3) LinkedIn to Chatter Challenge. Actually I sort of gave up on this one after no one responded to my comments and I figured out both that the status API referenced in the challenge was deprecated and that no one had gotten the LinkedIn implementation of OAuth to work with SFDC. I was going to stay up all night last night to implement a Ruby version but thought I might be disqualified if I didn’t write purely in APEX so went to bed instead.
Anyways, so far so good, we will see how things go. As stated, there are a number of challenges out there that look simply like folks are trying to crowdsource jobs they are unable to / would rather not do themselves (which I expect to fail), but there are also some interesting challenges in the works and an idea challenge so that cloud crowd can provide ideas for future challenges. Please submit your ideas!
Whatever you conclude, this is a very interesting way to see the future of gamification in the cloud (for another example, check out the exciting company Hoopla Software).