Forrester's two breeds of software application developer

Forrester Research software application development analyst Jeffrey Hammond views the programmer world as an ecosystem polarised into two extremes.

Writing on his Forrester blog, Hammond identifies two different developer communities:

1. Group 1: the “inside the firewall crowd”

2. Group 2: the “outside the firewall crowd.”

Group 1

Group 1 inside the firewall developers are characterised by their proximity to either .NET or Java in terms of their development environment and will very typically use application servers and Relational Database Management Systems in the normal course of their work.

Simply put, Group 1 are the Volvo driving, GPS SatNav using married with two kids kind of guys.

This is NOT to suggest for one second that these developers are ANY less creative, maverick, wacky and/or off the wall — it is simply to suggest that they enjoy using familiar proven tools that come with a manufacturer’s guarantee and possible even a rubber handle grip.

As Hammond puts in, “They worry about security and governance.”

Group 2

Group 2 outside the firewall developers are multilingual (in terms of programming language of course), may very likely be younger in their years, be more independent of any particular vendor ties and, crucially they embrace open source and the community contribution model as the basis and foundation for everything that they do.

As Hammond puts it, “The first group thinks web services are done with SOAP; the second does them with REST and JSON. The first group thinks MVC, the second thinks “pipes and filters” and eventing. I could go on and on with the comparison.”

Hammond goes on to explain the concept of the wider “open web” and calls for Group 1 more traditional developers to become more open in their general outlook.