I started out developing games on a Sinclair Spectrum at the age of 12 which I received as a Xmas present after showing an interest in the ZX81.
I still have these “little fellows” in the mini museum in our board room and every time I glance over at them, I am reminded of the good old days when developers had to cram code into 1k of RAM. A few months later, the massive 64k RAM expansion pack was released which broadened the scope of possibility. These machines plugged into your tape recorder and data was saved onto cassette tapes with a screeching wave of audible binary being magnetised onto the media. If the tape didn’t corrupt or jam, you were doing well.
It has been said that these machines created the birth of today’s IT directors, software houses and leading technologists. You only need to look at the successes of Bill Gates and the former Steve Jobs who both started on equivalent machines in the U.S from their garages.
Since then and with the advent of the internet, we’re all now connected and the possibilities are only limited by our imagination. Facebook, linked in and twitter have created unrivalled communication media and these and platforms like it continue to change our world at a radical pace.
Moore’s Law surmises that computing power doubles approximately every 18 months and the evidence is here today. My Windows Phone 7 has a 1Ghz processor, 16Gb RAM and a display to die for. I opted not to go for the 64Gb dual core processor but if that’s what mobile phones are now spec’d with, imagine what they will be like in 5 years’ time!
Technology for a long time was (and still is) mooted as geeky and you can see why. It’s roots are complex, mathematical processing machines and even today, achieving real value involves a real in depth know how by specialists who have dedicated a good proportion of their passion to making these incredible machines tick.
The latest development is Cloud and the biggest IT companies in the world see this as their next “Big Bet”. They are investing enormously in what they see is the future, “Cloudifying” their software and investing masses in secure & robust, high performance data centres.
Apple software has always had a close relationship with its devices which is why the Apple brand is so strong. It’s devices and solutions are elegant and well-formed so that the end user’s experience is consistent and streamlined. Apple devices are a thing of beauty and long may this be.
On the other hand, PC’s come in all shapes and sizes and whilst Windows arguably offers more control, the Windows experience is varied. Microsoft has cottoned on to this and they see their future in the convergence of devises and with a consistent end user experience. Windows XP will be end of lived in 2014 and Windows 7 & 8 will be Microsoft’s flagship operating systems.
All vendors see a close and consistent relationship between device, operating system and end user experience being key and over the next few years, the technology underpinning mobile phones, tablets, slates and other portable devises will become much more of an art as well as a science.
Cloud is only the beginning of this convergence in technology and we are living in times where we will see an even bigger radical shift in the way that we work, play and live.
How incredible to have seen the birth of the PC, email, the browser, the internet, the mobile phone, Google, amazon, Facebook and to watch these technologies mature to even the early stages that they are at today.
There’s a lot more technology to come and as IT people, we are so fortunate to be so well positioned to help shape the future by being involved in this multi trillion dollar industry, to be able to play with the latest gadgets and enjoy the way that they can help us live more fuller lives.
If you’re as excited about technology as I am, you’ll see how easy it is to get carried away with these things and it’s important to keep your feet on the ground. We’re living in challenging times where the world’s economies are in turmoil, it’s sometimes difficult to see a way forward where dreams can be fulfilled. It is important to keep things in perspective and find a good balance between possibilities and realities. Live in the moment, take every day for what it is and take one step at a time. I have enormous faith in the human condition and with technological advancements in all fields; our quality of life is improving by the day.
This post was originally published in the Firm Magazine here .