Stephen is moving into a new digs with the guys from Crowd Favorite. First Stephen buys a suit jacket, and now he copies my rooming strategy (I share an office with the developers behind the dopplr travel serendipity service). Sheesh. More seriously: I am really happy to hear about Stephen’s move because I think he’ll be happier working alongside people. Mr O’Grady’s happiness is important to me because he is a good friend.
As a colleague though I also think he points to a substantive advantage.
“Research from the Field: In addition to the being cool people, working alongside some of the better developers around is probably not going to do much to hurt my analysis work.”
As is his wont Stephen is understating the case. At RedMonk we pride ourselves on having our finger on the pulse of developer trends and directions. Sharing a working environment with people is a great way to learn from them. Why is jQuery important, say, or Firebug? What is the advantage of a distributed source code management system? How difficult is the Rails deployment experience? Why are people looking at Erlang?
Of course you have to be careful when attempting to parse a massed chorus of canaries in a coal mine. Developers are not the same as normal people. Tom at dopplr pointed out the other day that RedMonk does self-select an audience. Well so be it. We like hanging out with that self-selected audience. We live in the same future as them. Not necessarily the future, but a future. Your mileage may of course vary. Will we make mistakes? Sure. But we can also help you avoid some. Software development trend watching as risk management: our track record is pretty solid in that regard. By being “embedded” in talented software development teams hopefully it will get even better.
I want to close on the note about what we do. Other analyst firms primarily target sell-side or buy-side (the buyers or sellers of technology). We really don’t see the world that way. RedMonk’s core constituency is “make-side“: the makers and doers, hackers and players. They might work at vendors, at dotcoms, at service providers, or traditional enterprises. Open source and web oriented technologies are the bridges between them. Industry analysts they really need to be advocates to be effective. We are not user advocates. We’re not vendor advocates. We’re maker advocates.
Enjoy the new office Stephen. And keep on bringing the great analysis.
bonus sog link: if your iPhone is jail-broken you really must check this out.