To be a software engineer at TechEd feels lonely...

I came to teched as a software engineer, looking for information on how Microsoft is gearing up to battle IBM, now that it has purchased Rational almost one year ago. Specifically, does Microsoft plan to offer tools that bridge the gap between analysis, design, development and project management? Rational has a great methodology out there (RUP) with a number of products that support its implementation. Microsoft has nothing, yet...

Microsoft is maturing, not looking at individual products and new features, but rather at integration and more uniform product features. They want to provide the following to businesses and individuals using their tool
1- manage cost
2- keep businesses running
3- deliver new business value
This however makes TechEd a conference for sysadmins and IT managers, not so much for developers and project managers. They focus on their 600M installed base: this is where the money is for Microsoft and a large number of the integrators and professionals out there. This is great for software integration and operation projects as it provides an engineered view into their software tool, in an integrated fashion.

This leaves lots of place for IT consultants like Capgemini to fill-in the holes left behind on all software development projects. Microsoft has always invested heavily into tools for developers, to simplify their life and increase their productivity. This focus continues this year with the planned visual studio 2005. When it comes out in 2005, there will be basic team management functionality.

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