YABL – Yet Another Best of List
It’s that time of year, so I guess will follow the herd and create my completely arbitrary, end of the year, best of list. Don’t know if it will be a top ten list yet or not, but let’s see how many I come up with. Warning for the non-programmers: this list is focused on technology alone.
This movement, although unfortunately named (it’s about using the best data management technology for the job, it‘s not about being anti-relational), has made people really take the time to think about how to do data management (instead of reflexively reaching for the classic relational/cube architectures, whether appropriate or not).
While our system is storage layer independent, we love Mongo. It’s well designed, fast, scalable, and 10gen has fostered a great OSS community around it.
This is a new entrant in the NOSQL arena for .NET. It has a great set of features, is very extensible, and we like it so much we are going to be adding it to our supported storage layers. It was developed by the ever prolific Ayende aka Oren Eini and is an exciting piece of work. If you are a programmer, his blog is well worth adding to your regular reading list.
The competition between the Java and .NET ecosystems has been extremely healthy and has been fairly close for years, but I think it is pretty clear that in the last couple of years, .NET has started pulling ahead. .NET beat Java in delivering generics, dynamic language features, LINQ, and other key modern language features.
When combined with innovations that include LINQ, a first class functional language with F#, and most importantly, the TPL and parallel LINQ, .NET has become the best platform for developing the sort of multi-core, multi-threaded, and multi-machine applications and algorithms that are going to define the future of Big Analytics. While I love what has been done to improve Silverlight for line of business applications, if this was a worst of list I would have included Microsoft’s self-inflicted PR debacle on the future of Silverlight versus HTML 5.
While certainly not immune from controversy, I think the Alt.NET community has done a huge service in bringing the best practices (and sometimes ports of the associated tools) from the Java community into the .NET world. This was something that was sorely needed. The popularity of practices that dramatically reduce the risk of complex projects such as TDD, Continuous Integration, Domain Driven Design, Object Relational Mapping, and Inversion of Control all owe their popularity (and a lot of the supporting toolkits) to folks that identify with the Alt.NET community.
If you are not using Continuous Integration, you are not a serious development team. Trust me, it will save your project immense hassles because if you can’t build you can’t ship! There are lots of goods ones out there but we really like Team City and for small teams you can’t beat the price (Free!).
It’s a shameless plug, but it’s true. I love the quality of our big analytics framework and the applications we have built on top it.
Most importantly, the smart folks that I have been privileged to work on the challenging problems that define Big Analytics with: our customer, prospects, vendors, and team. It has been a pleasure and I look forward to working with you all in 2011.