Developing ideas and apps
By Brigitte Rozario
SOFTWARE developers have found in blogs the ideal tool to share information and experiences. This of course goes to helping them with the software and applications that they are working on.
Darien Nagle, 34, senior technology specialist of Microsoft Malaysia’s enterprise and partner group, was inspired to start such a blog when he was at one of Microsoft’s training sessions in the United States.
Says Nagle: “We were in one lecture and I was sitting with a colleague, a prolific blogger, Cameron Reilly (http://reilly.typepad.com). As the lecture was going on, he was blogging away so I asked him, ‘What are you doing?,’ and he’s like, ‘What! You don’t have a blog?!,’ like it’s a crime or something.”
That was when Nagle started blogging. Today, he has two blogs – a developer blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/darien and a personal one at MSN Spaces (http://spaces.msn.com/members/darien).
“I think some blogs are written and others continue to be written without a purpose in mind. That’s okay, but it’s good to keep things on track. For me, my professional blog is to connect with people I meet at events; to connect with customers who might not know me that well; to connect with fellow IT professionals and to connect with local developers.
“There’s a link on my professional blog, which incidentally I have a reference to in my e-mail signature, that refers to my personal blog. So that completes the connection,” explains Nagle.
According to him, if someone sitting amongst a thousand other people at a Microsoft TechNet/MSDN event sees him on stage giving a presentation, they can then visit his blog and get to know him both professionally and personally.
“That can form a relationship that might not otherwise have had a chance without that connection,” he says.
As a Microsoft developer, Nagle feels he addresses the needs of two communities – the developers and the IT professionals, or as he calls them, “the infrastructure guys and gals.”
“I generally post references to useful bits of information on what my core areas are in Microsoft. It’s a place for people to go for links if they are interested in Windows or High Performance Computing, or if they attend an event and want to get my presentation information. The blog helps them stay informed,” says Nagle.
Blogs, he says, teach you a lot about a person because, unlike a formal homepage, they include opinions and perspectives on all kinds of stuff.
He believes that while individuals and developers have embraced blogging, companies and corporate types are still a bit hesitant.
“I think most businesses are really cautious of blogs – mostly because they don’t know how to manage this new phenomenon of ‘expressionism.’ Employees who are empowered to write whatever they feel like all over the place scares the heck out of them.
“I think Microsoft is really wonderful because it lets us have our expressive freedom, and all of us who blog are making those wonderful ‘connections’ with people.
“Blogs are a great resource to gather feedback on a product, plan, or idea. Microsoft has some broad guidelines to make sure that you gather and use feedback the right way to protect both the company and those providing their opinions to the blogger.
“I think a lot of companies are really cautious about official company blogs. I think it will become a trend soon, but we’re still very much in the ‘wait and see’ game for a lot of companies,” says Nagle