Last year I missed The Business of Software conference in San Jose due to some scheduling conflicts and I really had no desire to travel any more after a busy year. I regretted that since there were quite a few speakers that I really wanted to see and thought I might learn a lot about how to better build software and what works well. Not that I have a great desire to be in the software business, but work for a software vendor and would like to know more about the business.
This year the Business of Software conference is in September, the 3rd and 4th, in Boston, and I've booked my ticket. I'm looking forward to seeing Joel Spolsky, Eric Sink, Richard Stallman, and more talk about software and how they think it fits in a business world. There are many varying opinions and ideas and I think it's fascinating that we have this huge business around the world that essentially makes money from something that doesn't cost any more to produce an extra copy. That's in stark contrast to most of the goods sold around the world.
I've always found the business fascinating, but not without its share of issues. As I look forward to the release of SQL Server 2008, I see many bugs being reported, some of which will not get fixed in the RTM, and lots of marketing, I'm curious to see how other companies handle things. I've never worked with a company in an area where I produced software that was being sold. I've always worked on internal or custom software, things that I could control the release environment on. Handling a wide variety of platforms like Red Gate or Microsoft deal with is a completely different type of software development.
I've never been a big fan of marketing, and I complain regularly about the groups at Microsoft, which seem to compromise the product that gets released to us. But I realize that there's value in marketing and it's important for a business to be successful. We have spent a lot of time here at SQLServerCentral talking about marketing over the years and how to grow the site. We've had some success, though I know we have lots to learn.
For the most part, as this site has grown, the founders aimed to grow it our way. We didn't necessarily follow all the traditional "rules" of business, and it certainly wasn't war for us. We wanted to build something we are proud of, something our kids are proud for reasons other than the profitability, the type of site and business we're like to be a client of.
So if you work in the software business, this might be an interesting conference for you. I'll be blogging from the conference and I'll have lots to comment on. The conference has a cost of $1495 through July 19th, after which is will be $1,795. If you go, be sure to say hi and I'll happily buy you’re a beverage of choice on Wednesday night.
PS - If you go, I just snagged a ticket to the Tue night Red Sox game, so let me know if anyone wants to share a cab over.
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