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The subtitle of this post is “Wow – that boy can write.” If you found my post titled CTO vs. VP Engineering to be relevant to your universe, grab a cup of coffee and wander over to Niel Robertson’s post titled Do Programming Languages Matter Anymore.
I’ve worked on various companies with Niel over the past decade, including NetGenesis, Service Metrics, and most recently Newmerix. In addition to being a phenomenal CTO (confirmed by Tom Higley – Niel’s partner at Service Metrics), Niel can write an essay like very few others. This one covers his view of programming languages, how they fit in SAP’s world, and why SAP (and others) should “integrate a CLR runtime engine native in the application server (or at least have a three legged stool of ABAP, Java, and CLR-based runtime).”
If you aren’t a software developer (or an exec at a software company), you probably won’t care – other than to get a sense as to how a CTO should integrate programming, english, reasoning, and writing skills (plus you’ll get to learn why CLR matters. For the rest of you – especially those of you that think “Microsoft is dead”, this is an important essay that helps uncover one more reason why large parts of Microsoft’s long term technology strategy are brilliant (and possibly unassailable in the medium-term.)