Good Music and Good Software
I’ve always marked time by two things: Oriole seasons and music CDs. When you mention 1992, I first think of Nirvana’s Nevermind (greatest album of all-time) and the Orioles making a run at the playoffs with a great turnaround year. Then, I remember my first car, first somewhat serious girlfriend, first apartment, and other unimportant stuff like that. With 1995, it’s Elastica’s self-titled album and Cal Ripken's record-breaking year—which then reminds me that I graduated from Cornell that year, started my first full-time job, and then decided to move to California. Like I said, unimportant stuff. Anyway, needless to say, the music that is released in a given year has a tremendous effect on my ability to recall events.
Well, this year has given me a lot to jog my memory (which is great given it’s the year my first child will be born and it’s always good to remember that sorta stuff). I'm getting inundated by the non-stop great music that are coming out right now. After a couple years of easing up on CD buying, it seems like every week, there is a group that is finally coming out with their latest CD. It all started with Moby’s latest. Next, I picked up the Garbage and Dave Matthews Band CD last month and, before I could even give them a few spins, I was out buying the Audioslave CD. Next up, the Foo Fighters. I haven't even gotten the Coldplay CD yet. Given each group waited at least three years since their last release, sometimes, I wish they would coordinate with each other and space their releases out (“hey Foo Fighters, you release this year and we’ll go next year”). But then again, I can't get enough of this stuff. My Dell DJ has been going non-stop and I am starting to get a feel for my favorite tracks.
I suppose that must be a little like what Microsoft customers must feel right now. After a quiet period for the last couple of years, we are ready to hit you guys with VS2005, SQL2005, BTS2006, and CS2006. I think once they are here, it'll be a little like this wave of CDs where there will be this period where customers will be feeling out the technologies and finding their "favorite tracks". It’s exciting, but it’s also a little overwhelming. Do you spend time learning how to best use Master Pages or writing against the SQLCLR? Decisions decisions. I will say the idea of betas with GoLive licenses are a great way of getting a jump on this stuff, though. I think customers can deploy with more confidence and hit the ground running. It feels like when the music industry releases a single to whet your appetite for the album. I can remember playing “What’s The Frequency Kenneth?” and “Learn to Fly” over and over long before REM’s Monster and the Foo Fighters There’s Nothing Left To Lose came out. Needless to say, by the time each album came out, I raced to the store early in the morning to get my copy. They still do it as I heard part of the Audioslave and Coldplay albums before they came out. I guess the software industry is starting to take lessons from the music industry. Who knows? Maybe I’ll start marking time by software releases.