Alexander Graham Bell’s patent #174,465, “Improvement in Telegraphy”, was issued today, March 7, 1876, by the U.S. Patent Office. The patent covered “a method of, and apparatus for, transmitting two or more telegraphic signals simultaneously along a single wire by the employment of transmitting-instruments, each of which occasions a succession of electrical impulses differing in rate from the others; and of receiving instruments, each tuned to a pitch at which it will be put in vibration to produce its fundamental note by one only of the transmitting instruments; and of vibratory’circuit breakers operating to convert the vibratory movement of the receiving-instrument into a permanent make or break (as the case may be) of a local circuit, in which is placed, a Morse sounder, register, or other telegraphic apparatus.”
What does this have to do with developers, software development and developer relations? We take for granted that we can communicate voice and data anywhere, anytime using multiple devices and technologies. The earliest developer relations program site I used was built on top of the Wildcat BBS bulletin board software made by Mustang Software, Inc. I connected to the BBS using a modem card, acoustic coupler and telephone. The next generation developer relations site was built on CompuServe with its email, groups and upload/download capabilities. Today we can create full featured developer programs in the cloud and connect via high speed internet.
Regardless of the technology, the infrastructure or the software, developers till care about the same developer program features: asking questions, communicating with other developers, download latest builds, and receiving emails about upcoming events and news. What started more than one hundred and forty years ago, now allows us to be connected with our members 24×7 and provide a wide range of services to move software development forward at light speed. I remember the 300 and 1200 baud modems and the hours waiting for a large download to complete. Today I can simultaneously download an operating system, grab a technology stack update, watch a programming webinar, track the status of a complex build, test and deploy, get answers on Stack Overflow, and use Slack to share latest ideas and updates with my distributed team members.
- Stack Exchange API – https://api.stackexchange.com/
- Slack Developer Program – https://slack.com/developers
Thank you Alexander Graham Bell and the millions of other inventors, dreamers and engineers that provide us with the ideas, tools, frameworks, libraries, devices, services, and platforms that we use everyday, sometimes without even realizing what makes it all work. It’s amazing how far we’ve come in just under 1.5 centuries. With the pace of innovation we see today and with a global developer population of more than 21 million, I can’t wait to see what appears in the coming minutes!
David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation