In the fall of 1996 I, along with a group of colleagues from Softtek attended the Internet World event in NYC. I clearly remember watching IBM's Louis Gerstner stating "let's not do to Java what we did to Unix". I also remember Bill Gates acknowledging that Microsoft was wrong about Internet and that they will fix it.
My feeling at the time was of anxious excitement, I knew something big was happening, and that opportunities were huge, although not everything was in place, mostly, all the infrastructure was still a work-in-progress. At the time we were just starting our Internet business unit, and not long after that event, we sold and delivered our very first server-based Java application to the Mexican bank Banpais.
During the past month I had the chance to attend two conferences; Forrester's Business Process and Application Delivery Forum, and Gartner's Symposium in Orlando. Mid-way through the last event, I realized that my feeling was very similar to that of 1996. I listened to John Chambers' keynote, saw Microsoft's Steve Ballmer talking about their commitment to the cloud, and absolutely enjoyed Marc Benioff's show and his true and tested cloud-based solution. Suddendly I realized that I'm having the same type of conversations as the ones I had in the late nineties. I face enthusiasts and detractors. The air is filled by the same sense of excitement, as well as the urgency to react, anticipate and adjust to leverage the capabilities of what now is a myriad of cloud, mobile and social media realities.
As I write this on my iPad, I can conclude that the feeling is the same, yet the tools are now real, not a work-in-progress.