I wish that mainstream software development were more like working on a Lisp Machine or in a Smalltalk environment. Like a workshop in the physical world, either yields a satisfying sense of creating and accumulating new tools that make every job easier — at least, in some ways — than the one before it.

I have the same reaction, fortunately, to the experience of writing Apex Code — whether in the salesforce.com UI, or with the Apex Toolkit for Eclipse and a fast-growing collection of other such aids. That’s why I’m so looking forward to our May 21 Developer Conference in Santa Clara.

As I’ll be noting this week, at the International World Wide Web Conference in Banff, the now-unbundled Salesforce Platform gives the developer a chance to build, and keep building anew: to create new function once and use it across an entire application portfolio, and to let the platform provide foundation capability, rather than requiring a developer to redefine and rebuild things again and again.

If you’re anywhere near Santa Clara, there’s no reason not to take advantage of the free May 21 event; in the alternative, expect to see a lot of great content from that event on ADN soon afterwards.

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