What’s the best way to apply to apply your developer talents?

There are as many answers to that question as there are developers.  But I’m going to guess that very few would answer that they want to spend their time writing the same code as every other developer.  As a group, the developers I’ve met generally want to work on something new, something different.

Something differentiating.

A lot of people reading this will head to Dreamforce next week.  More will be watching live, and still more will be watching recordings of the video after the fact.  That’s a lot of new knowledge!

So what are they going to do with all this know how?

What are you going to do?

Here’s what I’d recommend: build an app and put it on the AppExchange.

The AppExchange is exploding.  Installs and new apps are moving faster than ever before.

Companies want apps. And here’s what’s interesting: given a choice, most companies, large and small, would rather buy an app than build functionality from scratch.

Buying apps makes so much sense.  It’s easier, it’s lower risk, and it’s almost always cheaper than doing it yourself.  Oh, and it’s FASTER too.

The AppExchange makes the process simple.  Especially for lightweight apps that are easy to develop and that customers want.

There’s a lot at Dreamforce that will help you understand this process.  Michael Farrington is presenting “From Admin to Entrepreneur” on Tuesday.  Dan Appleman is presenting “Real Programmers Use Apex” on Thursday (check out his Advanced Apex book, too).  James Dolph has a killer session called “Building Secure Applications in the Cloud”.  And on the last day of Dreamforce, I’ll present “Building for the AppExchange”.  I’ll talk about how the whole process works, and show you how easy it is to get started.

And if you want to hear a really interesting story about an entrepreneur in the Salesforce world, join me on Thursday at 1:45 in the Live Stadium Challenge area of the Dev Zone.

Not everyone will take my advice.  But those that take the plunge will be very well positioned to serve our ever growing customer base years into the future.

What do you want to do?

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