July 3, 2012

Couchbase at New York ALT.NET and Two Years of NoSQL

There are few, if any, better places to be a .NET developer than New York City.  From startups to hedge-funds, you're likely to find an opportunity to use your C# skills.  The prevalence of  .NET in the City isn't due to Microsoft, who maintains only a modest presence in the area, but rather to the exceptional community leaders who run the various .NET user groups in the Tri-State area. 

Last week I had the opportunity to return to NYC (I worked in Manhattan for three years) to speak at the NY ALT.NET group.  This is a well attended, well organized and, enthusiastic group.  It's home to the perfect audience for a talk on NoSQL and .NET.  In fact, this was my second such talk at the group.  Just about two years ago, I was there to give an introduction to NoSQL talk.  As anyone who has followed the industry knows, NoSQL has changed a lot in this time. 

In 2010, NoSQL was far less known to developers than it is today.  Though I still find some audiences who benefit from an introduction to the non-relational landscape, those developers are fewer and fewer in number.  At the NY ALT.NET Meetup last week, there wasn't an attendee in the audience who wasn't already familiar with NoSQL.

Although ALT.NET groups tend to be more forward looking than their non-ALT.NET peers, .NET developers tend to be the last to hear about the "next big thing" in programming.  This delay is largely due to the fact that open source spawns innovation more often than Redmond these days.  That's not to say that Microsoft isn't way ahead of the language curve with C# or F#, but there's a reason that Microsoft is adopting node.js and existing big data solutions for its Azure platform.  I bring this suggestion up not to knock on .NET developers, but rather to point out the significance of the fact that NoSQL is nearly pervasive in the .NET community. 

Now that NoSQL has captured mind-share in the .NET community, I believe the next phase is adoption.  While Java, Ruby and Python developers have already had their early adoption phase, we're just getting started in the .NET world.  And though we may be late to the game, I for one am optimistic.  As is evidenced by the folks who stayed for my talk long after the pizza had gone cold, there seems to be genuine interest in non-relational databases in .NET.

Finally, thanks to everyone in NYC who attended my talk.  It was great to be back.  Hope to see you again at Code Camp this fall!

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