Smithying in the 21st Century
This is the keynote given by Neal Ford of ThoughtWorks at the Jazoon 2009 Conference. Blacksmiths in 1900 and PowerBuilder developers in 1996 have something in common: they thought their job was safe forever. Yet circumstances proved them wrong. One of the nagging concerns for developers is how do you predict the Next Big Thing, preferably before you find yourself dinosaurized. This keynote discusses why people are bad at predicting the future, and why picking the Next Big Thing is hard. Then, it foolishly does just that: tries to predict the future. I also provide some guidelines on how to polish your crystal ball, giving you tools to help ferret out upcoming trends. Don’t get caught by the rising tide of the next major coolness: nothing’s sadder than an unemployed farrier watching cars drive by.