The New Social Developer Community: a Q&A
By Mike Stiles on Sep 26, 2012
In our last blog, we introduced the opportunities that lie ahead for social developers as social applications reach across every aspect and function of the enterprise. Leading the upcoming JavaOne Social Developer Program October 2 at the San Francisco Hilton is Roland Smart, VP of Social Marketing at Oracle.
I got to ask Roland a few of the questions an existing or budding social developer might want to know as social extends beyond interacting with friends and marketing and into the enterprise.
Why is it smart for developers to specialize as social developers? What opportunities lie in the immediate future that’s making this a critical, in-demand position?
Social has changed the way we interact with brands and with each other across the web. As we acclimate to a new social paradigm we also look to extend its benefits into new areas of our lives.
The workplace is a logical next step, and we're starting to see social interactions more and more in this context. But unlocking the value of social interactions requires technical expertise and knowledge of developing social apps that tap into the social graph.
Developers focused on integrating social experiences into enterprise applications must be familiar with popular social APIs and must understand how to build enterprise social graphs of their own. These developers are part of an emerging community of social developers and are key to socially enabling the enterprise.
Facebook rebranded their Preferred Developer Consultant Group (PDC) and the Preferred Marketing Developers (PMD) to underscore the fact developers are required inside marketing organizations to unlock the full potential of their platform. While this trend is starting on the marketing side with marketing developers, this is just an extension of the social developer concept that will ultimately drive social across the enterprise.
What are some of the various ways social will be making its way into every area of enterprise organizations? How will it be utilized and what kinds of applications are going to be needed to facilitate and maximize these changes?
Check out Oracle’s vision for the social-enabled enterprise. It’s a high-level overview of how social will impact across the enterprise. For example:
HR can leverage social in recruiting and retention
Sales can leverage social as a prospecting tool
Marketing can use social to gain market insight
Customer support can use social to leverage community support to improve customer satisfaction while reducing service cost
Operations can leverage social improve systems
That’s only the beginning. Once sleeves get rolled up and social developers and innovators get to work, still more social functions will no doubt emerge.
What makes Java one of, if not the most viable platform on which to build these new enterprise social applications?
Java is certainly one of the best platforms on which to build social experiences because there’s such a large existing community of Java developers. This means you can affordably recruit talent, and it's possible to effectively solicit advice from the community through various means, including our new Social Developer Community.
Tell us more about the benefits of collaboration and more about what the Oracle Social Developer Community is. What opportunities does that offer up and what are some of the ways developers can actively participate in and benefit from that community?
Much has been written about the overall benefits of collaborating with other developers. Those include an opportunity to introduce yourself to the community of social developers, foster a reputation, establish an expertise, contribute to the advancement of the space, get feedback, experiment with the latest concepts, and gain inspiration.
In short, collaboration is a tool that must be applied properly within a framework to get the most value out of it.
The OSDC is a place where social developers can congregate to discuss the opportunities/challenges of building social integrations into their applications. What “needs” will this community have? We don't know yet.
But we wanted to create a forum where we can engage and understand what social developers are thinking about, excited about, struggling with, etc. The OSDL can then step in if we can help remove barriers and add value in a serious and committed way so Oracle can help drive practice development.