[OT] Why 10 hours for a newbie and 30 days for a "programmer"

j runrev at davidjdowns.com
Tue Sep 7 20:30:57 EDT 2004

> Fair enough. I was a bit more abrupt and general in my response than I 
> normally would be. This discussion is one I've had 100 times over the 
> years and I guess I just grew weary of it.

Understandable.  I was also too abrupt, as I tend to be if I 
misinterpret someone as being dismissive with respect to the field I 
believe more important than all other others combined: Education.

> 1. Aside from products created specifically for the education market 
> and intended for use in administration and management, that market is 
> very difficult to crack and in the main not very profitable.

I agree with this--generally--as there is typically much competition 
between available tools, and the education market (lately) tends in 
many areas to follow the standard trends of the business world (e.g., 
Windows computers over competitors).  So, while a software developer of 
a new word processor is going to have a difficult time tapping the 
education market, I'll wager Microsoft has made a nice chunk of cash 
selling Word licenses to pretty much every school in the Western world.

> 2. Development tools are a particularly difficult sell into the 
> education market because of the wide availability of free, Open Source 
> tools.

Education folks interested in development tend to be nerds, no doubt 
about it.  As such, we are often up on the latest, "coolest" Open 
Source project and willing to invest the time required to learning such 
tools--which typically have a very steep learning curve, as well.  
Nerds love this, I might add.  :D

What the education market (I am thinking primarily of K-12 here) sorely 
needs, however, is an easy to learn, easy to use, GUI-based RAD tool to 
teach the fundamentals of computer use, programming, design, interface, 
and logic.  No one has this market cornered.  And there *is* a market.

> 3. Educators often (not always) feel they are on a sort of "mission" 
> that "entitles" them to reduced pricing and liberal licensing 
> enforcement. And some educators who wouldn't say that *would* argue 
> that their budgets are small and they can't afford to pay standard 
> rates for software, particularly development tools.

True, but not just to education, and not just for development tools.  
Any business manager who goes to purchase a hundred licenses for Word 
is going to expect a discount based on bulk, just like he gets on 
paperclips, pencils, and notepads.  Less to do with education, this is 
just how the world expects sales to work: if I buy more from you, you 
should lower the unit price.

> At the end of the day, I just don't think it's a good place for RunRev 
> to place many bets given all that's on its plate.

My concern is the alternative markets RunRev has available.

"Traditional" software companies are not going to abandon "old school" 
languages--these are the tools their developers know and use every day, 
they are established and (even if less efficient) proven, and they are 
"real programming languages" (before the flames begin: (1) I am an 
xCard fanatic and advocate, and (2) there is no use denying the bias is 
out there).

In-house business development uses every tool already established, 
included "rapid" tools like VB, RB, etc.  So, while these programmers 
may be willing to use Rev for their work, you are going to have to 
convince them to learn a new tool.  This is a hard sell, when what they 
are already using "works fine for our needs."

So, that pretty much leaves small, independent developers, many of whom 
are already like those above ("hard-core coders" or "already got my 

How does RunRev convince these groups to even consider a switch?


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