Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The buzzword half-life

At a conference a couple of years back, I asked a plenary speaker if "service-orientation" had neared the end of its half-life (most such buzzwords - "object-orientation" being a good example - seem to have a 0.5-life of 8-10 years). The question flustered the speaker somewhat, but many in the conference seemed to think I had a valid point. At a more recent conference, having listened to panels on "cloud computing - present and future", "innovations in cloud computing" etc., etc., the future was looking very "over-clouded". I put the proposition to my fellow delegates that the future cloud might in fact be a grid, powered, say, by a few thousand mobile phones (with more processing and storage grunt than they have now), and we might have come full circle again.

I worry about buzzwords and hype, and force myself to be sceptical. As a counterpoint, I've been thinking about service science-style questions recently. That buzzword's been around near 8 years, but I think there's still interesting meat in the proposition. But for the rest of them, I am reminded of Alfred Tennyson's poem, "The Brook", for buzzwords may may come and buzzwords may go, but the search for better tools must go on forever....