colin over at the gutted geek has been reminiscing about how he ended up being a notes evangelist. so i thought i'd do the same

six years ago when i was a lowly recent graduate working in the systems department of willis my life revolved around microsoft - vb3/4 and access2.0. what can i say, i didn't know enough to realise what a bad position that was to be in!

my boss at the time was famous in our team for offering "opportunities". if you heard that magic word the best strategy was to turn and run as fast as possible. fortunately i was not quick enough and along with a colleague he said that one of us was going on a notes course, the other a vb4 course, it was our decision. i ended up in cirences ter not "getting" notes for a week.

it wasn't until i was asked to develop the old classic "contact management" web app that i realised how powerful notes was. we could bash out feature rich applications which the business loved in half the time of other platforms. what followed the success of this was 3 years of increasingly complex and important applications (several of which are still running and making money today).

it all culminated in adviser. unfortunately after 18 months things began to wind up for various reasons both political and technical. the company began a shift at higher levels than me back towards microsoft and the whole .net movement.

moving into the contracting world was quite a big change but for almost the last three years i have been part of a team which has seen off challenges from microsoft and siebel to continue the development of some pretty large and complex applications.

unfortunately life as a domino evangelist (as i am now) does not get easier. we are constantly having to argue against the introduction of new mail platforms and larger, more expensive development offerings. but it is an enjoyable challenge. the big hurdle at the moment is for us to identify a good argument as to why websphere is the way forward in comparison with .net. the way that domino is sold by lotus these days means that without websphere the argument gets a lot harder. this creates problems for the houses where domino could survive because it was not seen as a "proper" development environment but something that individual departments could maintain.

so life as a pure domino developer is looking less than certain. the key is to build a wide range of knowledge about the other competitors in the market-place, there will always be a requirement for the small to medium sized application that domino is ideal for, in the end it comes down to the sales abilities of the domino community to make sure we are still in the fight.