Popfly, Microsoft’s mashup tool for non-programmers, stands to tap a ripe market for the software giant. The man behind the idea, John Montgomery, group program manager for Popfly, discusses his thinking on the concept with eWEEK Senior Editor Darryl K. Taft.
So, what was it that prompted you to raise your hand in the first place to deliver this?
There were a couple of things that happened. One was I’d been sitting in developer marketing for a very long time and watching sites like MySpace and Facebook grow and realizing that every person who tricks out their MySpace page is a developer. But Microsoft had no offering for them and, in fact, nobody had an offering for them. The tools … if you look at how you customize a MySpace page, it’s awful. It’s just not a good experience. And I thought, there’s just got to be a better way of doing it.
The second thing was Marie Huwe, who was in developer marketing. One of the things Marie followed closely was how many people were going into college and majoring in computer science, and particularly how many of those people were women.
And what research has shown over the past couple of years is that computer science enrollments are declining, which is a big problem for the IT industry in general and for Microsoft also. But even worse, the paltry number of women who were going into those classes was declining even more rapidly. And I think a lot of it has to do with the way we teach computer science.
Microsoft, Popfly, Mashup, Tool, Article