Nokia Developer Summit 2009

As the Nokia Developer Summit 2009 wound down to a close, I spent a few minutes pondering what effect it had had.

For those who didn’t know, the Summit was held on April 28 and 29 in Monaco and I had a chance to participate and present. Don’t worry, when I arrived on Monday, it was rainy and cold, so I had to spend time in my hotel room working :-) And I did not lose any money in the casinos — nor won. I did have the time to take some pictures of where the Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in a few weeks’ time.

The subtitle of the summit was “Creating tomorrow’s technology” and the whole subject was “developers matter”. And I, as a developer (if only at heart if not on paper), feel proud that the company is putting that emphasis. It is no surprise to anyone who has followed the mobile market that applications are the driving force. No matter how good and sexy a company makes its devices, it’s the applications made by 3rd-party developers that make the allure. In other words, a company cannot compete with the combined agility and innovation of a community of developers.

That sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It’s the whole principle behind Open Source, even though opening the source code is not necessary here.

That brings me to another subject of the summit: Open Source. It wasn’t emphasised by presenters, but it was there if you looked for it. Let’s recap:

  • Qt is Open Source and always has been
  • Maemo is Open Source and always has been
  • Symbian is going Open Source (under the EFL)
  • Nokia relies on Open Source software and needs the power of the community

Now, why am I posting this here? Am I now a corporate drone?

Well, there was also another undercurrent present throughout the presentations: Qt. Almost every presentation (non-Nokia guests excluded) mentioned Qt in some form or another. In fact, if you go to the summit website and watch the introductory video by Rob Taylor, Head of Forum Nokia, you’ll see him saying around 8:45:

For those of you who have cut your teeth on mobile application development with Symbian and Java, we encourage you to learn more about Qt. Sure we’ll continue to support Flash and Java, make no mistakes about that. But it’s Qt that’s our future direction in this space.

Surprise? Not to me (just like when the S60 port was announced last year). After all, Nokia spent a hundred million euros acquiring Trolltech. That was to use Qt.

We had a lot people coming to our stand about Qt and learning about it, the licensing terms, etc.. There were 4 or 5 exhibitors there at all times (thanks to KDAB and basysKom for the help!) and they were always busy. We had a hands-on hacking session, going all the way from QString to SQL and ItemViews. Again, the room was full.

So, interesting times ahead.

BTW, Qt Developer Days has been confirmed for this year again, in Munich and in the SF Bay Area. Hope to see you there!

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