...They just sit in first class on the train, and bang on about "the good old days" when they had to program "Fortran" (The guy in the suit) and "C" (The guy with the long hair). Good for them - clearly, they've now made the management lard layer, and can look back through their rose-tinted memory.
"Nostalgia isnt what it used to be", I announced, thus shutting everyone up. I was more than prepared to bang on about building a Pascal compiler for VMS as part of a second year exercise if they didnt shut up. (Edinburgh University believed in "real" assignments. Third year was a multi-tasking operating system - I shit thee not!)
I mean, its all very well thinking this stuff is easy - and I'm sure back in their undergraduate courses it was. Clearly defined specfications, no-one to use the program, etc, etc. But in the real world - the one that pays money - its shifting sands in terms of customer expectations, specfications, timescales, etc. Its no longer a single fixed delivery. Its a continual change process, with all the real pain and cost that this entails.
Perhaps this is the point to Lotus Notes. As it provides so much in terms of Application infrastructure, it allows a good developer to easily develop small, tactical business applications that can be easily updated as needs change. An example from a customer site - an issue tracking database handling 5,000 issues a month. Lotus Notes - 15 days (its a complex issue tracking database). Websphere/Oracle - 225 days. I mean - by the time the system has been implemented, the Websphere/Oracle solution is out of date, and then its onto the continuous change treadmill. Ouch.
Perhaps emphasising the "Rapid" in "Rapid Application Development" environment might just highlight how much value Notes brings to the enterprise?