This is why you need to know more than “straight Domino”

I use two indicators for a technology’s relative importance / resurgence / glorious rise. The first is how many jobs are in the offing for said technology or platform. The second, surely, has to be that technology’s importance on stack overflow. So let’s do the inevitable:

531,035 questions as of this afternoon (1425 GMT, 25 Feb 2010)

Of those questions:

Other tags for comparison:

Just sayin’. Now, it’s not all grim news: on the plus side, if you know your Domino development, chances are you do @formula, Lotusscript / Visual Basic, Java, Javascript, XML, web services and now, Java Server Faces (JSF). It’s also highly probable that you are results-oriented, business-focussed, and committed to actually delivering stuff—ooh, I used management buzzwords!

In all seriousness, none of those are skills that should be under-valued. When you look out at the bigger world of IT, far too many people find it very difficult (apparently) to deliver timely business solutions.


  1. Ben:

    I wonder if perhaps the Lotus Notes numbers are so low on Stack Overflow is because we have forums DEDICATED to answering purely Lotus Notes questions where people are much more likely to get answers to their Notes/Domino problems.

    DanDan Soares#
  2. There are oodles of mitigating points to be made: the maturity of Domino, the existence of the LDD forums, etc., etc.

    To counter the latter point though, how many forums are out there for php, Java and C# do you reckon?

    I’d say, a lot!Ben Poole#
  3. but there are forums dedicated to nearly ALL technical platforms to i personally doubt that effects it, im willing to bet you get the same ratios if you search for job on the big job boards as well, im with ben on this one, learn and adapt, jack of all trades may be master of none, but he can allways find work. and extra strings to a bow enable you to give better value to clients (and often makes notes look better)Mark Myers#
  4. There’s nothing like working with another technology / platform to appreciate the good things in Domino (and vice versa :-) )Ben Poole#
  5. I've noticed an increase in Notes related jobs lately, but they are mostly short term contracts. I've had recruiters tell me to either remove Notes development from my CV, or move to a single bullet point on an old job. So yes, it is a good idea to diversify.Ed Maloney#
  6. Why would I care to use stack overflow? What other similar forums are there for technology questions? Experts-exchange, for instance. What was the percentage of Lotus Notes-Domino related questions to other technologies 5 years ago compared to today? Those are better questions, I think.
    Knowing that LDD forums are available, and that I can go directly to IBM with PMRs for really tough things, why would I or anyone ever go to stack overflow?Gregg#
  7. @6 You’re missing the point. Also, how is an ill-articulated mention of experts-exchange a “better question” exactly? You’ve lost me.Ben Poole#
  8. @6. You care to go to stackoverflow because within only one year, it already has a user base of over 1/3 of all programmers worldwide. Plus, there is no other forum where you get high quality answers in such a short time frame.Ferdy#
  9. The reason there are so few questions on stackoverflow is that Domino is no where near as complicated and tedious as those "granular" technologies.

    As I've mentioned to colleagues, you need a big team of Java/.Net people to break something. But you only need 1 domino guy to get the same job done! But I have to say that the forums, that have been around forever, have the critical mass to be the source for troubleshooting Domino.

    A conclusion that I draw from your observations, is that it demonstrates how Domino development is not "mainstream" and there is a lack of "new blood" coding/hacking in the new technology..Steve "Monkey Boy" Ballmer had a point when he said "developers! developers! developers!"

  10. There's obviously a lack of "new blood" for LotusScript when compared with other techs, but keep in mind with Domino there will also be crossover (as you pointed out) for Java, Javascript, XSP, JSP, SOAP, XML, DXL, Eclipse, RCP, etc. as well.

    Also keep in mind that Notes/Domino/Lotusscript programmability simply hasn't changed much since 2002 until XPages were released. Especially from 6 to 7 (the great "nothing" release for developers.) The ND 5/6/7 forums contain pretty much every question on those topics known to man, and still get plenty of traffic today, but as a result just about every question one could have about "classic" N/D (@Formula, NSF, Lotusscript) has already been asked and Google usually finds your answer quick.

    That being said, all your other points are definitely valid.Erik Brooks#
  11. Erik: yes, that’s part of what I was trying to get across, although I also affirm that Domino is a more “mature” environment, which in part would explain less questions on SO. Nevertheless, my point stands: there is a real vibrancy around Domino, but this is enclosed within a very tiny bubble. “New blood” is definitely needed.Ben Poole#
  12. A tiny bubble has its advantages. I know a mainframe systems guy with a golden willie. Basically everybody retires and rates go up. As we know it's next to impossible to get Notes out of the system. The last guy who can keep the lights on is pretty important. Not a sexy proposition, but a lucrative one.Volker Weber#
  13. @12 Indeed; I know a few people who are banking on that for their retirement :-) Ben Poole#

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