Science Week: Which invention has helped you most with your working life?

(This is my fourth Science Week Post)

Well this is an easy one as well. The Internet. Sure the Internet has helped everyone, but for geeks, programmers and developers everywhere, the ability to understand that your idea was not unique or stupid or even new is a huge win. Better still, finding a reference implementation on the web (for free) meant no  more building software from whole cloth.

In the 80’s when I first started doing software the first job in every project was writing the infrastructure layer, the stuff to do the stuff so you could do the job. Now that doesn’t happen. Twitter, Bebo, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, you name it,  alllaunched in a year, instead of two because they could focus on building their application  as opposed to their core libraries. More importantly, the web allowed them to establish the quality of the components they selected using an tried and tested method of the scientific community, independent peer review.

None of this could have happened without the internet.

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