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Tim Panton: Contrasting Digium and Skype's Developer Programs and Outreach


Longtime telephony developer Tim Panton wrote a great story this morning contrasting recent developer outreach from Digium with that of Skype:

The way to create a new product or service when you already have one.

I do agree with Tim that Digium did a great job in reaching out to the community in developing the Asterisk SCF... and I do unfortunately agree with Tim that this continues to be an area where Skype struggles. Skype is now on perhaps its 5th or 6th iteration of a "developer program"... maybe more... I've lost track, quite honestly, over all these years... still working on finding a program that builds a strong ecosystem of developers around Skype. They've hired some great people at Skype... and I'm hopeful that their newer work with SkypeKit will be positive... but we'll have to see.

[In full disclosure, my employer Voxeo has been involved with Skype's developer programs for a long time, dating back to the first "Voice Services" program back in 2005/2006 (which was later discontinued) and continues to be involved in Skype programs. However, I've not been directly involved in those programs on Voxeo's behalf.]

Tim also pointed to this great TechCrunch guest post back on November 8th about Symbian:

Guest post: Symbian OS – one of the most successful failures in tech history

The final paragraph - and final sentence - is so incredibly critical in this space:

The lesson for Meego, and other pretenders to the crown is, perhaps to look after your developers with useful APIs and powerful tools both inside and outside of your organisation. Find the right balance between efficiency and ease of development. Look after all of your developers and your developers will look after you.

Indeed... "Look after all of your developers and your developers will look after you."

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