Goodbye Lotus Notes

The company I work for has decided that Lotus is no longer the provider of choice for email (Notes), instant messaging (SameTime), document sharing (Quickr) or social networking (Connections). So we’ll be moving to ‘another’ well known provider for most of those needs.

As far as I can figure out, this is not a technical nor financial decision. Well, not true. The decision was based on FUD provided by an outside source that was wrapped up in technical and financial blarney. What I mean is that this was all started for political reasons. Someone got a bee in their bonnet (wow, is that an old saying!) about Notes in general and after being wooed by a larger software company, decided to drive Notes from our company. Ok, let’s face it. IBM doesn’t care too much about keeping customers, just trying to win new ones. So no one came to call or help until the decision was about to be put in front of the board. I’m predicting that we’ll be in a mess for about 5 years, maybe more. And after that, the email system will STILL not be as stable as what we have now.

And to top this all off, the only solution that I’ve heard for replacing Lotus Notes applications is SharePoint. SHAREPOINT? Umm, did anyone really look at the capabilities? Or did they just take MS and the outside source’s word for it? Oh well.

So what does that mean for me? I’m not going to go back out there as an independent contractor. That was great, but I had to finally call it quits when the jobs became scarcer. I don’t like marketing, and you REALLY have to get out there and market yourself to keep the jobs rolling in. Looking at job postings now, Lotus Notes is dying off quickly. There’s still a core group of Notes developers that show up at all the LUG meets, but the circle has shrunk quite a bit and seems to be imploding.

I’ve recently started working with WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Management along with Java in general, so that’s where I’m headed. I want to stay here because of the security, but I don’t think I’ll ever get to the level of expertise in WebSphere technologies as I had in Lotus Notes. I am however having a lot of fun learning. So maybe bidding farewell to Notes won’t be so hard after all. Although, I really did want to learn XPages – it holds so much promise.

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