P16: a blog by Matt Kangas home archive
03 Jan 2008

Trends in Hacking 2007

Last week, when I had a moment to reflect on the coming new year, I wondered, what's coming down the pipe for web hackers in 2008? By "web hackers" I mean people who are building web apps because it's fun or interesting. Folks who are used to choosing their own toolsets, who will try a new language or two this year, and probably dabble in a few projects at the same time.

People who I would not consider "web hackers" are J2EE specialists, Oracle specialists, many Microsoft specialists. They may develop web apps, but their toolset was either selected for them, or selected for reasons other than "I like it, it fits my style, and it helps me shine."

I consider myself a web hacker in my personal time, not necessarily in my professional life. It's the creative, not logical, side of coding.

Anyway, here are a few of the biggest things that happened in 2007 for web hackers. Some genuinely new, some just coming to fruition this last year. What else would you add to this list?

I believe the #1 Facebook game right now is Scrabulous – a multiplayer Scrabble clone. Amazing. Scrabble has been around forever, but put it on the web in a new, accessible context, and people go nuts.

One last data point. The Facebook Platform launched on May 24. On August 1, Techcrunch posted an article on their interns' 10 favorite Facebook Apps... and they say they had to choose from 2,300+ total Facebook apps. Read that again: In two months, more than 2,300 Facebook Apps were developed.

Even if most of those Facebook apps are frivolous, the rate of adoption is just amazing.