My Top Technology List Of 2009

7 January 2010 | talking about Cloud Computing, Programming, Infrastructure

technology_v1Every geek blog I actively read posted a list of top technologies for 2009, so I thought I would be remissed if I did not do the same. These are technologies that really stepped it up or came to my attention in 2009 and became part of my everyday life both for work and personal used.
2009 was all about moving my life to the cloud. I determined early in 2009 it was stupid to ever store a file on my computer ever again. All my data should live in the cloud so I can have access to it everywhere I go, I can have access on any platform (think cell phone), I can easily share my data with people I want to share it with, and lastly I do not have to worry about backups (for the most part), and that is just what I have done.
Below is a list of my top 10 products that have changed my life in 2009. The first 6 are sort of consumer related and the last 4 are software developer related. So if you are not a software developer I am thinking you might only find the first 6 interesting.

Consumer Technology

Google Docs / Gmail ( Hands down the best thing that ever happen to me in 2009. Yes, these products have been around for a while but google finally got to the point where I could use them full time and be happy. I no longer use a native mail client or calendar on my computer, and I no longer install MS Office or iWorks. Google has done an amazing job of taking the most used aspects of a computer and putting them in the cloud. These products still have a ways to go but I am confident Google will continue to push new features everyday.
Android ( Good bye iPhone!!! I have switched to the Droid for good. My geek religion got the best of me. The iPhone is an amazing phone but the openness of the android, the forward looking of the android, and the seamless integration with google products is priceless. This phone/operating system is everything the iPhone is plus more. Being opens source and controlled by a company that is more community driven tends to bring new features and technologies at a faster rate. I am sick of waiting for Steve Jobs to tell me when I can have the next latest and greatest thing. It is my phone I want to control it.
Google Voice ( - While Google Voice has a long ways to go it is pretty killer. So killer I have changed my phone number to use Google Voice, a number I have had for over 10 years. When you can port your number to Google Voice it will take off! It is so nice to be able to control where and when I receive calls. The voice mail to text email is amazing. Also, the ability to text message people as if it is an instant message client while I am at my computer is a time safer for me. Google voice is going to be a great product for the everyday consumer and an even better product for business customers.
Dropbox ( - Dropbox is a service that allows me to sync my files with the cloud. So I can keep all my files in Dropbox and revisions of my files will be stored on their servers. I can connect to my Dropbox account from any computer and have all my files with me. I can even access my files from their website or iPhone app (if I still used an iPhone). There are a lot of services out there that do this same thing but Dropbox is the first company to truly get it right, and that is why I am a customer of theirs. The ability to know my files are with me anywhere I go and that they are backed up is priceless.
Shoeboxed ( - This is hands down the service I am most excited about. It has really blown my mind that someone has not offered this service years ago. I have thought many times about trying to start a service such as this. What Shoeboxed does is they let you send them (via snail mail) all your receipts and they scan them and then extract the info and add it to a ledger for you. You can even send them business cards and they will scan them for you as well. They are also starting to scan documents. They categories documents, receipts, and business cards by tags which makes it really nice to find particular transactions. Shoeboxed has done a nice job of integrating with other 3rd party products as well. I hope this product continues to grow. They have helped me a great deal in my organization.
Google Chrome ( Seems like 2009 was a google year for me. Google really made some nice improvements in their web browser Chrome. When they released the Mac Beta version I started to use Chrome full time. It is super stable, super fast, and it was clearly built fixing all the mistakes of past browsers. I love the integration with google services as well. I think everyone should use this browser because it was the first browser built that really seems to have a successful mission of helping in the transition from native software to the cloud. I really look forward to building Chrome browser plug-ins for my different web projects. Another hat tip to the gang at google and of course the community around chrome.

Software Development Technology

Codeigniter ( This PHP framework has changed my life. I have been programing php for over 10 years now. I have played around with many frameworks and have even written my own. Codeigniter has done such a good job of making PHP development fast, simple, secure, lightweight, and more. At the start of 2009 I was spending a great deal of time with Ruby On Rails I was trying to figure out if I should move to RoR or continue building on my own framework. I called it SpicePhp smile. After spending a long weekend polishing up my framework and not getting as far as I had hoped I came across Codeigniter in a random google search. I never touched my framework again. Beyond being the coolest of the frameworks I really like Codeigniter because they are based in the north west (whatever that means for an Internet company/project). I am from Portland and I spend as much time in Bend (where their office is) as I can. I keep thinking I need to stop by and buy the Codeigniter people pizza. The problem is many of their developers are not in Bend. Regardless, it is a well thought-out framework that I know will continue to grow in popularity in 2010.
Appcelerator's Titanium ( I have been watching this product all year long and have been playing with it along the way. It took a year to become what I would call "production ready" but with the release of version 0.8 they nailed it!!! Titanium is a technology that allows you to write native desktop, iPhone, and Android applications uses web technology such as javascript. I really think this framework is great for people who write web applications and need product add-ons for different platforms. Instead of having to learn 3 different programing languages you get to write really robust applications using the same language you wrote your web application in. It speeds up development time. I am currently working on some applications using this framework. I really wish appcelerator a very happy 2010 and really look forward to their inovation this coming year.
GitHub ( This company has changed my life. GitHub gives me a place to store all my source code for projects I am working on. They keep it secure and backed up. I no longer have to maintain some sort of backup system on some server I run. I no longer have to maintain permissions for the different users I am collaborating with. GitHub has done a killer job of taking one less system administration task out of my hands. It also has a sexy interface to review the progress of my software project. All stuff I can get from the commend line if I remember the commands. Saving me time because I can just browse and click.
iPlotz ( This is a web based tool for building website wire-frames. This has been a great tool for me to layout and design websites. I love the tool because it is web based, putting more of my life in the cloud. I also love the tool because they give you all sorts of cool features to allow you to click through the site as if you just built it in HTML. It allows me to wire-frame out the site just as I want it so my designers can nail the design on their first design round. It really helps in speeding up the development process.

And The Winner Is.....

Clearly, Google is the over all winner for 2009 in my tech list. I have a feeling they might be a multi year winner in 2010. The company is on fire when it comes to moving the web world in the correct direction. I look forward to the grow of all the products I mentioned here. I know I will be using each one of these products everyday.

tags: dropbox, google, github, cloudmanic labs, appcelerator, titanium

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