Most software developers who work on the Internet love change. Change presents a new challenge, a new paradigm, and new technologies to learn. To realize this, all you have to do is look at the evolution of computers. During the 70s, we worked in a world of mainframes and raised floors. Only special people got to touch the computer, while others had to be content watching from outside of the fishbowl.
The 80s brought the mini-computer with dedicated CRT terminals. You could show data on the screen in any color as long as it was green, but the computer was down the hall in the back room. The 80s also introduced the personal computer. As PC power grew, the mini was replaced with the LAN-connected PC.
The 90s saw the advent of the Internet, and people dialed in, and in the early 2000s, the Internet went viral. As high-speed connections became common, the Internet replaced corporate networks. Computers went from rooms to luggables to "in my briefcase" to "in my pocket."
In 2010, we are seeing the growth of cloud computing. Selecting a brand and model of server computer is being replaced with renting a virtual server at a hosting service like Amazon. The purchaser of these virtual servers doesn't have to select a hardware "brand." I no more care about the brand of computer than I would care about what brand of pipe the water utility used to connect to my house. All I am buying is cycles and reliability.
This move to virtual servers also changes the capital required to propose the next viral application. I don't need to buy a large database cluster, hoping for the acceptance to fill it. I am billed for usage, not capacity. SimpleDB is one of those virtual offerings and the topic of this book.