EJB was great for consultants. Complicated software is always good for consultants. Companies need to pay you to explain the darn thing.
Just look at how good COM was for Don Box :)
I think one of the next beasts like this will be offline web applications. With Apollo, Slingshot, Dojo, and the other offline toolkits coming out we are going to see a lot of people saying “I want that”, and “make this work offline”.
The web is a world of connectivity. We have been building applications that take that assumption for granted. Now, with offline, we are changing the paradigm.
Beware the seemless example
Remember the talk of EJB where you can just call a method on a stub and it could be local or remote. Who knows! It was this ignorance that enabled a slew of applications that ran dog slow as they talked across network boundaries and serialized data back and forth all day.
Writing offline capable web applications is going to be hard to do right. We are going to have to take a step back and rethink how our applications are going to work with a new dimension added to the mix.
If you want to make a lot of money consulting, get good at building offline web apps and rake it in :)