Another part of the picture is a company's need for secrecy in their daily operations. Almost every company has competition for the same market. If they were to publish the code they use to speed up daily operations using a tool like AutoHotkey, it could nullify certain advantages they have in the marketplace. So i doubt that any "real" solutions would be published on sites and forums like this where where their competition could find them.
I agree with this part. A lot companies are not going to tell you what they use internally. If they are broadcasting what they are using, it's often because they are trying to sell you something or for marketing propaganda.
And you will be surprised what companies use. I've seen companies use all kinds of things. Often the situation is that there is a problem and some person took the initiative to solve it. Mid or upper management often doesn't care so much what they used, but that it solved the problem. Every company, including IT department, is different. Some are very liberal and allow employees to come up with solutions on their own, and some are extremely fascist and conservative. In any case, many people outside the company will have no clue what a company or group in the company are doing internally.
I am the CIO for relatively small business with about 50 employees across two states, I use autohotkey to:
-add features to propriotary software, so much so that employees don't even know wich windows/features are part of the software they are using and what is scripted.
-create custom install scripts for distribution.
-I have created a few standalone inventory management applications that can sync between office branches (using wget and some extra libraries)
-I have used the COM object in scripts to create custom spreadsheat reports from csv files that our accounting software generates
So my answer to your question would be that no one is probably looking specifically for ahk coders or projects to be coded in ahk, but ahk coders know exactly when a task or project can be coded out and ahk is often the quickest path to completion. In short I use it heavily in my enterprise with about 5000 lines of code across all my applications and I doubt anyone even realizes it or gives it a second thought.
Agree. Many companies are looking for inexpensive and simple solutions to solve problems. Time is money. AutoHotkey can easily be a solution for many companies and individuals.
My immersion into the AHK pool is pretty shallow, but for what they're worth, here are my 2c:
AHK is unlikely to be taken seriously by the corporate world, largely because it is free. It is supported by this site, which is admittedly inhabited by a lot of enthusiasts, but how many solid anchors does the site have? Maybe more than I think, but my impression is that the language could die if relatively few people lost interest in it. It seems Poly already has. If you read the Forth Interest Group, you will find a lot of enthusiasm for the Forth language. It is a very capable language, too, especially for number crunching and problem solving - but who uses it? It has been staggering along since about 1970 with an enthusiastic, but small band of followers. Any parallels there with AHK?
I previously programmed in C, after finding a freeby compiler (DJGPP) with a freeby IDE (RHIDE) which was pretty powerful. It also had its own web site with a large and enthusiastic following, but as machines evolved, the original gurus lost interest and moved on to other things, then the latest updates didn't work any more, and I don't suppose anybody uses it now. Of course, C is still around, but there's skin in that game, where DJGPP and RHIDE (and its freeby editor, SET) was all free, as is AHK. If the inventors of the language were getting rich from it, that would give them lots of incentive to continue its support and evolution.
I don't think it likely that many jobs will be offered for AHK development for enterprise software as long as there is a risk that it won't survive the next ten years - or possibly five. I hope I'm wrong, because it's a damn good product and language, but the corporate world looks at more than that.
I disagree about the free part. I think it's more about guarantees. Companies often want a guarantee of support and that X product will solve Y problem.
In order for AutoHotkey to be taken more "seriously", in my opinion, here are some things I think it can very much do.
1) Market itself as providing solutions and support to companies. The language (GPL afterall) and website remains free to spread it's use. However, you have a team of AHK Coders that will write programs to solve company AND individual customers problems. These companies pay AHK Coders to provide support specifically for them.
At any time a band of AHK Coders can get together and sell solutions (note the difference versus selling commercial programs), provide specific company support, and also give training/seminars (at the company) on using the language. Those are all services that companies may pay for, and that creates a professional image about AutoHotkey.
And I see no reason why a sharp AHK Coder or team of them can't go up on http://www.rent-acoder.com/ or similar types of websites, and not get some projects...
Various companies and individuals in companies are also using AutoHotkey now to solve their problems. Maybe start collecting more information about what kinds of problems many companies are having and sell solutions.
2) As for security, AutoHotkey is actually not a problem. It's a scripting language where you can get and see the source code.
This has up and down sides. The down side is that it makes it very hard to sell AutoHotkey programs commercially, because individuals or companies may want to hide and protect the source code for competitive advantages. BUT, the up side is that internal to a company the language is great. Internally, you are going to be wary of encrypted compiled and obfuscated code that you are not sure what it is. So being able to examine the source code/script is great. It also means you can have a new guy come in and pickup where the old guy left off, as all the code is there to be examined. Disasters have happened in companies where they lost the source code or key people with knowledge. They then had a program being used internally that nobody could update or understand, then they had to pay for a new solution or paid lots of money for reverse-engineering.
In some cases you want the programming language to be open, in other's closed. AutoHotkey can find it's right niche. Having a scripting language like AutoHotkey that solves internal problems in the company, would be fantastic. AutoHotkey is very capable of doing that, where all kinds of scripts are made to solve issues of employees.