20 years creating enterprise applications… Still figuring out how to get it right… but progressively moving in a good direction.

The first few computer applications I sold, back in the 80’s, where beauties. Develop it over a weekend, get a nice bunch of cash for your troubles, so nicely defined that there was little or no support to worry about, happy days…

Then, in the 90’s I needed to do a big one, big enough to need to buy in the bulk of the underlying software… I hoped to be able to do the usual weekend frolicks to deliver, and ended up settling for saying, well, lets go live with what we got, and worked like a dog for the next year to deliver all that was required. I thought, well I got that wrong, better go learn how to do it properly!

A few years in consulting followed, doing good old waterfalls, and rapidly discovering that the recommended analyse, design, develop, test & deploy thing did not work. Well, what was really amazing to me was that all these execs seemed to think it would. The requirements for my little 50 user implementations constantly changed, how could these guys think that the requirements could stay static when there was thousands of users!

The just go live with what you got thing worked, it just was not profitable if you relied on upfront licensing fees. The trick was to make sure that during the bit after go live, where you worked like a dog, was to make that the billable part, and not to worry too much about the upfront fees. It felt kinda lonely, until the agile movement came along, and seemed to agree with me.

But by that stage, I had moved on in my career, to larger scale implementation, with tens of thousands of users, and I realised, even if I could magically produce the entire system over the weekend, I would not be able to turn it on. Their where too many interdependencies, other systems to be kept in sync, users to be trained, data to be migrated.

So these days, I focus on “Application Lifecycle Management” applications… the core build, test and deploy components, and enabling “enterprise agile”. I guess instead of “go live with what you got”, it is “start integrating what you got”, whilst in parallel developing the next evolution, whilst keeping the lights on for the current stuff.

Now, as a description of me, this is pretty one dimensional. I’m not a complete IT geek, I do have a personal life, it is just that I like to keep that, well, personal. I am creating this blog, to talk about my professional self and perhaps to talk about ideas related to the evolution of enterprise computing!


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