1 Year 10 Times

A question was posed to me that this “consultese” was overused and lacked meaning.  I was asked what it really meant; and what was the true, demonstrable and quantifiable impact on the delivery of technology to the hands of the business.

I live for this!  Ok, I rather enjoy when posed with a seemingly indefensible position – a strategic approach indeed but mired in flaws as the question in and of itself wreaks of defensiveness and an inferiority complex.  But what I enjoy is this – this question forces me to be exact, specific and avoid the shortcut – the quick answer.

The industry vertical:  An app is an app is an app – or is it?  There are many business scenarios to be learned from a multitude of industries.  Working in the healthcare industry for 10 years writing stored proc after stored proc may or may not be as rich as writing in healthcare and in retail and in financial and manufacturing.  There is a little something to be learned from actually performing in these varying industries is there not?

The SDLC horizontal:  Be it waterfall or RAD or Agile or Lean or SCRUM (I know, I know – just trying to be buzzword compliant) there is a different set of related competencies at use in the varying phases of the SDLC.  Can we not learn a little more about the depth of our industry if we spend some time learning and developing our capabilities in the scope phase or honing our skills in the requirements development arena (come on – what developer has not complained about requirements or the lack thereof)?  Do we not enjoy the frequent and in-depth bashing of architects “not responsible for staying around and coding their lofty ideas”?  Would we not learn a new appreciation from performing that role or would we “finally be the only one to do it correctly”?  And clearly, beyond the development role, would we not understand the thoroughness of requirements traceability and could we not enhance the richness of our expertise by being the one responsible for those test scenarios?  And who could forget the actual operationalization of the elegant code we wrote – would we not see things differently if we were the one responsible for turning it on and actually operating the P&L on a day-to-day basis with the actual tools just written by another competent developer?

The technological dimension: Where have I spent my one year?  Have I spent it in the UI versus the DB or the services layer versus the infrastructural layer?  Maybe I spent 1 of those years in the reporting area deploying the hard and fast parameter-driven reporting platform with a little BI embedding in the application itself.  OR maybe I spent 10 years in the ETL layer bouncing translation files from app to app and from consumer to consumer and from subscriber to subscriber. 

The business functional galaxy:  If you know not a credit from a debit or the purpose of a clearing account how can you design and develop accounting solutions?  Knowing the different drivers behind sales confidence and commission models may or may not enhance the ability to design and code lead management automation. 

For me, I would prefer to cram as much in-depth richness and experience into ten years as I can.  The more depth the more contributory value I can create and deliver to the organization.  And in a results driven economy, delivered value is priced at a premium.

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