Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Transformations and team

Seth Godin's Learning from Singer is a nice, in-your-face reminder to reinvent yourself or die. The IT space is littered with the bodies of companies that couldn't do it (like DEC), and some surprisingly that could, like IBM. I'm particularly fond of the IBM example, as I think it's one of the miraculous cultural transformation stories in IT.

Speaking of transformation, two examples of how our (video security) industry is transforming. Milestone's release of a generic IP camera driver and the announcement that LILIN will release an ONVIF camera. These developments raise the bar for openness. They're indicative of things to come. Lowest common denominator interoperability is what makes IT work. The days of “one off” integration that require a business relationship to facilitate interoperability are leaving this business very quickly. Look at the histories of DEC and IBM for some parallels (hint: one of them "got it").

Finally, Nick (via Facebook) had some counterpoints to Alok Srivastava's pragmatic advice on lessons learned in software development.
Nicholas Jost at 2:38pm June 29
1.) Bogus. We've known for years that key contributors have out sized impact on software projects. This has been proven again and again and is a key part of the "master" model.
4.) Scaling is one thing, performance another. Premature optimization is the bane of software development.
7.) This, at last, is a very important concept. More important because it is true that within an organization different software groups are willing to compete for "coolness" and any process that hampers this competition (notice that this is different from "directing" it) will reduce the innovativeness of a company. Small, fairly independent groups that can talk to each other is a good thing.
9.) Also important but may be culturally nuanced. Software engineers aren't that way by training, they are that way by _nature_. Take the computer away, take the diploma away, and they would be chipping on rocks to make better wheels.

Pedantic off.
But I think "team" was referring to the larger group outside the core software development team that includes support, marketing, sales--all those weirdos. They always seem to be getting in the way of the master's craft, but are a necessary evil if you want to do this stuff for a living. Thus Alok's advice that we invite them to the party--teamwork and all that jazz.


Blogger Lee Calcote said...

Lessons yet to be learned by Alok:

Lesson 11: Clear Communication Is Key
- If you're going to use English, learn English.

Lesson 12: Provide Insightful Lessons Learned
- Pointing out the obvious breeds contempt from the experienced.

7:10 AM  

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