Monthly Archives: May 2016

The Binary Career Choice

Because I advise people on which technology to use for their projects, I am also often asked for IT career advice. Much to my DBA friends’ surprise, I’ve garnered a “most viewed writer” rating on the topic Oracle DBA on question-and-answers site Quora.com.

This does not mean that I am an expert DBA, but rather that much IT career advice is general and carries over between specialties.

Why are you in IT?

The first question you need to ask yourself is why you are in IT. There are two possible answers, and in true IT fashion, they are binary.

  1. For fun
  2. For money

Many people try answering “both,” but that is a poor answer. If you try for both, you get neither. In order to be happy, you have to either be happy to work with the technology, or be happy that your job brings you the money you need to pursue happiness somewhere else. Make a choice.

 

I discuss this topic in more detail in this week’s Spiritual Programmer newsletter. Sign up here

Complexity Will Kill You

IT projects fail when the complexity of your organization exceeds your capability to manage it. Large and complicated software systems must necessarily be built by large teams in order to deliver in a reasonable time. There are two approaches to managing the complexity of large organizations: Managing the development approach and managing the interfaces.

Managing Complexity

You can get developers to understand the need for common interfaces, so the difficulty of managing a large set of interfaces will level off once you have developed an approach that works for your team. But with increasing team size, you will get an increasing number of mavericks refusing to follow common development standards.

Simply standardizing the interfaces between teams harvests 80-90% of the integration benefits without the drama of forcing developers to work in a way they don’t want.

There is more about this in this weeks Technology That Fits newsletter.