|Research, training, consultancy and software to reduce IT costs|
We need a new word - stupidclever - to describe stupid things that clever people do. There is a lot of stupidclever in IT.
I think of myself as a fairly clever guy, but over the years I've done some stupid things.
I've spent half my career building tools and frameworks.
I've built code generators. I've put together development frameworks - for character-based screens, client/server, and web applications. I have built design tools and repositories. I must be really clever.
In hindsight, most of this has been really stupid.
Some of it has been stupid because nobody needed it. I once wrote a tool for generating test files and database tables using all sorts of random data routines. Nobody used it. It was a complete waste of time.
Worse than that, some of it has been stupid because everybody used it. Some of my tools have been really successful, the mainstay of my employer's IT for years. Now they are stuck. Their systems depend on non-standard, out-of-date code that has never been developed further. Their systems can not easily be migrated to something newer.
Most of the stuff I have developed falls in between, which is just sad. It has been used a bit, and is just a tiresome legacy.
It's not just me. I know of a large UK bank that wrote its own indexed file system 30 years ago. That was really clever. But it is really stupid to still be using it now, when large-scale databases have been mainstream for 15 years.
I'm sure your organisation has lots of stupidclever IT, too.
Of course you need to be a bit clever. You need to make the best use of technology. You want to achieve reuse. You want to beat your competitors.
But we take it too far. We are so clever, we become stupidclever.
Here are my hard-learnt rules for avoiding stupidclever home-written tools and frameworks.
Minimal IT: research, training, consultancy and software to reduce IT costs.