Oh someone gets it!

Dave pointed to something written by Joshua Allen today that talks about the software industry and where their focus should be. I have to admit, it’s a good piece. This line really summarizes my feelings on the whole matter:

And the guy paying for it doesn’t care what language, OS, or database you use as long as it works

Since I’m one of those “guys paying for it”, I know the feeling. I get occasional grief over the software I choose to use at work, and that’s fine, you can disagree all you want. It might not be the latest and most hip software but I know for a fact that it does work. And not only does it work for me, but it works for the 22 other, non-technical, people who work here. Could I install Linux desktops, or buy Mac’s to replace all the PC’s we have here? Yes, I could. Could I switch to OpenOffice, StarOffice or other desktop apps? Yes I could. Could I switch our whole membership database into a mySQL backend. Yes I could. Would that make life easier for my end-users? Would it “work” for them in the sense that they don’t really have to think about how any of it works, they just need to use it? Or would I have to spend months, maybe even years, retraining everyone before they would get any real usage out of it? Would I have to spend months training every time a new hire came on board because we couldn’t afford to pay someone who had the proper skillset right off the bat, or couldn’t find that person at all? Does that sound like something that just “works”? Yeah the shop would be more politically correct according to some in the software industry, but it wouldn’t really “work” for us. My bosses don’t pay me to have the most politically correct technology in place, they pay me to have technology in place that helps people get their jobs done.

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