I know that this is not directly political but now days all politics is local and everything local seems to be political
When programmers become interpreters not developers
In the old days one could expect to get a request from the business something like this:
We need to have a system to match invoices to purchase orders and pay them automatically. If there is a disputed charge make it so people can see them and deal with them easily without delaying payments unnecessarily.
The developer would look at where the invoices were loaded/entered and where the POs were loaded/entered and decide where and how the amalgamation would best occur. Then they would make a proposal on how to best do the matching process and how to present the anomalies for review by the relevant users. It would be tested for efficiency and scalability by the programmer and system personnel and if all were agreed upon and the design approved by the users, systems and management the development would proceed.
More and more now days the request is likely to be:
We just bought XYZCORP’s new “does all solves all” suite of products. Shove all of the PO’s and Invoices into their API.
This at face value sounds fine as XYZCORP’s new “does all solves all” suite of products is what everyone else in our particular industry is using and (more importantly) it’s Sarbanes–Oxley compliant and our customers are demanding that level of compliance. So what could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately many things will go wrong. They include the sacrifice of many of the innovations and some of the creative drive that made your company successful in the first place as well as, not insignificantly, the disenfranchisement of your development staff that embodied (if not at least implemented) a lot of that creative and innovative drive.
As a company moves into the world of compliance and “same as” you will see it become top heavy in that it will soon have its main IT staff be mostly planners, BI integrators, managers and expert consultants with few really talented “developers”. This is because if you are going to run on prebuilt software it is already developed. Your staff of programmers and designers will either move on or be relegated to building interfaces and simple custom reports with everything else having been pre-packaged.
This puts the company in the position of actually being secondary to the business of the software they just purchased. Innovations will be controlled by the package not by the needs of the business using it. If there are needed critical changes that the software vendor is unwilling to make you will be in danger of customizing beyond the threshold of being upgradeable in the normal path of the software company’s innovations.
Now that you are no longer what you used to be but are compliant and like everyone else have you really lost what got you to where you are now? How will you look going forward?