2004 has come and (nearly) gone. I can’t say I’ll miss it much. Not that 2004 was a bad year – but it was a trying year. Growing a business is hard, solitary work sometimes. I’m starting to see my company’s growth curve start to take off, and I am looking forward to the new projects and experiences that 2005 will bring. Suffice to say that I am excited about the future.
If there were only one thing that I learned during 2004 that I could share with colleagues and clients, it would be this: slow down. The earth will not open up and swallow you whole if you devote a little time to planning. Mafia goons will not break your kneecaps if you take 20 hours to do a high-quality job instead of rushing it out in 12 only to find obvious, rookie mistakes in the project. Despite the old saying, you do not have time to do it over, but you do have time to do it right in the first place. Nobody is going to fire you for taking the time to do a good job on something. Note: this is not to be used by would-be software artistes as an excuse to justify endless noodling on minor details under the guise of doing quality work.
The longer I work in technology (11 years and counting now), the more convinced I am that we – developers and users – create the majority of our own problems. Whether it is the developer who builds a $5,000 solution to a $5 problem and delivers everything late or the user who refuses to view his job in the larger context of how it benefits his company, we all make things hard on ourselves. There continues to be a widespread failure to find the “friction point” between cost, timeliness and features. Add to that the false mantra of efficiency and speed and you have a recipe for a situation in which everyone is working as fast as they can at accomplishing very little. I can’t speak for you, but I don’t find that very satisfying. I believe people – in AND out of the technology field – need to have a bit of a craftsman approach to their work.
In other words, 2004 taught me what I already knew. 😉
Things to look for in 2005:
- My company, Cogeian Systems will announce the pending release of a software product by year’s end. I am committing my company to spending the first half of 2005 researching product concepts, and the second half developing a prototype, if not a beta release.
- More articles. Many more. And perhaps longer ones. Consider 2004 a warm-up for the articles I’ll be writing on in 2005. I intend to continue scolding the duller practices of the industry and praising the virtues of effectiveness and common sense in the development trade.
- I might bring back the highly-neglected discussion forum. Or I might not.
- As always, I will continue to take a “business value first” stance on technology projects. In the profession of software development and project management, one either creates or enables value, or it’s time to hit the bricks and find a new line of work.
In closing, I want to thank every visitor to my site – 31,000 this month – for reading, linking, eMailing, etc. Compared to some of the more popular software industry blogs, my traffic stats are nothing to crow about. However, I still find it immensely rewarding that anything I write resonates with any number of people. My aim is to spark thoughts and conversations that lead to the betterment of the profession. Hopefully I’ve made a decent start of it.
So on behalf of myself and Cogeian Systems I say: Happy New Year, and may you achieve all the success and excitement you desire in 2005!