Saturday, March 5, 2011

Workshop with John Davies

We had John here for 2 days, it was intense and very encouraging. First and foremost we got support for our efforts in the direction as to what stack of technology to use, what development process to follow and how to construct future applications. Secondary we got tips of directions or prioritization to take, that just seems so obvious after the session was over, but that we did not see before we started. Third there are feedback and experiences that we not yet know are relevant or achievable for us.

We started off with some hours of introduction to our domain. It is a steep hill and I am sure we could have used weeks to get more into it. But still I think we managed to get the rough picture so that we got input targeted for our challenges. Compared to what John previously has been working on, I think roughly that we have a lot less transactions, but the diversity in data captured and in regulations put on our systems seems harder.

So to shortly summarize:
  • Get confidence and commitment from top management (by demoing prototypes).
  • Build prototypes, have a sandbox, prove concepts. Don´t use valuable staff on reports.
  • Run agile, have much shorter projects.
  • Any plan over 2 years is a risk or a waste.
  • Understand your problem, use what you need, not what a salesperson think you need.
  • Implement software to run on more that one platform. Put this into the build process, be able to change database, app server or cache at any time.
  • Don´t use to much time on storage architecture. Build for the cache, concentrate on the business logic.
  • Integration architecture is much simpler than what´s in an ESB product; Make protocol-neutral services, use a broker and DNS (JNDI).
  • Standardize and virtualize IT platform.
  • Use UML in design.
  • Ruby on Rails is great for GUI.
  • We have the chance to make a revolutionary tax-system.
Are you up to it? Can you help us implement this?

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