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One of the most inspiring talks ever.
We need to first define the problem. If I had an hour to save the world, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and 1 minute finding solutions.
This was a talk from The Business of Software I enjoyed quite a bit. In this talk, Balsamiq's CEO, Peldi Guilizzoni, talks about the jumps, sacrifices and rewards of starting a new venture in the world of technology and software. Every entrepreneur should watch this video:
Warning: It's an hour-long video, but well worth it!
I am a very frustrated man right now. I happen to be working on a project to “fix” a MS Access database some genius business user created with a ton of crappy forms, redundant data, thousands of data anomalies, zero relationships, unimaginable naming conventions, and the craziest data structures I have ever seen in my life. Somehow these people have been using this Access database to run their business for YEARS now, and the only reason they needed someone to look at it, is because the geniuses that created it made a giant table with columns that represented a combination of Month and Year where they would add some data as time went by. Every month they will come to this table and add a couple of columns to continue adding crap for the next month and so on. Well, they ran out of columns in the Access table (up to 255) and now they are stuck with it.
I just wanted to shoot myself in the head when I saw the db for the first time. My first suggestion was “Let’s do it right. Let’s port this to SQL Server Express (FREE), normalize it, create a couple of views, and you can still use your forms with the correct data model” but off course, they do not want me to do that, even after I explained that trying to fix this database will take more time and money because of how flawed it is, they still wanted their old stuff, full of errors and inconsistencies. They want me to fix this piece of shit. Unbelievable!
The situation made me think again about how businesses that are not in the IT space, see their IT and software development efforts as a liability instead of an asset. Why is it so hard for some companies to embrace technology? Unless your business is that of fighting against IT (and I can’t think of a business model based on that premise), they should embrace technology as a tool to improve business processes and enable collaboration between your clients, partners and your workforce. Every time I come across a corporation closing the doors of innovation, creativity and the enablement of IT to support and improve business processes, I see a dying mammoth. Such companies are doomed for failure, no matter the size or industry they are in.
Anyways… let me get back to my grinding Access DB. Ufff… I just needed to let out some steam.
I'm starting a new project/product now. Let's see how it goes, I have very high expectations with this new product and I'll let things slip thru as it takes shape. I still have to make a new company for it, so I can get some tax benefits too. I keep postponing the company creation thing for tomorrow and then for tomorrow. One more time, I'll do it tomorrow (and this time I'll really do it). I'll kick things up with .NET 4.0 and some Entity Framework. This is my first time working with the ADO.NET entity framework and I like very much what I've seen so far. Initially I thought to use something different from .NET, like RoR (Ruby) or Django, the Python Web framework; but I ended up going back to the land I know the best: .NET world. The reason was simply the speed at which I can work and produce code is important at this time, since I'm the only one writing code on this thing.
I'll try to keep posting about my progress here and the new challenges I face as I move forward.