Thursday, July 14, 2005

Software Writing

What do I do when I'm not designing software? Reading about software, of course. Check out Joel On Software. Easy reading because of great writing. In fact, he compiled a book on the best writing about software (in his opinion) in the industry. Check out The Best Software Writing by Joel Spolsky. Great stuff.

Speaking about software development. I've been in a training seminar all week at a major ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) vendor. Lots of PowerPoint discussions and a few demos. Funny really, some of the stuff presented is solving problems I've run across in my 25 year career - and solved. No brag here. It's just strange how the same issues come up again and again. For example, there was a two hour discussion on master data for an item master. Issues about the need to buy from one location to benefit from vendor discounts. Currently the enterprise is buying from the same vendor and getting different prices. No organization. We solved this very problem in 1982! We built a catalogue. Simple, elegant, smooth, and it works!

What's nice about these seminar (or call them classes if you want) is that I just get up anytime I want. There was a time when I'd wait patiently until the presenter said to take a ten minute break. Anymore, I don't care. I go when my kidneys tell me to go. I'm quiet about it. Which is certainly better then all the folks who can't remember to mute their phones and pagers.

Another great thing about the classroom is the free wireless access. As the presenter uses a phrase or acronym I don't remember or have never heard of (the later is more the case), I can Google it, read about it, and focus back to the class. Usually, I pick right up where they left off. I just bring my iBookG4. It's wireless and cordless. And of course, it's white. Everyone else in the room brings their office computers. All of which are IBM Thinkpads. Trouble is, the batteries on those things last long enough to enter your password. Soon after I see them open them, they are climbing under the desk looking for a power outlet and network cable hookup. Dweebs, all of them.

I just sit in the back at an empty dark wood table, my white iBook apple logo glowing, and type away. Let them bump their heads under the chairs looking for those elusive outlets.

A dog is everyone's best friend because they wag their tails, not their tongues. -NPR