It has been good for me to get out of the newsgroups, the blog-o-sphere and the intellectual community to go see what Joe Developer is up to. Here are some of my favorite quotes:
"Jeff, it was only a few years ago that we quit writing programs in Assembler and started writing them in COBOL."
"Development methodology? Yea, we have a development methodology - write the code real fast and put it in production."
"We are picking an EAI product to implement our service network."
Here are some other highlights:
- There was a huge gap in knowledge between architects and developers. The architects knew the buzzwords, had read the white papers and most of the developers were completely clueless on next-gen stuff. Developers were soooo busy learning new J-stuff (maven, hybernate, canoe, etc.) that they just didn't have time to worry about the WS-stuff.
- Managers and directors knew the buzzwords but didn't know how to cost justify or create a roadmap.
- People want to implement a "web services catalog" (think UDDI registry - perhaps even slimmed down).
- Most architects had heard of ESB's and were actively shopping for one.
- Many of the customers were explicit about NOT wanting to work with startups on their infrastructure. Their short list was usually: IBM, BEA and Tibco.
- The fundamentals of designing systems for use, reuse, evolve-ability and agility were missing. Developers don't need WS training, they need loose coupling training.
- The role of 'business analyst' or 'requirements analyst' seemed to be missing in many organizations. Use cases were NOT rolled into business cases.
- In large corporations, the majority of the employees had never spoken with their CIO, never seen a strategic I.T. plan (annual or otherwise) and never had the chance to talk with anyone of any influence about the fundamental problems in their organization.
- I.T. budgets are returning.
- Morale is mixed. Some are happy to have jobs others are upset about their career potential.
The potential for solving problems is high, but unfortunately many organizations have a huge gap between leadership and worker-bees. We need a major upgrade in 'business and I.T. alignment' before we move too far down a new paradigm shift like the Service Oriented Enterprise.