Saturday, September 12, 2015

Best Source for Best Practices

In the enterprise software space, we have historically taken our cues from Enterprise Software Vendors. Vendors such as Microsoft, Sun, Oracle, IBM and BEA have hugely shaped the way we work.

This gave us things like:
  • SOAP
  • The J2EE App Server
  • JNDI
  • Enterprise Service Buss
  • The word SOA Governance
  • EJB
  • JavaServer Faces
When I was new in the industry my techno-skepticism was not so well honed. I was guilty of spreading and promoting some bad ideas. I accepted everything the Enterprise Software Vendors said without question.

But about 10 years ago I started paying attention to what Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and Netflix were doing. Turns out, many of them use Java. But usually in a different way. Often a simpler way.

If you want to learn enterprise best practices, I suggest you head on over to Google or Amazon and check out their cloud offerings. Study their APIs. Look at their HTTP services. Compare how they are doing things to the above list of Enterprise Mumbo Jumbo.

For example, look at what Java EE considers an appropriate stack for server-side apps. And compare that with Google's offering (Google App Engine Services). You will be surprised.

I saw a John Oliver special the other night that pointed out how much drug companies spend selling to doctors ($28 billion per year).

I suspect there has been something similar going on in enterprise software. If you go up the hill from where I live, to the really expensive houses, you will find a lot of folks with the title: Enterprise Software Sales. It seems to me that the corporate culture at these firms is to pay the Enterprise Software Salesperson the highest salary. The engineers live in the condos at the bottom of the hill, next to the garbage dump.

Dave Recommendation: we should start taking our cues (and best practices) from the great web companies instead of commercial enterprise software vendors.

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