I had a great deal of trouble coming up with a subject for this first blog. What was worse, I couldn’t figuring out why I was having trouble.
My writers block was broken by two things. First, we demonstrated Alchemize to a person who had never seen it before, who immediately said “I could have used this for (xxxxxx) project. It would have saved me months”. Second, our president Steve Cornell took 5 minutes to do a live recording of himself performing a process that used to take a senior developer several days to complete. Watch as Steve archives data installed on a DB2 system to an Oracle system in just 5 minutes.
I have a philosophy: software should be boring.
By this, I don’t mean it should be visually unappealing. What I mean is software has a function, and it should perform its function without raising any fuss or dragging the user into the deep arcanery of its innards.
One of the hardest things to make look exciting is good software, because it’s not complicated, it’s not flashy, and it’s boring to watch in operation. Complexity is kept under the covers, where it belongs, so that expensive personnel resources can focus on the business problems that need the attention of real people, instead of operating the pesky program.
At the risk of dating myself, I remember when visicalc revolutionized desktop computing. Few people appreciate the complexity of even a simple spreadsheet, let alone a powerhouse like a modern spreadsheet. However that complexity is largely hidden, to the point that people blithely say “just make a spreadsheet”.
Our goal with Alchemize is to make the IT side of complex business functions as commonplace as possible.