August 17, 2017

A Lonely Roadtrip

Nine hours of driving today – alone – has me just a bit late getting to your inbox, not to mention exhausted.

When I wasn’t driving past endless miles of corn fields, I was navigating construction that narrowed the highway down to one lane. A roadtrip like this is tedious and tiresome, and makes you adapt your schedule repeatedly. You never know when that one-lane traffic will turn into a 20-minute halt.

Planning projects and troubleshooting them in NetSuite are about the same as my lonesome roadtrip: tedious and tiresome.

Have you decided where your project will take you? Do you even know how to get there once you do? Where is the construction that will slow you down? Where are the potholes that will grind your progress to a halt? What about the detours that will send you far off your intended destination?

Just like a roadtrip fraught with construction, no software project ever goes according to plan. We spend countless hours in planning meetings debating the scope and trying our best to come up with all potential problems we might encounter, but we aren’t fortune tellers. No one can foresee every possible problem that we’ll encounter.

Whether you’re a new developer, a lead developer, or managing software developers, everyone even remotely involved in software projects should read Fred Brooks’ The Mythical Man-Month. It’s over 40 years old, and yet it’s packed full of insight into why most software projects fail – or at least induce an overwhelming amount of tediousness, exhaustion, fear, and anxiety – and how to shift your organization’s mindset to avoid those regrettable mistakes and expectations.

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