Sustainable SuiteScript Archives

October 20, 2020

Having been in the SuiteScript space since 2012, I’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of SuiteScript, work with dozens of developers, advise several firms, and also observe.

In that time, I’ve repeatedly seen that the expectations are just too low. The standards for quality software engineering: too low. The standards for developer quality of life: too low. The standards for client relationships: too low. They’re all too damn low.

If you’re scrambling for the next billable hour; if you say YES! to every project or request; if you don’t use source control or have code reviews; if you’re constantly chasing the final payment for a project; if you can’t keep developers on your team for more than a few months; if your clients aren’t recommending you to new ones, then your standards are too low.

It’s not your clients’ fault for “not understanding your skills.” It’s not NetSuite’s fault for being “crazy” or “finnicky” or “wrong.” It’s not your developers’ fault they hate being “133% utilized” every single week. Software development is not something you simply bolt on to a functional consulting practice. “Write code” is not an acceptable line item on a proposal. “My code is perfect; NetSuite is wrong” is not a valid excuse for failure. Software development is a profession and will demand that you treat it as such whether you’re on a team, running a team, or sitting in the board room overseeing several teams. Collectively, the expectations we’ve set for acceptable practices, processes, and code is simply far too low.

I’m not writing simply to complain about a lame status quo – although we do have exactly that. Instead, I carry a message of hope – if not a sharp kick in the ass. All of these, and the myriad other issues plaguing our niche, are fixable. They’re not all easy fixes, nor are they quick ones. Many will require significant investment, critical thinking, and crucial decisions to be made – all will require dedication and hard work – but you don’t have to do that work alone or make those decisions in a vacuum.

You can build a high-performing SuiteScript team once you start raising the bar, and I’d love to help you and your team do that.

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