Are you a tech company. That’s an interesting question. I’m sure some of you might not think so, working for a commercial organization that has some physical product you sell or some service you provide. You might not consider yourself a tech company. However, your organization might be, at least according to this essay at Medium.
I certainly think software has changed, and will continue to change the world. I think data becomes is an important part of our system, but in conjunction with software and the ease with which we can gather, process, extract, and analyze the information inside of our data. In order to do that, I do believe that we need ways to better build and deploy software, whether that’s database software or application software.
To do that, can we be afraid of mistakes? I think not. The opening premise of the piece is looking at rapid delivery from two points of view. Can a system be secure if you change it multiple times a day? Or perhaps it can’t be secure if you don’t have the ability to change things. Either view could be true, and most of us lean one way or the other. My view is towards the latter, not because I want to release multiple times a day, but because if there are issues, bugs, or security holes, I need to be able to change my software that day. I can’t wait for weeks or months.
That’s one of the problems I’ve seen with quite a few systems in the past. The time to release a new version, to patch an issue, is far, far too long when potentially hundreds, or thousands, of malicious attackers could take advantage of a flaw this week. Or our company could lose customers because a feature is broken for long periods of time. While I don’t think the cost of fixing mistakes is zero, I do think that the cost of not fixing issues is also more than zero. Certainly at times the cost of not fixing something might be much, much higher than our organization would tolerate.
Mistakes will happen. However, the point the essay makes is valid. We should learn from mistakes, and not try to avoid them, but continually push forward to improve our software. Above all, we need to find ways to engage our employees and get them to believe they can produce better software and are empowered to do so.
The Voice of the DBA Podcast