Failed Projects

This editorial is from way back, published in 2005, but perhaps still a good one today. This is being re-run as Steve is at the Data Platform Summit.

Friday is poll day, at least as long as I can be creative with them. And of course, remember to put them out on the right day Smile This week is more of a software development issue than a strictly SQL Server one, but take it how you will and get your post in here for everyone to see. Humility and responsibility are the keys this week. So without further ado…

Have You Ever Failed In A Software Project?

A simple yes or no would suffice for the poll question, but I’ll set an example and give you my answer with an explanation. The short answer is yes. The longer one is abbreviated in the interests of space, but I have made an attempt to set things as I best remember them.

When I came to Denver 7 years ago, it was with a startup company in the financial services market with a few simple software products, but some trouble getting them stable and focusing the IT group. I was excited at the opportunity, the dot com boom was, well, booming, and I was thinking I’d make a million with this company. Fast forward 2 years and I resigned, somewhat burned out, and thinking I’d done everything I could.

Thinking back I think I had done lots and given a lot, but I still failed and part of it was me not taking a leadership role more than I did and part of it was getting burned out and part of it was not really forcing the company to stop and make good decisions regardless of the time involved. I instead put up a bit of a fight, but then went along with the constant “just patch it” and we ended up burning most of a year getting nowhere because the underlying base products were a mess. I resigned, the company lost about 30% of the development staff, floundered for a couple years and was sold. Not sure anyone made money on that deal.

As I’ve looked back, I realize it was a dysfunctional company, but I think I could have made a difference, stepped up as CTO (it was offered to me) and driven things forward. Oh well, I learned quite a bit from the experience and grew from it.

Steve Jones

 

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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