Getting Software Right is a skill and one that is to be practiced. We all know about the much-touted, mythical theory that suggests you can become an expert by practicing any skill for 10,000 hours. Software engineering is no different. We are talking about expertise in building large-scale enterprise software that will stand the test of time and weather fickle market conditions.
During my time at the SIG, I have learned that when evaluating software applications or implementations, experience and practice go a long way. But as a company, we cannot rely upon the experience of a few long-sitting employees. A company needs more shared experience and practice.
Last week, SIG hit a significant milestone, we added (and surpassed) 10,000th client system to our benchmark. This enables our clients to measure their applications against the rest of the market, using the world’s largest software analysis database. This empowers tech leadership to demonstrate the value they are delivering to the business and identify where to invest to support business growth objectives. Of course, we are also boosting insights by adding a lot of Open Source systems to the mix, but these are easier to obtain by default.
Now, I know what you are thinking; did I not just say that the number 10,000 is more of a mythical number? Well, yes and no.
As a guitarist (attic room, mind you) I have been striving for this number in my spare time. To develop my skill up to the level of one of the greats would be a dream come true. I’m thinking Mark Tremonti (Alter Bridge) here or Joe Satriani. I guess it also depends greatly on your taste in music. Over the years I have learned that merely playing along and ‘having the guitar’ in hand does nothing real towards your skill. The dream is still very far off for me.
And that is because only ‘deliberate’ practice makes perfect. You know, on the guitar this means going out of your way to practice with the intent on your hand and finger positions, a hell of a lot of scale work, tonal exercises, music theory, etc.
The milestone that we have achieved with our benchmark shows our ‘deliberate practice’. Over the years we have been working as Software Advisory Consultants we have honed our skills that little bit more every time we completed an assignment for a client. We added to our product knowledge every time we had to adjust or improve any part of our analysis to tackle the most recent problem we came across.
And we did this at least 10,000 times.
This is a source of great pride and confidence, as we are showcasing the hard work we have put in over the years. We have learned. We have developed our propositions. We have created the Sigrid Platform as an accumulation of all that we think we want to impart to the people around us about software engineering.
The journey is not over of course.
After you have put in the deliberate practice there is ample time to enjoy the skill that has been built. And I am happy to conclude that in this world of ever-increasing complexity in IT, it is a skill that will benefit many around us.