It's nearly 35 years now that I have been in the software production and integration business! As an IT consultant, I have witnessed the inner workings of many types of businesses that claim to have a working software development and integration division.
Way back then, people got into software because some part of their business had to be automated: The typical accountant sooner or later got tired of doing the monthly book runs on accounting-ruled paper and managed to partially automate it by putting the business transactions in a giant spreadsheet. Over time, the accountant got more sophisticated and used multiple sheets for the spreadsheet, congratulated himself for writing his first Excel/Quattro/Lotus123 macro and then had a go at writing the process in BASIC, DBASE or CLIPPER with no projecting background and little understanding of user interface design. Because of the never-ending list of bugs, the control of the program development was fiercely protected by the originator, which endowed a sense of personal ownership over the program that would have been unheard of today. Rolling forward through many painful corporate evolutions to the present, we have developed the good common sense to abstract ourselves from these automations and sever the personal relationship that we have with what are essentially just invisible robots that provide a service. We even trust these services to run on machines that are not our own and that are located in places that we do not care where, and for which we only pay for on a per-use basis.These services are hosted on infinitely-capable machines of which the interfaces are are very quick, reliable, documented, well-understood and highly secure. At last we have way to successfully deliver software-based automation solutions! It is just that some people in the business have not evolved as quickly...
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