What I do
I work for The Alexander Group, Inc. as a "Sr. Software Engineer" developing software solutions that help 1) aggregate and automate the knowledge of my company's consultants and 2) identify patterns in the needs of all of my company's clients, developing flexible software solutions for those patterns (a.k.a. software products).
Although that all came off the top of my head, I think it really describes what I do for my company. 5 years ago, AGI hired me for one reason. Consulting doesn't generate true recurring revenue. Certainly a consultant may sell you their services for a problem that shows its ugly head each year, but a good consultant will leave you with a solution to permantly deal with those problems and possibly, but not necessarily to end them as well.
Software is largely recurring revenue. I write a program once and then multiple people get to use it over and over with very little of my involvement. That frees me up to either make the software better or to find solutions for other needs.
The software I develop is largely web-based, meaning that it must run over the internet; like a website. Most people don't realize that a website really is a software product (or is it?). You can begin to wrap your mind around the idea of an electronic document (like Word or a PDF) being software itself... but, I'll leave that topic alone for now...
In the 5 years of working for AGI, we have released quite a few products. In the beginning, our leadership had a vision to capture the knowledge of their consultants and to automate solutions for their clients. They had ideas for what this looked like in terms of software and even some basic requirements about what the software should do. Remember that this vision... their ideas were floating in space. They had no physical form. There were no competitors, because the software simply didn't exist.
Can you imagine describing the concept of TurboTax to someone before it existed? Success for ideas like these relies on the ears that hear it, the minds that comprehend it, and finally the hands that make it happen. Not only must you hear and comprehend everything they are telling you... you must also hear what they aren't telling you. Leaders don't have the same level of technical knowledge that the workers do. It's not their job. So, as you digest the ideas, you ask question after question after question. You must ask the questions they don't know need to be asked. You must get them to release information that they don't know needs to be given.
So through the long course of trial-and-error we accepted the challenge. As we cultivated the information available to us, we attempted to automate certain "problem domains". We knew people have always struggled with time and money. But, there were unique applications of these 2
- Category: Work
- Posted On: 7/29/2005
- Views: 4,398Share |