Utterances of a Zimboe

Programming the Internet.

Sofware industrialism finally here

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The software design industry is finally developing from crafting somewhat tailored solutions into a more industrial production; the component oriented architecture took a little longer to materialize than anticipated. The software industry is transforming into a Fordistic industry where final software products are assembled from components, for real. “Modularity, and interchangeable modular components are a key component of the modernist approach in software, as in architecture, marketing, production, and elsewhere.” [] Btw., I also cherish the crafting metaphor; if the industrialization is done in a Google-kind of inspiring way, it should be ok, but otherwise I welcome you managers to put the Indian people on the line.

(Just some of my even-less-intelligible ranting: I’m excited to see if the BRIC gets its quality together in software development, while I’m not the biggest believer in the Indian outshored software quality. I’ve seen some very skilled and passionate people but most of them have been slow, sloppy and noisy; and it feels like a cultural thing. The worst part is that the people doesn’t seem to understand it themselves as it would naturally be ok if they at least would want to get better.. Give them a hint, you fellow countrywo/men.)

This new factory line has a qualitative difference in that the assembly is done at the design level (different level of abstraction), obviously due to the immaterial nature of software :) – i.e., the old story about the cost-free copying of products while design still being manual work. Thus, the pace has not been bad considering that the last shift from the ‘farming Kool-Aid’ into industrialism took three centuries.

This paradigm shift reminded me of this already older development where IT is developing from the support role of the core operations (banking, design, car sales, clothes manufacture etc.) into the core business; which makes programmers the primary workforce. For example, Amazon’s former core business, logistics, is becoming a commodity and the IT services as itself has become the area of most attention already a long time ago. Though, eBay – another example of the most modern ‘systems factories’ – continues to use it’s IT services to support the core business, peer-to-peer sales. Which is actually pretty self-evident: Amazon charges for using it’s services compared to eBay’s web services API that is free to consume.

Naturally, the eBay platform can be – and probably is being – utilized for purposes which don’t directly drive eBay’s revenue, but that small amount of debris is easy to tolerate. Especially as $73/user/yr can be considered a pretty good revenue having most of the servicing immaterial and fully automated. ($1.39b revenue in Q1 with 75.4m users.)

So, I guess that was about it for now… I’ll go grab some lunch.

Disclaimer: I’m just a programmer, I know jack shit.

Technorati: Internet Business, Technology, Culture


Written by Janne Savukoski

October 1, 2006 at 12:13 pm

Posted in Internet

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