It’s no secret that maintaining software systems is a nightmare. For one thing, every software system needs support, whether it’s updating the hardware or adding new applications. But how do you support them? How do you keep everyone happy? How do you get the most from your software engineers while saving the most money?
Good question! The problem is that software engineering teams are rarely made up of highly motivated individuals. Often they fall asleep at the keyboard, pulling out their MS Office tabs and flipping through a few hours of debugging issues. When you factor in the number of hours they spend on calls to customer support and onsite meetings with their engineering team, you’ll find that this is a lot of time for a small group of highly motivated software engineers to spend on maintaining maintainable software systems.
So if everyone seems to be looking for a quick fix, why do so many companies waste so much time on maintaining maintainable software systems that just don’t last? How can companies go from being on-time with their software upgrades to days and weeks without having to implement any major software changes? Well, there are two answers to this question. One, there are people who know how to build maintainable software systems from scratch.
The second answer is a big fat “BUT WHAT?!” The people who know how to build maintainable software systems from scratch aren’t the ones who write the code for these systems. In fact, the person who wrote the original system probably wrote it by playing with Microsoft Office products like Word. And he or she will never have even the slightest clue what the maintainability issues are in Word today, unless of course they worked at Microsoft. So just how do you get these programmers to tweak their products to better suit your needs, instead of writing their own code?
Well, you don’t really have to know how to build maintainable software systems from scratch. Instead, you just need to find people who have written programs that you would like to run in your computer. And one thing you need to realize is that even some of these programmers have little or no knowledge about how to develop software at all. So make sure that any “programmer” you choose to hire specializes in what you want done. After all, your “programmer” probably has no idea how to create an application using Access or Visual Basic. So when you hire “anyone” who claims to have created a good Access program, you’ll be looking for someone who has spent years learning how to build applications using Access/VBA, Visual Basic, etc.
So the first thing you want to ask yourself when you are thinking of how to build maintainable software systems from scratch. What kind of problems does this “system” need to solve? If it is a business issue, then obviously you will need a good database for storing customer information. If it is a technology issue, then obviously you’ll need to be able to communicate with other systems over the internet.
The easiest way to learn how to build maintainable software systems from scratch is to go to an actual developer who has already done this type of thing. Most developers would be happy to help you out, because they make a living off the sales of other people’s software, and want to build repeat customers. So if you go to a developer who is willing to spend the time helping you learn how to build software, you’ve almost certainly found someone who knows how to get it done. In most cases they’ll be more than happy to show you the proper methods for doing so.
Of course, learning how to build maintainable software systems from scratch isn’t for everyone, but it is by far the easiest way to do so. The system you choose should be one that you can grow with and that adapts to ever-changing situations in your industry. You can build your system quickly, test it, and have it up and running in no time at all!