Tuesday, July 05, 2005


I'm a consultant. I travel from client to client, gig to gig, solving their problems and writing software for them to use internally.

And you know what 80+% of that work turns out to be? Pulling data out of a database and displaying it on a web site. EVERYBODY needs this, and this is what every interactive system does.

At an abstract level, every client gets the same system that I previously wrote for a different client. It's their DSL (Domain Specific Language) and other nuances that makes templating the previous system somewhat of a challenge, and is what guarantees my continuing revenue.

I can't tell you how many times I've sat in elaborations where the client thinks this is some kind of novel approach to business, and they're so excited about getting started. But, to me, it's busy work. It's boring. It's been done before. It's old school.

Wanna know a secret? I have to invent new ways of doing things just to keep my mind from imploding on itself. Sometimes, they work, sometimes they don't. Luckily, in the latter category, I have previous successful implementations to recall when I'm in a time crunch.

So, the end result is that my customers are actually paying for innovation for my own selfish reasons, but think they're just getting a vanilla pull-data-from-a-database-and-display-on-a-website system.