“Today there is a renewed concern that technological advancement may displace much of the software programming (and other) work force, creating widespread unemployment, social disruption, and human hardship”

I have slightly modified a quote I read referring to the early introduction of manufacturing robots in the 1980’s. This is an attitude that still prevails. I recently demonstrated SmartConnect and Node Builder to a small group of software developers and the overwhelming reaction was and I quote “That is what we do already – why would we need those tools”. Now I can imagine someone saying that exact same thing when the first weaving machine was created during the industrial revolution. I can imagine a horse saying it when they first saw a car. I can imagine it being said by the typing pool when the first word processor was created. The world seems to have progressed through all of those events without global unemployment catastrophe.

I worked in a third world country many years ago and was helping run the accounting team of an aid agency. I asked an accountant why he had not yet finished the bank reconciliation and he answered “if I finished it today – what would I do tomorrow?”

There is no point creating jobs for jobs sake? There is no point spending 7 days writing an econnect integration when you could do the entire process with SmartConnect in 1 day. There is no upside to writing a custom HR node from scratch that takes 3 days when you can achieve the same in 1 hr with Node Builder.

The only thing the above proves is that we all think in a self centred way. So do I. Not that long ago I played on a mediocre sporting team and was not a great player – but one of the best on that side. We did OK but did not win all that often. We had an opportunity to recruit a really good player for our team. I actively dissuaded the addition to our team. Why? Because I new it would mean less game time for me? I knew I would not be the goto guy anymore? The new star would show me up. Funnily when we did recruit the new player – the team did better, we all slotted into new positions and the change worked out really well.

But – was my decision to not attract a new player good for the team? NO. Is a developers decision to not use smartconnect as it might make them less ‘needed’ a correct one? NO. Should a developer be able to decide that it is better to lump a company with a pile of custom code rather than use a configurable solution? NO.

Developers should be doing way more exciting things than writing ‘xml’ code. Developers should be doing way more exciting things writing custom stored procedures. Don’t let your staff spend time weaving by hand – when a machine can do it and your staff can do much more value adding activity.

“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory” (Edward Deming) has long been a mantra we have had at eOne. I encourage you to questions the status quo, and make positive change for all the right reasons.