The Forgotten Art of Writing Business Software

I wrote my first piece of business software when I was 13 years old (I'm 39 now so this was really a long long time ago). The software I wrote at that age sucked, of course, but over the next 10 years I learned how to write business software properly thanks to several great mentors I had. I wasn't the only kid at that time writing business software. Everybody who was able to do programming was writing some accounting or bookkeeping software in order to earn a few bucks on the side. Consequently every programmer who learned his or her trade in the 1980's or early 1990's knew very well how to write business software properly.

For the past 20 years kids are initiated in the world of real programming by setting web pages and writing web applications none of which were critical for the functioning of the company ordering such software. So kids learned LAMP stack and LAMP way of doing while never learning how business-critical applications are written. Knowing some SQL (or even worse, blindly trusting an ORM) doesn't make you a business software developer. What makes you a business developer is understanding accounting and book-keeping, and most importantly writing software that works by design and not because you squashed all the bugs by iterating on your customers.


Photo by Ryan Johnson