Reinventing Middle-ware

Darcy L. Watkins – July 9, 2024

In the 1990’s I saw a center fold ad depicting a technical professional buried in his desk papers working late at night. The caption read, “We would like to thank you for all your late nights spent reinventing middle-ware”. When you go to the opposite page, it read “Signed, the competition”.

That stunned me. I realized that any time and effort reinventing stuff that could easily be adapted from readily available sources, could be construed as time spent working for the competition.

This ties into the concept of revenue generating versus cost control. The effort may be a great idea to save time or control costs later, but the gist of the ad was that development should focus on the mandate of development and not get overly distracted with process improvement tools. (The ad was from a middle-ware vendor).

This is not to say that streamlining process is a bad thing. It just needs to be part of a development mandate, not sneaked in.