The key issue with Novopay, and the school payroll system, and many other huge black-box IT projects (yeah, I’m looking at you, $1.5bn IRD replacement system), is the approach of replacing the system as a whole. Forget about the elephant, let’s look for a system of interconnected components that – as a whole – gets us to where we need to be.
I’ve worked on “enterprise grade” software for a large chunk of my career. Do not get me wrong: I could not build a payroll system capable of running the NZ School payroll without error, but I do know a grade-A clusterfuck when I see one. This post attempts to cut through some of the veiled [...]
What I do find vexing is the fact that software procurement, development, and maintenance is (or should be) an absolute core requirement of almost any modern government department. As such, the trend to outsource all aspects of the process bother me greatly. What we end up with is a world where all of the enterprise IT expertise is centralised in these consulting firms, who in turn can extract near-monopoly rents from the government because each department is forced to use the consultancies to cover their asses.
There is one truism buried in Matt’s post that I will agree with (but which he unfortunately did not elaborate on clearly): the upgrade from Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8 was less than it could have been, and is almost entirely due to internal Microsoft “strategy tax”. The move to an NT kernel was not necessary, and now puts Windows Phone under the crushing weight of the Windows Team.
It’s just some guys testing the range of their FPV hobby plane out to 7.4 km. It only looks sinister because we’ve been trained that the grainy view with an information overlay means we’re about to see an explosion and bodies flying.
Before I got into “Enterprise” and Government computer work, I would daydream about corporate computer systems. I imagined them being similar to what we see in the movies: awesome firewalls, and control rooms full of blinking lights, run by conscientious, dedicated sysadmins. After years working on and in these systems, I know the truth. The truth [...]
I love the web. I love web developers. Heck, I love all developers. I co-run a conference about software development because development is creative, fun, profitable, and excellent for New Zealand’s economy. If you want advice about how to be a great developer*, I’m always available to talk, and I’m very friendly. But right now, [...]
The New Zealand Herald published an article today with the following headline: National Standards shock: Big classes work In it, they claim A comprehensive survey. Crikey, it must be true then. I wonder what other gems are buried in this data? I’ve done my own comprehensive study and unearthed a pretty shocking revelation. The first [...]
It was a mix of completely surreal and utterly mundane. Well, as mundane as you can get at a pool party with 3 indicted internet millionaires catered by their butler. We talked about all the things you’d expect – the heavy-handedness of the original raid, how they coped for months without internet (“it was really [...]
The Surface is remarkable no matter which way you look at it. Firstly, it’s a complete departure from Microsoft’s business model around Windows – building their own device instead of selling a license. Ballmer has played this down, saying they just wanted to “prime the pump” for Windows 8 devices – i.e put a rocket [...]