I started out in the early 1980s as a trainee programmer (as they were called then) in a provincial UK office of a large multi-national. There were no computers in the office, the closest thing we had to technology was a phone on the desk. I wrote code on A3 sheets of paper and took them down to be punched onto cards which I then took down to operations to get the programme compiled. If operations didn’t like you, they shuffled your deck. It took two days to get the results back, at which time you might find you’d left out a comma and the code was useless. That certainly made me code carefully.
Over the next thirty-plus years I worked my way through many different roles covering most aspects of IT, ending up as a senior manager with global responsibility. Over that time there was of course a massive advance in technology, but was also a huge cultural and organisational change (see The Good Old Bad Old Days for more on that). While I had a great career, earned good money and travelled the world, the later years were incredibly frustrating. It became ridiculously hard to get even simple things done. It wasn’t that I worked for an unusually dysfunctional company; friends in other companies and other industries have the same experience. It proved to be challenging to say the least to improve things, which set me wondering why it was so hard. That led me to this blog.
After taking the opportunity to leave on favourable terms (OK, I was made redundant but let’s just say I wasn’t unhappy with the timing), I have the time to set out my ideas on why it is so hard to get things done and what to do about it. Hence Ladder Shakers.
I am new to blogging so I’ll make plenty of mistakes both with the technical set-up and the content. Please be kind to me and do point out any deficiencies either through the comments or direct to me.