Friday, May 29, 2009


Benefits of being an IT professional in a large enterprise

Recently, someone asked me for thoughts on developing software within an enterprise environment and I figured I would share my thoughts publicly...

The question was asked of me by a person currently employed by a software vendor so answers will be in this context. Anyway, here are some of the things I think are benefits.

1. The single, biggest benefit is that you have incredible access to your end users - they work down the hall! Additionally, you have complete access to their corporate culture.

2. You know who will be using your software and what they are trying to achieve with it. While requirements may sound abstract, the goal and intent are very concrete.

3. Another benefit is that you may get to work on other parts of the project, rather than just coding. Gathering requirements from stakeholders, run presentations for staff, and if it is a system that clients of your firm will be using then you may get to meet them and get another perspective on the business.

4. One pitfall can be the politics that go into it - since your customers are internal, people can go up the chain and force work back down it if they have something they want done NOW. And if you're not doing it fast enough, they can bring it straight to your manager. Your boss in an enterprise is less likely to serve as a condom than the equivalent of the sales guy in a software company.

5. Standards are lower for anything which is not public facing.

6. You're a developer in a company that probably doesn't want to be developing (and paying for the development of) software.

7. Scope creep.

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