I wrote a few days ago about Product vs. Process and have been thinking about it ever since. I've started working with a customer who is doing some stuff that really draws outside of the lines defined by J2EE. It's actually a lot of fun, but we're venturing into territory that I haven't explored yet. Such is the life on the bleeding edge. It's also nice to do something other than migrations once in a while (but I digress).
Why would an organization engage a consultant who hasn't actually done the kind of thing they want to do? Sounds crazy.
I don't claim to know everything there is to know about J2EE or WebSphere Application Server. I do know a lot, but not everything. The really cool thing about working for ISSW is that I'm part of a team that does pretty much know everything about WebSphere. Being able to draw on the team is pretty valuable. However, I have more than just my team to draw on.
When I'm really colouring outside the lines--like I am with this client--I can't always count on anybody having experience to draw on. This is where problem solving skills come in. It's not so much that the folks on my team have all the answers, it's that we know how to find them. This comes from years of experience. This comes from making mistakes and taking the time to figure out why something didn't work the way you though it would. This comes from transcending technology and understanding key concepts.
One of the common traits amoung members of my team is that without exception, all of us are willing to put effort into sorting out problems. We explore alternatives. We discuss. And if a decision needs to be made, we'll make it using all the information we have available.
I'm starting to scare myself a bit. This is sounding a little too much like advertising. However, it is a good team, and I'm darned proud to be a part of it.