James Governor (http://www.redmonk.com/jgovernor/archives/001460.html) seems to think my prior post indicates that I did not get a memo. I probably did not. I am famously clueless.
This is the second time someone on the Web has insinuated that I make things too complex. Moreover, both bloggers were sarcastic, bordering on snide. Let's avoid ad hominem comments.
When I brief customers, I begin by saying, "If things seem complex, it is me." I used to think I understood a lot of stuff and only had an hour to present. So, things appeared confusing. My daughter told me I am just confusing. Period.
Less code is good. A colleague once said to me, "It is very hard to make software simpler by adding more software." He is right. I keep phrases in my mind to help me remember and focus; this is one. (Another one is, "No thank you. I prefer not to sit on the bear," but that is for another day).
Consider a scenario in which an enterprise wants to adapt/extend three existing applications, make them available over a messaging system, build a couple of workflow processes and make the processes available through a GUI. Companies do need to do things like this. The number of lines of IBM product code that supports this scenario has decreased by a factor of at least 5 in the past five years. That is a fact. I can prove it. I have witnesses. I became an IBM Fellow and SWG Chief Architect about five years ago. Draw your own conclusions. We delivered. Clearly I did not do this all by myself. SWG's team did. This started five years before the "memo."
We will make things even simpler. We will also not lose our ability to solve real problems. Our middleware and tools are number one in almost all markets in which we compete. Our share grows. Customers vote with their money. They clearly do not give us the money because they read my blog.
I am not naive. We are not perfect. We have a lot to do. People who know me, including customers, know that I speak plainly. I honor my committments. I promise that I will continue to drive simplicity, reduction and fit to finish. When you want to solve a problem, you will get the minimum you want and need. Everyone in the food chain in IBM is driving this agenda. We will let people solve real problems with the simplest SW and tools possible. Period.
If anyone wants to talk to me about the ideas, let me know. I like doing this in person, if possible. I do not like blogging. It is not because I do not have the time or "do not get the Web." I don't like talking. My nickname in college was "Silent Don." I am from rural New England. This blog used all my words for the next three days.
Calvin "Silent Cal" Coolidge was also from rural New England. A newspaper reporter was going to the White House for a state dinner. She bet her editor that she could get Silent Cal to say more than three words to her at dinner. At dinner, she charmingly told the situation to Silent Cal. His response. "You lose." My hero.
Middleware and tools
From archive: March 2006 X