Want more...Mountains

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"Ain't no mountain high enough. Ain't no valley low enough. Ain't no river wide enough. To keep me from getting to you." The lyrics, from the song written by Ashford and Simpson, keep telling me that there is nothing that can stop advance of computer software, developer tools, and operating platforms.

"Climb Every Mountain", the song in the movie, The Sound of Music, tell us to keep going, search everywhere, follow every path, cross every Geoffrey Moore chasm, try every idea, until we find our dream. These words could be the roadmap for software development and developers.

Today was also the final mountain stage of the 2011 Tour de France.  Stage 19, the last day in the French Alps, was won by Pierre Rolland from France (the first stage won this year by a French rider). The finish of the stage took place on the famous Alpe-D'Huez. I am finishing this blog sitting in the bar at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood RIver, Oregon.  The spectacular Mount Hood volcano is just to the south of us.

Since the dawn of the computer era, we have been climbing mountains, reaching plateaus, climbing some more, and leaping past barriers to innovation (Moore's Law).  The early generations of computing were dominated by mainframe computers and large software systems.  Back in the early 1980's Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) proposed a FIfth Generation Project that would leapfrog western hardware and software technology leadership. Even though that project did not succeed, it did add to the acceleration of technology and innovation in our industry.

Have we written all of the software that we'll ever need?  Are we just re-inventing the same programs on new platforms and for new uses?  I believe that we are continuing to develop new and important software, architectures, and innovations.  We can feel the newness every day online, on our mobile devices, and in our lives.

Christopher Booker, in his 2005 book, "The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories" outlines seven plots that he believes are the basic building blocks of all literature.  The seven are:

  • Overcoming the Monster

  • Rags to Riches

  • The Quest

  • Voyage and Return

  • Comedy

  • Tragedy

  • Rebirth

I wonder if you will agree that the seven plots fit very nicely with the stories of our computer industry?  In software development I can definitely see all seven plots fitting perfectly in every project.  Every new innovation fits perfectly with many of these plots. The successes and failures of the individuals and companies that have helped drive us forward in the past also fit perfectly.  Our industry has so many heroes, luminaries, practitioners, and supporters who continue to push the state-of-the-art.  The software industry we are a part of forces us to overcome monsters, build great software and companies from almost nothing.  We embark on journeys of discovery every day.  Our lives are full of comedy and tragedy.  And, if a development effort doesn't achieve it's full potential, there are almost always lesons learned, technologies to reuse, and next generation innovations to build from the ashes.

I love the ups, downs, wins, losses, challenges, joys, tears, and innovations in the computer industry and the Tour de France. The 2011 tour has only two more stages until the finish on the Paris Champs-Élysées. In this year's tour, there have been tragedies, challenges, joy, competition, and monster climbs to overcome. There will a tour next year. In the software industry we have more than 2 stages to come. I enjoy all of the challenges, satisfactions, joys, stress, battles, partnerships, teamwork, and every other little and large thing.No matter how hard or tough the development work (or mountain to climb) might seem, to quote from one of my favorite "Rules of Zombieland": enjoy the little things (while you are programming).  I hope you will  to!

Gold User, Rank: 1, Points: 2466
David Intersimone (known to many as David I.) is a passionate and innovative software industry veteran-often referred to as a developer icon-who extols and educates the world on Embarcadero developer tools. He shares his visions as an active member of the industry speaking circuit and is tapped as an expert source by the media. He is a long-standing champion of architects, developers and database professionals and works to ensure that their needs are folded into Embarcadero's strategic product plans. David holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, California.


  • Guest
    David Cornelius Saturday, 23 July 2011

    Good thoughts on mountains and a great tie-in to the computer industry. Enjoy your stay in Oregon!

  • Guest
    Paulo Sunday, 24 July 2011

    And I want more... writings from you. Even for non programmers your blog is great. Keep up this good work.

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