I came across a blog by Liza Wood on her pride and joy project. You can read her excellent post here.
It made me think about what my pride and joy project would be for me.
I consider myself very lucky to work on the projects I have worked on. I am constantly amazed by the excellent teammates I have been lucky enough to have worked with. I started to list off the projects I have worked on and two projects seemed to set themselves apart:
1) Agile Delivery of a new Parks Reservation Service. You can read about this project here.
2) Providing Data to Investors Group Advisors
As I reviewed these two projects, there were three things that they both had that made them something that I was very proud of.
1) There was a great challenge that was solved by the team – both projects were difficult and challenging in different ways. And both projects solved those problems through the hard work and dedication of the entire team. And by entire team I mean business and technology teammates together.
2) There was a great amount of learning – both projects required a huge amount of learning. This learning was both for myself and the entire team. These two projects probably resulted in the most advancement of my knowledge throughout my entire career.
3) The people on the project were awesome – This is closely related to the second point, but it deserves a point of its own. The people on these projects taught me so much, but they were also so proficient in what they did that is was a pleasure just to work beside them. There was a sense of camaraderie that we were all there to solve a problem. There were many great memories of late night, laughs, frustrations, and broken builds.
Ultimately, I choose the project where we provided data to Investors Group Advisors. The project was actually much more than this. It was an entire infrastructure project of rolling out laptops and a download process to 4,500 Financial Advisors. In 1997. 17 years ago….
The project would be less of a challenge today but back in the mid 90’s we were implementing cutting edge technologies. I was on the database team that defined and loaded an Oracle Operational Data Store. I was in charge of a small team that loaded the Oracle database and we worked hand in hand with another small team that extracted the data from Legacy systems. Although there are many toolsets now that can help with these Extract, Transform, and Load processes, the landscape in the 90’s was quite different. So we wrote our own. from scratch. And we had the easy part of the project. The application team that was building the laptop application in Visual Basic was really working on some challenging components…
I chose this project instead of the other one due to one important factor, I developed.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Project Managing. But there is a certain sense of accomplishment and gratification working together with a team and developing software functionality that addresses a business need. I know Project Managers do this as well, but from a distance. The ability to be one of the few that directly authored the solution, was, well awesome.
And that is why the current project I’m working on with be my favourite project once it is implemented. I’m coding again and there is no feeling like it.