Carlos Leyva

Silicon Stories

Chapter 1: Dirty Little Secret

Middleware Madness

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There is nothing, I repeat, nothing that can fuck up a technology plan faster than the mandated misuse of middleware. EnergySavings.com was headed for the dot-com graveyard, middleware or no middleware. However, the enormous amount of money that they spent on this package, and its mandated use everywhere, hastened its demise. Robust middleware is a powerful technology enabler for next generation software, but it will be inappropriately used, out of sheer ignorance, nine out of ten times that it is deployed.

Not long after attending this class, a V.P. of Technology (Ms. Big Six Techno-Bitch) started questioning why I did not want to use middleware to replace existing (and working) EDI transactions with the Utility companies? What? I knew that crack-cocaine use was rampant in the valley, but she needed to get a grip. There were plenty of real problems that needed fixin’ (Texas spelling).

Things went from bad to worse. I started getting beat up to reduce the staff working on the energy systems. Excuse me? Wasn’t that the business EnergySavings.com was in? The business model was changing on a daily basis. I was asked to attend a corporate meeting to help develop a back-office system for reselling MCI’s long distance service on our “portal.” Never mind that the long distance business, from a data perspective, was at least as complex as the Utility business. Never mind that nobody in their right mind would buy MCI from us when they could buy it cheaper elsewhere. Hey, we had this cool middleware package that would make all our dreams come true.

I was also informed, during this trip, that EnergySavings.com was transforming itself into a solutions provider and would be selling our systems and expertise. (Sound familiar?) The Houston office was closed approximately one month later. They asked me to move west, but I respectfully declined.

In case you have missed the point of this opening chapter, let me make it perfectly clear. Most of the people in this business who are supposed to know what the fuck they are doing don’t know shit. And the people who do know what they are doing aren’t always sure. It is a game of odds and probabilities. The rest of this book attempts to provide insights on how to beat the house.

The Emperors are Still Naked

In case you have missed the point of this opening chapter, let me make it perfectly clear: most of the people in this business who are supposed to know what the fuck they are doing don't know shit. And the people who do know what they are doing aren't always sure. It is a game of odds and probabilities. The rest of this book attempts to provide insights on how to beat the house.

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