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Posted Friday, October 12, 2012 2:57 PM


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Jeff Moden (10/12/2012)

My favorite and, possibly, most outrageous example of such "innovation gone wild" is the fellow that submitted a CLR that he wanted me to install on one of our servers. It seems that he didn't know how to do a modulus in SQL Server so wrote a CLR to do it.


It's either that or he was just trying to re-invent the wheel barrow simply because he could find one..


"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1372365
Posted Friday, October 12, 2012 4:02 PM


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I find the idea of innovation to be interesting, and I'm primarily a developer, and I love to innovate and find new ways of performing some task. But generally, technology innovates to solve a requirement, not to simply invent something new (other than toys).

In most companies I've worked at I've never seen innovation be the primary driver of the technology department. (checks some NDAs) An example that everyone should know and love is Intel. Intel is an invention company that innovates the newest chips that technology uses. They solve particular issues in their R&D department. I'd like to add some of those people are amazing folks, I got the opportunity to interact with a few of them regularly on smoke breaks. However, there's something to keep in mind... Intel is primarily a chemical plant. Technology supports *that* innovation.

Technology itself is nothing more than a tool for most companies. Some companies which build tools for technology (Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle, Cisko, etc) do innovate their tools for technology to use in their solutions, but the rest of us really don't innovate much. We use and apply to support the process of the business itself.

Innovation usually doesn't belong in the tech department for most businesses, as technology isn't really their business. They need to bring the tools together for the business to run more effeciently. I like a neat puzzle as much as the next person, and sometimes bringing these tools together in different ways, or unexpected usage of an existing tool (such as I occassionally do with SQL Server) are neat, but they're very rare in my experience.



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Post #1372377
Posted Friday, October 12, 2012 4:27 PM
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Innovation is one of the primary values of my company. They truly believe that innovation provides break-through results. Some management still only give it lip service or think that innovation means doing something at all costs.

Being one of the values now is really good. I gave a presentation to my leadership a few of years ago on applying lean principles to software development and in the course of discussion talked about "Fed Ex" days.

We've now gotten buy-in for Fed Ex days that we call I-Days (Innovation Days) which we have at least once a quarter. Not all of the projects are stars, but there are enough that it makes it worthwhile.

We are very distributed though, so it is not a party environment, but more like show and tell.

Regards,
Joe
Post #1372382
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