It’s Not Programming, It’s Problem Solving

Children Learn to ProgramThere will come a time, not to far off, where we stop refer­ring to “mobile com­put­ing” and just say “computing.”

Seems like, in spite of the ridicule I’ve received with these ideas in the past, peo­ple aren’t going to be “pro­gram­ming com­put­ers,” they’ll sim­ply be “prob­lem solving.”

I’ve writ­ten before about every­one learn­ing to code, and in my newish role at CA that’s trans­lated into the idea that:

Any per­son that does busi­ness with an orga­ni­za­tion (employee, part­ner, or cus­tomer) should be able to write soft­ware to make their expe­ri­ence better.

It’s a very bold state­ment, con­sid­er­ing that short of writ­ing an excel macro or export­ing a CSV file, most enter­prise tech­nol­ogy is quite inac­ces­si­ble to mere ‘peo­ple.’ [Read more…]

A Business Case for Building a Software Innovation Platform

Obama healthcare fails because of failed software innovation

Agility. Cloud. Mobile. BYOD. Agile. DevOps.

Empty buzz­words. When it comes to com­mu­ni­cat­ing how tech­nol­ogy can enable busi­ness inno­va­tion, it’s dif­fi­cult to cre­ate a talk-track that brings it home. It’s hard to have a con­ver­sa­tion that takes it from buzz­word to mean­ing­ful & action­able plan in any­thing shorter than a the­sis. Per­son­ally, I make these con­nec­tions, I com­mu­ni­cate value, though metaphor or cul­tur­ally rel­e­vant observations.

This post is the lat­ter. It’s also a way to frame how crit­i­cal soft­ware is to business/policy inno­va­tion and why we’re so far away from cap­tur­ing soft­ware inno­va­tion en-masse.

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

In our case, it’s more like busi­ness peo­ple are from Earth, and tech­nol­ogy peo­ple are from Orion. As I thought through the impor­tance of cap­tur­ing inno­va­tion it became clear to me that the prob­lem is not about tech­nol­ogy, at least not at the high­est level of think­ing. The prob­lem is how peo­ple mak­ing deci­sions com­mu­ni­cate (with each other).

Busi­nesses that are agile & will­ing to embrace cloud infra­struc­ture will have an advan­tage over ones that don’t.


We’re all aware of the top tech­ni­cal trends and the top finan­cial trends1 . The trick is, how do we inter­pret these trends in con­text? How do we make the tech­ni­cal trends com­pre­hen­si­ble to the busi­ness peo­ple? How do we make busi­ness trends rel­e­vant to the tech­ni­cal staff or soft­ware devel­op­ers? How do we do this in a way that helps every­one do a bet­ter job?

My favorite exam­ple is the obser­va­tion by most non-technical peo­ple — why does it take IT so long to deliver some­thing, when apps on my phone get updated so much faster?

One of my favorite quotes on this comes from a bug AT&T has with it’s voice­mail on the iPhone:

iOS 7 came out almost four months ago. Four. Months. Com­plaints have been con­stant since then. What pos­si­ble excuse could they have for not push­ing out an update already?


It’s not about explain­ing what mobile is. It’s not about explain­ing what cloud is. It’s about explain­ing what mat­ters to the person.

Why does it take so long to deliver, and more impor­tantly, what can we do about it? [Read more…]

  1. Mobile, cloud, social, big data; Cap­i­tal & effi­ciency ratios, data secu­rity, reg­u­la­tory gov­er­nance & com­pli­ance, multi-channel/omni-channel, and ‘what the heck do I do with my branches’ []

Getting to Yes

Learn to CodeCon­cep­tu­ally, should any­one in your com­pany “with an itch” be able to write soft­ware to to scratch it?

All “how” ques­tions aside… should an employee be able to cre­ate solu­tions that enable them to do their jobs bet­ter using a company’s dig­i­tal assets?

Before you say no, let me remind you [Read more…]

What Are Banks, Really?

Retail Banking Software

Soft­ware is eat­ing the world

Every com­pany is a soft­ware company

That Marc Andreessen is a smart guy.

Today BBVA acquired Sim­ple, more proof that banks are really just soft­ware prod­uct com­pa­nies with a finan­cial user experience.

Inter­est­ingly, this whole thing has been on my mind a lot and I’m try­ing to fig­ure out how to com­mu­ni­cate what’s in my head. In fact, I had a very pro­duc­tive morning:

Stay tuned for more.

Twitter Client App Idea

Lots of peo­ple take to twit­ter for cus­tomer sup­port (or gen­eral air­ing of dissatisfaction).

Often sup­port on twit­ter is quite nice. Unfor­tu­nately, it’s really easy to “com­plain” but few remem­ber to say thanks or close the thread with a res­o­lu­tion. The chal­lenge being that there can be many com­plaints about a com­pany with­out any reflec­tion of how those com­plaints were resolved. [Read more…]