Is there “unsexy” software?

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In the past I have been ask why Wovenware develops “unsexy” software. What do you mean by “unsexy” software, I ask. Well, enterprise software, they reply. Up to that point I had never thought of enterprise software development as “unsexy” or for that matter, “sexy”.

A quick Google search confirmed that apparently enterprise software development is unsexy. So then, if enterprise software development is unsexy, what is sexy software? Could it be mobile consumer applications, games, or social media software? In my opinion all software is sexy, be it a consumer mobile application, a game or an enterprise electronic transaction management system. All software developments present their own challenges and design opportunities. There is room to invent and innovate in all software developments.

If we assume all software developments are sexy, then what is unsexy software. For me unsexy software is the software that gets developed and then is never used. For a software developer there is no bigger pride than seeing the software one has designed and developed being used. Likewise, there is no worst disappointment than seeing the software one has developed wasted and never used.

I spent part of the beginning of my career working for what will remain a nameless startup that was building a kiosk and an electronic payment gateway backend to bring electronic payments to emerging markets. (This was more or less at the same time PayPal was founded.) I spent two years involved in the development of the payment gateway backend and an ad delivery and management application. It was challenging and innovative work, but my work was never fully used as the company ran out of funding before we were able to effectively commercialize the solution. Those two years were spent developing unsexy software. Software that never met its purpose. Time, ideas, designs … wasted.

In part this is why we do not develop unsexy software at Wovenware. We develop software that will be used. That will bring value to its users. There is no greater feeling as a software developer than knowing that your software touches the lives of you parents, friends, neighbors … strangers. For us sexy software is what makes our company what it is, there is no space for unsexy software because our goal is always to bring value to our customer through our software solutions.

We are currently working on an application that will have a global deployment … software development does not get more sexy than this…

1 Comment
  1. Raul Ortiz

    Interesting point of view. My two cents… as long as it’s done with passion, be it a successful or shelved project, it is sexy. Every project opens the window for innovation, and if the opportunity is seized, there’s value for the developer (and the company) even if the product never made it through the door.

    Here’s a different perspective…
    With each page J.K. Rowling crumbled when writing Harry Potter, the opportunity for an enhanced plot and story-line increased. It’s just the nature of creative processes. And I’m pretty sure that a whole new saga could be compiled from all those crumbled pages. :)

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