Throughout my career, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work on amazing projects, with cutting-edge technology, and alongside brilliant colleagues. Early on, I taught myself development on Lotus Notes, which became the foundation of my application development journey. While Lotus Notes served me well, I understood that others might not share the same positive sentiment about it as a solution.
At US Bank, my role involved supporting numerous Lotus Notes applications that the bank had heavily invested in over the years. However, it became clear that the time had come to move away from this platform. The question was, what next? Lotus Notes excelled in rapid application development (RAD), making it easy to build prototypes quickly, facilitating an agile approach with stakeholders. Finding an alternative that offered similar capabilities was crucial.
Recognizing this challenge as an opportunity, I proposed to evaluate alternative development solutions while managing my regular workload. I chose our employee directory as the first project for this evaluation, as it played a central role in our internal applications, encompassing HR, infosec, and other vital data. I initially experimented with Java, but it turned out to be too complex and not as swift as we needed for rapid prototyping.
Fortunately, our team merged with the .Net team, providing access to more resources. I decided to rewrite the application in C# and ASP.net, leading to a minimum viable product (MVP) that I could demonstrate to leadership. The solution received enthusiastic support, and I was granted my first development team, marking a transition point for me into management.
With my team’s collaboration, we architected the solution to meet enterprise standards, ensuring a smooth deployment to the production environment. The application’s successful implementation led to a second phase, incorporating a bilingual directory to help staff assist customers more effectively.
This project taught me invaluable lessons, from mastering new programming languages and technologies to honing my skills in people and project management. Above all, I learned the importance of maintaining an open mind and being willing to explore different technical solutions that best suit the needs of the business, even if they deviate from our preferred or familiar choices.
Change is a constant in the dynamic world of technology, and navigating it with a proactive and adaptable mindset is the key to success.
Image credit – shhh, right from my desktop.