June 1, 2016

“Why” is the Foundation of a Positively Distinct Approach

by Dr. Robert Buccigrossi (a.k.a. “Butch”), Chief Technical Officer 

TCG loves the word “why.”

On one hand, “why” makes us technical iconoclasts and skeptics. We don’t want to use new and shiny technologies simply because they are popular. When faced with standards or best practices, we want to know “why” people use them. When we first pursued CMMI-3 and ISO 9001:2008, instead of simply adopting a pile of new processes, we pored through the standards, asking “Why should we do this practice?”, “What would happen if we didn’t do this practice?” and “What do we currently do that is close?” Through asking “why” we learned how important change management, risk management, and quality focus are to sane software development. We also found out that we were already implementing many of the core ideas, but through better documentation and oversight, we would dramatically improve repeatability, saving our time and our clients’ money.

On the other hand, “why” makes us open to experiment with new technologies and processes. The goal of inexpensive client/server applications pushed us to the web way back in 1994. We found that virtual machines were wonderful platforms for “continuous integration” and “DevOps” before those terms were popular. Most recently, we incorporated Angular with an existing Drupal environment in one of our projects to allow us to speed up prototyping and reduce development time.

“Why” is intelligent, innovative, and fun.