David Chappell


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Is SOA Failing? A 2008 Interview  
# Friday, August 14, 2009
I've avoided commenting much on the collapse of SOA. This is partly because I've been focused on other things, like cloud computing. It's also because I wanted to avoid colliding too much with the Oracle David Chappell, whose perspective on this issue has been somewhat different than mine. Plenty of people were out there making the points that I would have made, and so adding to the confusion didn't seem to have much value.

Still, I've just run across a video interview that I recorded quite a while ago (June 2008). It's a conversation with my friend Ted Neward, and it's largely about why SOA doesn't work in most organizations. It's more than a year old, but I'd say the same things today.

Somebody suggested to me that what "SOA" really stood for was "Suckered Once Again". This is a little harsh--there really is some value in these ideas. It's clear, though, that this value is nowhere near as large as we'd hoped.

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I think underlying Ted's remarks is the very valid notion that 'there is work to be done'. A lot of the time deverloers do the work - the real work. Let us say "SOA" means they work toward a goal. At the right level of abstraction. If anyone thought SOA meant 'no work' and 'silver bullet' - it is really their own fault.."I have a bridge to sell.." - Jack Vaughan, SearchSOA.com

Good interview

Awesome David!!! Your remark about Tech Guys focusing on technology is spot on. Task of getting an organization to adapt a software is as difficult as creating software if no more. Anyways, have you published anything on SaaS? Personally have read a lot about it, but would be a priviledge to hear your thoughts on same.

Good to have someone speaking up!

But then how is SaaS / Cloud computing solving these (organizational)things? Sure the approach is somehow different, but again there are organizations having again the thumb on their domain of software carefully shielding it from reuse(misuse?).If there are organizational issues hampering the software whatever success, then the conclusion should be for software developers to study psychology and become salesman.
Then they would then first sell their solution to some management and afterward bring their airy promises to reality. This sounds a bit ironic, but after being a programmer since 1991 I realize this fact more and more.

How can one solve organizational issues with technique? Would be interesting what the author thinks about that!

I do agree totally. We still have stuff that needs modification.

I'd argue that SOA and cloud computing overlap only a bit--the core challenges for success are almost entirely different. The biggest non-technical issue with cloud computing is building trust in the cloud, something that in my experience takes time.

And yes, effective IT managers are salesman for new approaches within their organization. Believing that you can have a successful IT career while focusing solely on technology is a mistake.

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