I’ve recently had several discussions with developers (not technology specific) about how they can be perceived as higher level professionals in enterprise environments.
One of the key steps is making sure you understand the larger needs of the organization. While it’s nice to create solutions quickly and on your own, IT managers look beyond the current solution or technology to see how it will be supported and enhanced over time. Developers who create solutions that do not follow industry or organizational standards are a risk. While it may be personally satisfying to do things on your own, that’s not a perspective shared or encouraged by organizations worried about what happens when you’re no longer available to help. After all, they can all of a sudden become responsible for your work and the next person may not be so pleased with your “creativity”.
It’s important to mitigate that risk by reaching out and using resources to help you be more productive. Adopt processes that address the long term requirements of a solution to support its entire life cycle. This begins with understanding best practices for creating solutions and avoiding common mistakes. Within the application, there should be consistent coding, error handling and commenting standards, the use of source code libraries or shared code across applications, etc. It should also include system documentation, version control, disaster recovery plans, quality assurance and test plans, deployment processes, etc. Issues of security, reliability, scalability, and maintainability become more and more important as your solution becomes more successful.
We at FMS face these issues all the time, which directly resulted in the creation of many of our commercial products. Professional developers in enterprises use lots of 3rd party tools to be more productive. Take advantage of what we have to offer so your organization addresses these critical needs at a fraction of the cost of you building it yourself. In fact, using industry products and standards makes you more of a professional, not less.
Here are some resources that can help Microsoft Access developers get to the next level:
Enterprise organizations understand the investment that’s necessary to support their solutions and professionals because the work is so valuable and mistakes so expensive. For your personal growth, it’s important to spend time learning on your own whether it’s through online resources or books. Learning from others is the next level which can be in person and through online groups. Formal training can also help. Hiring consultants for their specific expertise can be quite useful in bringing in new ideas and solutions, and teaching you additional skills and best practices. Finally, products that can leverage your knowledge and skills, or automate manual steps, have a tremendous return on investment both short-term and long-term. Take advantage of all these resources for your own sake and because other professional are.