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Pay No Attention to that Man Behind the Curtain

Posted on January 27, 2009 by Archives

Normally I try to keep my blog posts “above the fold” technically, and shield you from the code that makes everything work under the hood. I realize that there are many great tech blogs out there, many of which I read, and that readers of this blog are more interested in the business of eCommerce rather than the technical aspects that make it work. As such, I try to talk about technical things of interest, but without any tech jargon or degree needed.
Recently this has begun to backfire on me, however, as some now view my job as “plug and play”. In discussing the available technologies and possible usages of them, I’ve been hearing comments like:

“Doesn’t SQL just do that already?” – In response to trying to figure out the best way to write search relevancy logic.

 “I’m sure Microsoft has figured out a way to do that” – Yes, they have. They have developed programming languages and technologies that allow highly skilled professionals to spend long hours writing code to accomplish that task.

Or my personal favorite, when comparing our needs to a product written for a different database, in a different language, and has been in development for 7 years – “we can likely do whatever they are doing”.

In an effort to reduce complexity when talking to non-technical users and speak in plain English, I’ve apparently erroneously conveyed to them that there is really nothing technical involved in eCommerce development. As far as some know, we have a “website”, a “server”, a “database”, and a long 3 pronged cord that connects them all seamlessly. Fortunately for us, this cord also connects to Amazon, Google, and our supply chain network as well.
I considered just posting a few large blocks of code to keep you on your toes, but figured it would get the same blank look I do when I try to explain what I do to my kids. So instead, just a friendly reminder to all you business types to give your developer a hug today, and be thankful you don’t have to hear about fine tuning SQL procedures for maximum speed and relevancy.


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