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Chad Collins
Chad Collins

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25 Years Building the Web

In my career, I have done everything. When I say I have done everything, I mean e-ver-a-thing... To run down the experience, Ive started my own companies out of my beach house that grew from service software companies to full blown electronic lenders. At times in my career, I have 100 percent automated web browsers reducing human capital costs for operation, improving value, and ultimately profit. I have been a teacher for colleges that required degrees, but I do not possess a degree. I have had so many successes, coupled with challenges that come with business that I can always answer any question about my career with some story. I have been the first hire on a team that grew to 60 of a 500 person company focused on a next gen project to see the company then be bought for 600 million. I have spoken on stage in front of thousands of people. I have been a startup founder my entire career. I have discussed every possible business you could imagine. I have worked and become a vendor for our nations largest broker lenders. In fact, I have even built a lender company that partnered with banks and grew our revenue using automation and sales over and over. So many trials, tribulations and learning lessons. I have read books, made goals and believed in the future. Think and Grow Rich, E-myth, Thick Face Black Heart, 48 Laws of Power, so many others. So why this pre-amble? Why is it important that starting as a mere graphic designer I had become a web architect, even an ISP founder that eventually sold its business to Godaddy. Why share this? I mean in the state of the web today, I see patterns. I see reinvention, new holy grails, new paradigms that are repeats. I am one of the very few developers and entrepreneurs you will meet that have systems they created over 10 years ago that still run and are appreciated to this day. Both without any maintenance? I mean I know, this is, very smart people will immediately deny my story, they will say software is imperfect, and that you could never do that. Well in their journey they are correct, but in mine they are not. I used RAD (rapid application development) techniques. And not until you employ those tequniques and experience them, not just know about them, you might see what I saw. And what did I see? Maturation. The maturation of systems and depths and breadth they can reach when you follow smart patterns. Many teams talk about "technical debt". And whenever I have heard a team use those words in their meetings, I have always seen a near failing project of epic proportions. The problem in some ways is people are to smart. People being developers and their business managers. They get some things right, but as you know they always chase the latest and greatest. They chase the shiny new things as some new savior, some new rescue-er of the old verses the new. But the problem with the new, is always the same, its not complete, its not mature. So the state of the web is no different than the state of the web 5 years ago, 10 years ago and more. And of course there are devs and super scientists out there that will start arguing their points, because they have to believe, they have to drink their own punch. I understand. So if you get anything from this article, you must understand that Code Generation is the key to making long standing mature applications. Not coding everything "from scratch". Not being able to parrot super details of a deep new upgrade to a particular language. Everyone in the web industry is over-building for performance, yet, they cant even get their enterprise apps to build from end to end, or worse their configuration management has exceeded the ability to evolve the app. People leave the team, original architects go, and your system in that case stunts. So what can you glean from this article I ask again? Nothing but enlightenment. Someone who has done it for a long time telling the truth. So yes, you must work on the latest and greatest or risk not having employment. But if you work for yourself, you know you would choose different paradigms over the ones chosen in the enterprise. So let me close by saying. Keepp doing what you are doing, but stop believing every new anti pattern that comes out. Stop believing that some new evolution of another framework or language will somehow save this chase for a streamlined build or development process. Keep it simple, keep it manageable. Know when it is good enough. Do not be afraid to speak up. Stop letting companies throw away millions on projects that dont end up meeting expectations. Keep coding and tell me your experiences!

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