After more than one year as project manager on a portal for a new offer in the cloud, some thoughts and impressions of this new experience :

The good

I was really impressed by the teams I met here.
Even if always running out of time, most people take the time to explain, guide you trough the maze of networks and processes and tools.
Event though I would have appreciated a sort of nearly impossible to build ’welcome package’, I rarely felt dead-end in front of an impossible solution.
And of course, the technical and organizational skills were as high as I could expect. (with enough decontraction and fun to put the pressure at a reasonable level).
Thanks to all for that !

As an old programmer, I am convinced of the importance of testing and documentation, but it’s far more obvious when you manage an application :

  • rule1 : the environment is never the same as the developer’s one : be prepared ! Test platforms are your friends : take care of them.
  • rule2 : the installer is not a programmer and can’t aways adapt your code to the platform : have a good and exhaustive documentation !

The bad

Ok, no welcome package for the newcomer, but still the impression of a multitude of tools, process, networks, sometimes for the same functionality.
The impression of learning to swim in a huge pool is sometimes strong.

As an ex-developper, I may have a biased perception in the make-vs-buy
Of course, we can’t always reinvent the wheel, we have to go fast on new
markets, and concentrate the effort on added-value.
But I still believe that a close proximity with coding experience allows
  • reactivity
  • innovation
  • better understanding of the technical limitations
  • better response to end-user expectations
  • less vendor lock-in

The ugly

Most of the time, requesting a flow opening is a seamless experience, but it may sometimes transform as the ugliest experience in your worst nightmares.

As a naïve requester, I have no idea of the firewalls and networks crossed by my IP packets (nothing about that in the welcome package).
I would highly appreciate a single kiosk to post my request, with network experts relaying the request from end-to-end.
This would be more gratifying for everyone, and less time consuming ! (and better sleeping)

However, it’s still a great experience to deploy a portal for thousands of users in the next years !

- Tintouli