The Software Developer and the Obsolete Language

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In February 2009, a young software developer was hired to lead a team to maintain systems at one of Ugandan regulated financial institutions.

One of the major challenges encountered was that the core banking was written in an old programming language making it very tough to interconnect and extend the capabilities of the system and make it more client responsive. Initially, the team was frustrated, believing their skills were being wasted working with very old technologies.

Rather than complain, the team, thanks to the able leadership of the young developer, took the initiative to learn the old language deeply and found ways to integrate more modern technologies gradually. They developed APIs, that seamlessly interconnected and improved the capabilities of the bank. This not only improved the systems but also demonstrated the team’s capability to innovate within constraints.

By 2013, many banks were coming to benchmark with the bank how it had the impossible with old core banking system. The now experienced team, saw an opportunity and started a new software company which is one of the top solutions provider in Uganda. In addition to the accolades and recognitions over the years, the young developer has succeeded beyond imagination.

Mr Strategy Insight: Embrace every task as an opportunity to learn and showcase your ability to innovate, even in less-than-ideal circumstances. You are hired to confront challenges and not to run or shy away from them.

Always look for challenges, and do your best. Remember, technical people complain about problems and challenges, business people find a solution around the problem.

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