The choice is ours

February 5, 2007

More than money

Filed under: Blogroll — shippingpal @ 7:22 pm

I recently read this very interesting article (Nine things developers want more than money) about what motivates developers, and it got me to thinking about the kind of challenges I like to deal with, and how Shipping Pal has literally exploded over the past year or so as we transitioned from our working proof-of-concept to the actual creation of a web-enabled continent wide shipping network.  We’ve expanded our XML systems on numerous occasions as various issues arose, and I suppose the single biggest transition was from mySQL to MSSQL, which required a lot of rewriting of code as they use different commands for everything from echoing data in PHP right through to table structures and other core elements.  Now comes the API, with its attendant struggles.

My preference is for challenging, but not insurmountable, problem-solving.  Stuff that might take a while to design and build, but ultimately provides something of real value to the system.  A current example would be our new package type script, which I’m currently working on – it’s essentially an order-picking extension for our e-commerce customers, and it involves finding the optimal fit between the objects being shipped and the boxes which will contain them.  All sorts of challenges involved, since we can try cubing the whole shipment, but then if we need to resize it, it has to be in the most efficient manner possible.  I’m still working on all the details, but it’s proving intriguing, and once it’s built – and it will be built – we’ll have something really useful.

Currently reading: Sleeping with the Devil – Robert Baer

Currently hearing: The Blackfish Remixes

Currently watching: Blood Diamond

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