How wonderful it is to be (a)live
As I am getting ready for yet another steaming hot Go Live, I stop and think about those times when I missed all this fret and fuzz, and the blinking red "Emergency, Urgent, Critical, Emergency" statuses all over the dashboard of my project mind. Years ago, when I first joined the LS Retail team, I was doing mostly partner training and highly focused sales or design missions with high complex goals, but low duration of engagement. Don’t get me wrong: there is something almost magical in showing up somewhere, working for a week or so on the most interesting topics a project has to offer, to then wave goodbye and good luck, and go on your merry way towards your next challenge. Nevertheless, I always felt that something was missing, that I was robbed of a finality I deserved to be part of. Every time our partners were kind enough to send me some note or pictures from the Go Live, I treasured them with bittersweet melancholy.That magic moment
For us, software consultants, the Go Live is as close as we can get to being heroes. Let's admit it, here, amongst ourselves! We are no surgeons; we do not cut into someone's bleeding heart or brain. We do not push the boundaries of human knowledge towards the limits of the universe. We are no soldiers. We are the bureaucrats of economic efficiency. Only on the eve of Go Live can we partake in the wondrous feeling that upon our shoulders, upon our wit and skills and speed of action, rests the success or failure of a joined effort. An effort bigger than any of us, which will change lives we do not know and we will never get to know. We act under the immense pressure of all these fires burning white around us, and in the cooling hours of the late nights in the office, we tend to look first and foremost towards what we know and can control: the binary, the black and white of code and numbers. We are technical people, "computer people", so it is only natural of us to restrict our role to fixing software and leave the other realities to unfold unto themselves. However, there is another side to the story, and we must strive to be mindful of it in order to be successful, and to bear the title of consultant with justified pride. We must think of the people who will use our software, all of them humans with complex and hard-to-understand emotions, with unpredictable reasoning and many biases and conflicting interests.