“And then a miracle occurs . . .”

I’ve always loved this cartoon, from the first time I saw it in nineteen eighty-something. I used to keep a copy of it taped to the wall at my workstation, as it seemed to sum up the experience of “doing systems”: the planning, design, construction and integration, all the high-tech stuff going on, with that one critical piece that we don’t really know how we’ll pull off, and that we hope nobody else will notice. It neatly illustrates what Project Managers call “Progressive Elaboration”, applied to application design: sometimes you just don’t know how you’re gonna get “there”, but you proceed in faith that you’ll figure it out when you need to.

It’s also a nice reminder that Clarke’s Third Law applies just as well to IT practitioners as it does to the non-initiated. It is easy to get ahead of ourselves in IT, and it’s good to get pulled up short every once in a while.

But mostly, it’s got ants as systems guys, and it’s funny, and it keeps me humble.

Me? I’ve been in IT since it was MIS (“Management Information Systems”). The early years were spent doing business applications, with a brief but fun stint in consulting during Y2K. I’ve done mainframe and client/server programming, database administration, systems analysis and design, package applications, project management, and, lately, administration, strategy and departmental management, with all that it entails.

I’m on LinkedIn, and I Tweat at @rgoffeney.

This blog is about the things that interest me in my professional life. It’s about paying back all the informal mentors and teachers I’ve had in my career, to the extent that anyone finds any thing useful in my meanderings. It’s about learning, should anyone care to set me straight about the things I say. And it’s about connecting, via the technology, and through the people who may read, comment, link or otherwise respond.

~ Bob Goffeney


4 thoughts on “About

  1. Love the cartoon! Ecstatic to find it! It represents a frighteningly large percentage of functional (and technical) designs…

  2. I was looking for this for my son, who I’ve just introduced to flowcharts. I have a copy somewhere, but thought I’d try my luck with a search. Thanks, this was probably about 500 times quicker, *and* I learned I wasn’t the only one taping it to the wall 🙂

  3. Bob,
    Got here from another blog and sent this to my son about to embark on a bioinformatics MSc. The joke about Mum on the roof had me laughing to tears! Ah well, I’m easily amused.
    Thank you

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