Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Data buckets

06042008239 For me, software development is just a nice way of saying ‘bit moving’. A good friend of mine used to describe himself as a bit reorganizer. We rearrange invisible magnets, he would say, setting their tiny arrows of residual currents to point this way or that. We are a bunch of “bitniks” and we are all about data.

Application design and development has been my main source of income for the last decade or so, it struck me as odd that there were so few terms that describe so many kinds of data.

It occurred to me, that the Eskimos had their fourteen words for snow, and they say that the Bedouins have nine words to describe sand. I felt so alone. I felt a need for discovering my own flavors of data. It took me a while, but then in a single perfect moment of clarity, I had realized what lay before me.

The orchestration of the moment was this; in the middle of a design meeting, yelling and shouting all around, we were discussing optimization and performance and spirits were high. My thoughts went back to when I have learnt about application design. The fact was that when developing any business application, the first step to take is to determine the set of business flows that describe the scope and functionality of that application within the organizations it’s meant to serve.

Listing these business-flows by rank and cardinality is no bother at all. The simplest evaluation I could think of is according to frequency of use and the sheer number of users that would eventually use the flow.

I thought that the categorization of the data body by the same yardstick could provide me with the flavors of data I was looking for.

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