Thoughts on Innovation and Continuous Improvement

After attending VMworld 2019 in San Francisco I can’t help throwing in some general impressions on how technology comes up and is consumed.
VMworld is a lot about hype and setting general direction of where virtualization is going. That said, we should always take it with a bit of salt.

About Groundbreaking Technology

Cool tech innovations come and go but have a different impact on the industry and ultimately on people’s lives. Hence, we should be very aware how we understand “innovation”.
I am always baffled when we use this word only for groundbreaking technology which is supposed to disrupt how we do things, yet 5 years from now we might be doing more of the same.
It’s all about how we as engineers, integrators and admins take this technology to the next level and how we make it easy to consume and integrate with.
This takes work, a lot of work …
And I believe VMware and the whole ecosystem are ready to put in the remaining work on many of the hot topics introduced at the last VMworld.

About Continuous Development

I feel quite detached when “continuous improvement” is used as a dirty word describing anything that is not innovation. You could often hear someone say:

Your idea is great but it is bulding on top of something which is already established

So what? Isn’t it even more compelling when a technology is established and many people use it? Doesn’t this bring more value to the business?

There are too many cases when a brilliant idea is developed, released and used only by a handful of people just because noone was interested in “continuously improving” it.
Nothing in tech saddens me more than a product, project or feature which is not loved by its creator. If I have to be brutally honest engineer’s work doesn’t end with pulling off the project and getting promoted!

Even more important is how we follow up, how we make it as usable as it can possibly be and how we help others integrate and consume it.
Of course there is always time when we have to move onto something new but let’s make sure we hand it over properly so our little kid continues to grow.

So what’s innovation?

Yes – fixing this bug that’s been a pain for many is innovation. Refactoring which brings 5% performance gain is innovation. And making it easy to find important info is also innovation!

There’s a lot to a project before and after it’s out of the door. We just have to own it!

Vladimir Velikov

I am a leading software engineer in the vSphere Client SDK & Plugins team at VMware. I like good object-oriented designs, API & extensibility development and UX workflows with neat usability but most of all I enjoy helping out plugin developers, getting their feedback and solving their real-world problems.

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