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What Software Development and Marathon Runners Have in Common

Software Development and Marathons Banner

Based on the title of this post, you probably think I’m going to talk about how building custom software is a marathon, not a sprint. That’s a good guess, but what I actually want to talk about is what happens when the marathon is over, and when the software is launched.

Plus, agile software development is full of sprints, so that metaphor would get really confusing.

After Launch

I have worked on numerous systems that launched and then weren’t touched again until it was time to retire them or do a re-write.

Can you imagine if a marathon runner took the same approach? They worked really hard leading up to the marathon, completed the race in their goal time, and then just stopped training.

That runner wouldn’t expect to perform at a high level in future races as their body goes into a state of disrepair.

The body is a system that needs constant attention if it’s going to perform well. Software systems need attention, too. Once you launch, if you don’t continue to monitor and maintain the system, performance lacks and you may not even know it.

Monitor and Adjust

Like a marathoner continuously strives for a personal best, a custom software system can be continually improved. But this improvement isn’t possible if you don’t know where you are and where you want to go.

For a runner to get better after a race, it’s about tracking mile split times, setting goals, and having a training plan. For custom software to improve after launch, it needs analytics, metrics, logs, and a vision for the future.

So, if you are responsible for maintaining a business system, think of your next "race."  What's your next goal? What are your monitors telling you? What issues do you need to address? What things are you going to do today that will put you in a position to succeed tomorrow?  And, remember, you have a whole team at Far Reach willing to back you up.  Just reach out.

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