Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Building Large Software

The software development effort continues in what turns out to be the most wide ranging and complex application I've ever tried to marshall to completion. This thing is going to allow professional sports teams to manage everything about their athletes that's measurable, from the size of their body parts (anthropometry we call it), hypertrophy (muscle growth) every step they take (GPS) whether in training or in play, running, walking, with or without a ball, every nutrient (macro and micro) they consume, every pound they lift and what percentage of their max-lift that is (1RM), their every action over the course of the season and the off season, and how well they think they slept last night. Injuries. Rehab. Muscle Tension. Repititions. Intensity. And much more. It's the biggest most complex database and application I've ever made.

It's a fitting swan song for me. I've built some software that I am proud of, because it was software that contributed to the public good - measuring mammography rescreening rates (why do women forgo a mammogram? because they suck to get), use, and disuse of bicycle helmets and how increased use would contribute to better health outcomes (my boss got me an economist and a biostatistician to help with that project, it was cool to work with hyper smart people), and software to help contractors safeguard classified information.

This software isn't going to do any good like that - this is about an arms race between pro sports teams. We're making a weapon of sorts. Some good will come because we know that if they use our software they can reduce injuries, but it's all about helping them wring the most performance out of an athlete getting paid an unGodly amount of money to kick a ball, throw a ball, trim a sail, shoot a hoop, or slap a puck.

At least a lot of people enjoy watching the games, so maybe it's good work after all. I'm all in.

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