Carl Burks is a software developer for a global financial institution. With over ten years experience in technology and software development for financial organizations and over twenty years of software experience, Carl Burks provides articles, musings and insight into technology issues, software development, and other selected topics.

You make what you know


Carl Burks

My oldest son came to me after we moved in and asked to build a project. We had completed the pegboard and adding a reinforcement to an heirloom wicker chair. I acquiesced and began looking at his instructions. He wanted some wheels, a platform, and a place for me to push him around. It didn't have a specification on the size of wheels. No weight requirements. No deadlines on when to ship the product. I didn't even have to have a daily stand up meeting to discuss the project status, but somehow he and I put together the cart. I found casters which were acceptable for his weight, and considering I managed a warehouse for a bit I build a utility cart:

It isn't much to look at but it can haul, and it has a full turn radius as all the wheels are omni-directional. There are many cart styles I could have built, but I ended up building something familiar. When building a quick project without specifications and needing a working product building something familiar is a safe bet. If I had unique requirements or a demanding customer, a new tool I wanted to try, or new design schematic, then I might be tempted to build something else.

When constructing an item in the real world the cost of failure results both in a loss of time and materials, but with software the barrier is lower for materials. Time is always a cost.

  • Carl