No longer am I going to cringe every time I hear the word “enterprise”.
Before looking it up, enterprise to me meant “big” or “expensive”, as in Visual Studio Enterprise Edition.
But today after wondering what kind of a software developer people are looking for when they use the word “enterprise”, I had a look in the dictionary. The fourth meaning in The American Heritage Dictionary’s definition is:
Willingness to undertake new ventures; initiative
This is a great quality to have, on both the large scale and the small scale.
I found a good example today of large-scale enterprise today, from the Daily Sun’s (Flagstaff’s local newspaper) revamped online job listings. A year ago, they were using their own setup. It worked, but had poor search functionality and a clunky UI. Now they’re simply linking to a customized portal by NowHiring.com. They have their logo up there, some generic graphics, and a website that works well. I applaud the developers of this software for seeing the problem the newspapers had and coming up with a elegant solution.
A good example of small-scale enterprise might be taking on a project to document or refactor some code, or implementing one of the things on The Joel Test.
Now when I hear people talking enterprise, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and listen to what they say, in hopes that they’re talking about true initiative, and not just trying to sound big.