EngineerBetter x Container Solutions

Feb 15, 2021| Daniel Jones

(Image via FizzyJinks. None of the fish in this story are as angry as the ones in that picture.)

EngineerBetter is now owned by Container Solutions. It won’t just be ‘business as usual’, it’ll be a case of ‘business even better’.

What’s staying the same?

Much to the lament of my long-suffering team, I (Daniel Jones) will still be in charge of EngineerBetter, which will continue to operate as its own independent entity. We’ll keep doing all the work we’ve become known for, with the same values and approach.

What’s changing?

Plugged into a bigger organisation, EngineerBetter will be significantly more ambitious and daring. We’ve already started hiring, and we’re looking forward to significantly enlarging the team.

We’ll be teaming up with Container Solutions to co-deliver engagements, and learn from each other about how to impact customers’ business outcomes most successfully. EngineerBetter now has an older sibling to draw skills from, and Container Solutions has both a foothold in the UK and access to our five years of experience in digital transformation and platform-as-a-product.

Why?

We can both achieve so much more together.

The folks at Container Solutions share our values. It’s astounding that we didn’t run into each other sooner, given that we do and believe such similar things.

EngineerBetter was always a very personal endeavour. I was fortunate to meet and start the company with Dan Young (who has since gone on to found Needs Workshop). Together we self-funded the business and we succeeded in being profitable every year. With young families we had a responsibility to make sure that our efforts did not all come to naught.

That conservative approach served us well, but also held the company back. We missed out on work because we had not grown aggressively enough.

By comparison Container Solutions’ approach of swinging for the fences has resulted in a business that is significantly larger, despite being a mere year older.

Becoming part of Container Solutions allows EngineerBetter to amplify everything it does.

On my soapbox

Inspirational friends of mine once had a mission to “change the way the world builds software.” That much-needed ambition is at risk of being watered down by the kind of enterprise that they once sought to transform. I still believe in that goal, and will be doing my small part by carrying the torch and sharing ‘the good news’ that so many organisations need to hear.

In one hundred years, successful companies of the day won’t look like the majority of those that are successful now. Their businesses will be implemented in software. They might not be software companies but they’ll have the mindset of software development: the values of agile and eXtreme Programming in particular.

We have to accelerate that change. The untold waste of legacy practices is unethical. The misery created by iron triangle management, silos, and organisational empire-building is unconscionable. There are better ways of building software. Most importantly, these translate into better ways of building businesses.

It is not okay for those of us who know the ‘secret sauce’ to sit on our knowledge. It is precisely because it is hard to convince people to change that we must not ‘take our ball and go home’ - we must do more than hoard our knowledge, out-compete the incumbents and wait for natural selection to take its course.

Society deserves better:

Thanks

It is a little difficult to give necessary credit without evoking the spirit of an egotistical award-acceptance speech. However, the importance of giving thanks outweighs the risk of apparent self-indulgence.

A consultancy has one asset: its staff. Enormous thanks to everyone at EngineerBetter past and present, especially Ivana Scott who has been wading through paperwork and contracts.

A little more than five years ago a blog post* prompted folks to encourage and support Dan Young and I. We were fortunate that those who preceded and surrounded us chose to pay forward their own accomplishments. To those people I am grateful.

*Please excuse Archive.org screwing up the CSS. Resizing the window may make the blog post readable.

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