Today, more than ever before, successful consultants are placing emphasis on collaboration in the workplace. Collaboration is a sign of an effective, high-functioning team, and a way to swiftly move a client forward. Collaboration is particularly useful when working as a team to solve nagging problems which can become larger obstacles if ignored or overlooked. Recently, we interviewed our own Sai Chalamalashetty and Devi Mallampati, .NET developers, currently working for our client in Colorado, to talk about how they used teamwork and collaboration to solve client problems.
The big problem our customer faced is using legacy VB6 applications, which have PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) interfaces to them–these needed to be migrated/rewritten to new .NET technology with new Control Logix PLC. The actual problem, they explained, was that “Firstly, the old PLC systems are very slow and this was causing huge operational inefficiencies for the client. Next, with the VB6 code, it could only run Windows XP, which was about to be subset by Microsoft. [Finally], finding resources who could work on PLC while having .NET experience were extremely hard to come by.” Overall, these applications needed to be up to speed in order to continue to run smoothly.
In explaining how the problem was to be solved, Sai and Devi worked collaboratively with multiple businesspeople “on the client side to understand the current state and the expected [result.] [They] then started rewriting and replacing as necessary the legacy code into the new .NET code.” Of course, in the effort to solve a problem as extensive as this, there were bound to be a few struggles. Both Sai and Devi explained that while they were getting ready to make the changes to the applications, there was actually very limited documentation on the old legacy applications that they could make reference to. They continued in saying, “[In fact,] there was no environment setup to allow us to emulate the legacy code’s behavior [to] see how it functions.” In order too overcome these prevalent struggles, Sai, Devi, and the rest of their team decided to take action by moving forward with a trial-and-error method. “We would immediately reach out to the business when we deployed a piece of code to check with them if they were satisfied with the behavior. If they weren’t, we would roll back the change and coded it in the way they were expecting.” After going through this extensive process many times, they were finally able to successfully replace the legacy code, thus solving the client’s problem.
As of right now, the project is in its final lap, but the benefits will live on well into the future. They are expecting increased efficiency in PLC communication, a reduced error rate, and support for the new network architecture.
Sai and Devi are perfect examples of collaborate problem-solving, and they represented M&A in the best way possible: going above and beyond expectations and pursuing excellence for the client.