Welcome to the New Muonics Blog

March 28th, 2007 by Michael Kirkham

My apologies to any early subscribers who experienced oddities with the RSS feeds as past release notes were being moved into the blog. Now that that’s done, I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself welcome you to the new Muonics Blog.

My name is Michael Kirkham, and I am President & CEO of Muonics, Inc. I founded the company in 2002 after creating MIB Smithy, our flagship SNMP MIB Editor/Compiler product, in 2001.

I’ve been writing software for around 20 years now, particularly in the network management industry since 1995, when I began a 5-year stint as the principal developer for one of the industry’s leading SNMP agent compliance test suites. There I developed tests for several SNMP MIBs, and was as a contributing member of the SNMPv3 Working Group. Prior to 1995 I was an embedded systems developer writing firmware for RF devices, such as radios and power amplifiers, used in applications including coast guard, air traffic control, and semiconductor manufacture.

One of the things that I valued most about my prior career and working with others in the network management industry was close interaction with users, partnering with them to provide for their needs at an individual level, while keeping a broad perspective for the entire current (or future) user base. I see this as a bit of a hybrid approach, between custom and traditional shrink-wrap software development.

The problem with custom software is that it doesn’t scale well as a business: a custom solution that works great for one customer is not necessarily going to work well for another, and you’re back to square one with each; plus it’s very expensive. On the other hand, with traditional shrink-wrap software there’s usually a very large disconnect between the individual user and the programmers–with the publisher’s desire to maximize market share in between.

For me, it’s not enough to churn out features just so that I can put check marks next to a competitor’s check marks on comparison sheet in a game of follow the leader. It’s infinitely more rewarding and satisfying to work closely with users to determine what their real needs are, extrapolate, and over-deliver; to create new and better ways of approaching a problem than simply copying what’s been done before.

Truthfully, I haven’t felt as much of a connection with the users lately. Part of that is because I often don’t get to communicate with users unless there’s a problem, and of course I try to keep problems from occurring! While the evaluation downloads do currently ask for contact information, and I follow up personally to address any comments or check for problems, they don’t go on any mailing lists, and if I don’t hear back I don’t keep sending messages. If I get too far behind on followups, I make the safer assumption that you’d rather not be bothered if it’s no longer timely. Part it is also because systems that were in place, such getting releases announced and notes published, were cobbled together back in 2002 with an aim for function before optimization.

Like other knowledge workers, I’m prone to neglect tedious tasks. I’m all about workflow efficiency, so I’m very excited to have the new blog up and running. Not only has this reduced four painful parts of the release process to one pain-free task, sure to get done in a timely fashion, but it will give me a platform for offering tips and tutorials to those interested that were previously only in the realm of support inquiries. With much better systems in place, I expect you’ll see great improvements in communication from me in the future, and look forward to reestablishing those missed connections. With better communication from me, I hope to hear more from you about what I can do to help you succeed.

I’ve been collecting topics to write about for some time, particularly with regards to SNMP and using our products, but I’d love to hear your topic suggestions as well. You’re welcome to comment or send a note to support@muonics.com and I’ll put it on the list.


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