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comment Terms for different types of development
Have you considered "software development"? I know it is a bit generic, but I haven't seen "desktop development" on very many job postings or resumes.
comment Publish/Subscribe/Request for exchange of big, complex, and confidential data?
Would it make sense to have the website publish a feed that the other systems could read or poll periodically, or when needed - and then only retrieve the files/data in the standard request/reply at that point? It seems like publishing the events may be more scalable, and could easily be re-purposed for different types of data and systems. Or am I misunderstanding the question?
comment Dealing with management that does not see value in improvements that are not immediately visible to the user
This is a great response, and definitely the way to go. At the end of the day you have to be the CEO of your job and justify work based on the value to the business. One great thing to do for any sort of "refactoring" type project is to articulate the ROI in terms of development time saved, operations, bugs, etc. And with the crashes it seems like you are well on your way.