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Making it Big in Software

Tauri Valor
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 03, 2005
Posts: 166
Sam Welcome to Javaranch!

The title of the book really excites the recession-torn jobless java enthusiast like me. I have done 2 of the three that you've in your book title - got the job, worked the org but failed at third. I worked really honest and accurate giving my employer a quality outcome, but I was never a favourite to them, instead they viewed me as a scapegoat, I was always put under hectic pressure with ruthless amount of work, why is it so ? I worked with clients from different regions across the globe, but it was same everywhere. Does your book address any issue that relates to me. ??

Thanks,
Tauri.


A Moment's insight is sometimes worth a Life's experience.
Michael Sullivan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 26, 2003
Posts: 235
Tauri, I'm curious - did you spend your time as a contractor or full-time employee? Did you work with startups or established organizations?
Tauri Valor
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 03, 2005
Posts: 166
Michael Sullivan wrote:Tauri, I'm curious - did you spend your time as a contractor or full-time employee? Did you work with startups or established organizations?


Sam, I worked full-time at startups, and as contractor at an established company, other way round would have given me much satisfaction. true?
Sam Lightstone
author
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 21, 2010
Posts: 22
Tauri,

Your story is common to many, and honestly I wrote my book for people like you. As a manager and senior manager at IBM for 15 years I noticed that many of the skills people need in order to flourish in our field aren't taught at school, and are largely not taught anywhere. I began studying these aspects of profesisonal life to coach my own staff, and then later began a series of lectures to students at major universities. The book, Making it Big in Software, is the outcome of those experiences and research. My guess is that there are a number of things you can do to improve your situation, and really get your career on more aggressive path to success. This book will help you. Most importantly, you need to answer two questions:

1. Why me? Why are you being scapegoated?
2. Why not me? What aren't you be singled out for praise and recognition?

I think you'll probably get a lot from the book, especially the first 2/3rds through chapter 13. There are techniques to being impactful and getting recognition for it, and Making it Big in Software covers many of them.

Sam


Sam Lightstone
www.MakingItBigCareers.com - MakingItBigCareers.wordpress.com


Tauri Valor
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 03, 2005
Posts: 166
Sam Lightstone wrote:Tauri,

1. Why me? Why are you being scapegoated?
2. Why not me? What aren't you be singled out for praise and recognition?
Sam


You are right Sam, these 2 questions keep haunting me, the reasons though may not be 100 percent true, which I suppose to be true in my case are:
1)Being too lenient and obedient and meek, leading a low profile lifestyle
2)Thinking hard about a solution, spend late nights and weekends at office when my manager wasnt watching or wasnt aware of.

Sam Lightstone
author
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 21, 2010
Posts: 22
Hi Tauri

Chapters 5 through 9, and parts of chapter 15 and 19 in Making it Big in Software will probably answer your questions and provide some useful insights for you. I can't do them justice here in a forum posting. I'll try to add a few quick ideas, but I strongly recommend you refer to the book to get a more complete answer.

1. The #1 thing we all need to do to advance our careers is communicate. There are several things we need to communicate about, but one that people don’t often do enough of is communicating their accomplishments. We can’t expect to get credit for the work we've done if nobody knows about it. Some managers are better at tracking the accomplishments of their staff than others. However, even the best managers aren’t fully on top of this. In short, making sure that your manager is aware of what you have accomplished and the quality and sophistication of your work (not just its function) is your job and nobody else’s. It’s appropriate to keep your manager informed of your achievements ever few weeks, both in writing (a summary email) and in a personal discussion. Again, make sure that the qualitative aspects of your work come through, not just the functional attributes.

2. To quote from the book Making it Big in Software A picture is worth a thousand words but a demo is worth a thousand pictures. While you are helping to develop software as either a designer/architect, developer or tester, it’s worth developing a small demo that you can use to showcase the technology to others. Not only will this help highlight your contribution, but if you develop the demo, you’ll probably be the person who most frequently is asked to run it, showing it off to managers, architects and possibly customers and executives, leading to a lot of visibility for you and your work.

3. The value of measuring value. Most of us working on software features are content when we get a new feature working well. However, new features/capabilities often have the stigma of creating a ‘New and Improved’ version of the product. This is a bit like Tide detergent, which has been “New and Improved” for the past 40 years (or more). New and Improved doesn’t really impress anyone anymore, we are all, as a society, far too jaded. Why? Because New and Improved could mean a 400% improvement, or a 0.01% improvement; we are all too accustomed to marketing ploys that usually refer to the latter. To really make your contributions clear, take the time to measure the value your work has provided, measuring it in a way that yields a quantitative result. That’s not always easy to do, but most software provides value that can be measured through improved performance (speed), improved usability (user satisfaction, improved simplicity), added market share (more customers), reduced development effort for user (e.g. in the case of middleware, or a programming API), and so on. Once you measure the value of your work you elevate yourself from the status of a person who has simply make things ‘New and Improved’ to the much more meaningful status of having made things a specific amount better. In virtually every case I have experienced, measuring value has clarified the contributions of the people working on projects and amplified the recognition they received for it.
In fact, measuring the value of what we produce is a sensationally powerful catalyst for success, far beyond the simple personal benefits; there's a lot more on this idea in chapter 15.

4. Career killers (see chapter 8). The items above refer to some things we need to do to receive well deserved recognition for our work. But there are behaviors that people exhibit that actually negatively impact perceptions, and these may require a deliberate effort to avoid doing. Here are just a few
a. Being consistently late on project deliverables
b. Providing too much constructive feedback without providing suggestions and volunteering
for corrective action (usually perceived by others as complaining a lot, and being a constant source of negativity).
c. Working as an expert team of one, instead of a member of a team who willingly shares and both reuses code and expertise.


Sam
Tauri Valor
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 03, 2005
Posts: 166
Sam,

Thanks for your time and insight to my issue. Honestly, I was doing 'Don'ts' and ignoring the 'Do's'. Communicating and quantifying the quality work, voluntarily providing corrective solutions are the few things that I need to improve on. Learnt at the right time before its too late. I will surely read the book which I feel is written just for me. .

Thank you sir once again, these few thoughts of yours may draw a rising career graph for me.

Regards,
Tauri
Anant Kamat
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 18, 2008
Posts: 7
Hello Tauri,

You and I share the same story of being scapegoated in my company.
Currently I am working as a contractor in an established organization whereas previously worked as full-time employee with 2 companies and enjoyed working. But I had to quit for better prospects and recession that hit the job market badly.
I felt the difference since day one of my job but due to market conditions I am feeling like left alone in the crowd.
Though I work hard, I never get any praise for my work.
I am hoping that Sam's book will help me a lot in this regard.
I will be in a better position to analyse and proceed in the right direction.

Thanks,
Anant


Thanks,
Anant Kamat
SCJP 6.0
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Making it Big in Software
 
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