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Grow Your Shop’s Maturity by Managing up via New Blood.

2008_01_17_pb-kids-growth I work with a great team of people. Both of my managers used to sling code which is a godsend if you ever had to report under a person who hasn’t. I don’t have to convince them about the vagularities or the particulars surround about my craft etc… They inherently pad my estimates, or instinctually know what I mean when I say “this will be a hack that needs to be fixed in the next maintenance cycle” However, since they don’t code anymore, they can be skeptical (rightly so) of anything that happens in the industry post when they had their feet in the fire and may veto ideas that were out of reach when they were fighting the flames.

When I joined the organization about 6 years ago, I took a look at the build process, I said: 1) All builds need to be done from the same machine (not individual developer machines) and 2) the builds and possibly the deployments need to be automated.

When I joined and espoused these ideas we had severe build / deployment pain due to the manual process, but from management’s perspective, automated builds and deployments seemed too bleeding edge or too costly to implement.

Time went on; the pain continued for years. I repeated my opinion several times a year.

Eventually the economy tanked. We were in the position to hire new blood (both consultants and full-timers). I was fortunate enough to be either a part of the interview panel or have input on the “desired skills” of the want ads. Each time we interviewed new full-timers or consultants I specifically looked for people who had skills we required AND skills we didn’t have as an organization but I thought we needed.

Over time, more and more people said: “we should automate the build!” Many voices are louder than one voice.

We are now trying to automate the build.

Thank you new blood.


Mike Marshall said...

Congratulation on the breakthrough. With luck your organization will remember your persistence when their current pain goes away. Even if they don't - you should feel good about the accomplishment.

Enjoyed this post, and your Legacy Programmer Boss post. We wrote about that subject in our space, too.

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