When in doubt go back to basics. It’s the most common advice you hear from the experts out there. The trade-off is the opportunity cost. Let’s say for example the quality of our service delivery can be improved. It needs people to upskill, the ability to manage cash flow and clarity in the leadership. The question is how can you manage the risk, keep your clients satisfied and be surgical in your transformation process. You don’t need extra knowledge or insights. You have to design the change by measuring the priority and impact of the change.
In the past 24 hours, I had 3 people asking me questions that had a similar answer.
A friend asked, How to find a job where I can do good quality work and also have a good team environment to work with? My answer was to find skills that he needs to bridge the gaps. In terms of technical skills pick the project which has maximum overall with his strength. Set right expectations of his current ability and the need for the role. Second, improve on his interpersonal skills based on his analysis of his personality. The most important thing is he cannot expect a perfect place to be from the first day. He has to be open about the shortcoming of his nature and also has to trade-off for the best quality that he expects at work. Every work is a work in progress. He has to put in the grind and have to stick in a place with a long term vision of at least 3 years. For the first year, he has to serve the team. In the second year, he can suggest an improvement that can be implemented with 1 week of effort and can bring a huge change. In the 3rd year if he is a right fit his team can trust him to take some challenges and do some groundbreaking work.
A colleague of mine asked me How she can get more points by writing better test cases and finding more bugs? My answer was again to go back to basics and study about writing better test cases. I gave her an idea to search the area of our new functionality on the internet which was related to file upload. In the first results, we got through 30 scenarios. We could apply 5 of them to our Product. So the fundamental for her would be to create a repository of many scenarios that can be correlated to our Product’s feature. It means reading through books, watching learning videos and refereeing to online articles. It also means connecting to other testers on the internet and building relations to learn from them and also share your knowledge. It becomes easy to not re-invent the wheel and take leverage of the work the world already has produced.
Another colleague of mine ask How can he become a Software Architect? This was an indirect question however In the calls with him I could show examples of simple code improvement and understand the design of the software first. I could also share with him how it maps to the profitability of the business by reducing the work in half and removing the rework completely. It also gives the ability to ship the software as fast as you can. It can be as simple as finding the gap that is stopping us from achieving our outcome and how you can re-imagine and re-design so that you can do it in a completely different way. He cannot skip the part of becoming technically strong first before making the transition to become a Software Architect.
I know our business has many areas of improvement after being profitable for more than 7 years now. I will have to put in efforts in our people, our systems, our technology, our product and even myself. It’s a long journey and I will have to do what we need to do.