Showing posts with label selfishness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label selfishness. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Continuous Improvement for the Self

Yesterday, in discussing the "Close the Loop" principle, TheHackerCIO touched on how one is worse off for not addressing deficiencies. It's simple, really. Not only do you now have a known deficiency, but you also know that  you are the kind of person who doesn't fix problems. (At least with respect to this problem.) And that is setting you down a course of habitual non-fixing problems, which is nothing but a downward spiral.

Don't go there.

There are many applications. For instance, how many times, O fellow Hackers, are you compelled by deadline-pressure and/or management to employ what we might humorously call a "sub-obtimal" solution or approach. In other words, we put in a hack, or a "work-around," or take on "technical debt."

Now, the reality of life is that this is always going to be there. But it should be tracked and a solution found for the future. This is they way to move yourself toward the elimination of such issues.

I keep a page in my client-journal where I track everything I've done that I'm unsatisfied with. I just label it my "Technical Debt" page, and make sure I log it. And, naturally, from time to time, when time permits, I come up with remediation approaches and solutions. Even if I can't get them into production, I've at least "closed the loop" on the issue. And so, on a personal level, I have improved myself. Which, by the way, is a very selfish thing -- in the best possible sense.

I hope you too choose to improve yourself. You'll find yourself a much better technologist for it.

I Remain,


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Don't Give Back to the Community!

Mentoring isn't about giving back to the community. It's about taking. Because you take more than you give, when you Mentor someone.

In the Karate dojo, oftentimes a senior student is assigned a junior or beginning student to teach a Kata (stylized "Forms," that teach certain techniques). This is not because the Grandmaster is busy or too lazy. It's because in teaching others you learn yourself.  Not only do you consolidate what you have learned, but you become aware of beginner's mistakes in a way that you might not have focused on before. You start to realize all the small details that you now recognize immediately, and compare them to how puzzling they were at an earlier stage of learning.

Aside from learning, there is the enthusiasm aspect. Working with beginners, you see a raw enthusiasm which you may have lost as you lost your own hunger to attain excellence, and the ever illusive perfection. Seeing an eager beginner tends to reawaken that hunger. And enthusiasm is infectious.  And God knows, we need an epidemic of this -- especially in the hidebound large Enterprise, where loads of "Mere Paycheck Collectors" infest every department, including the technology departments. A  pandemic of passion for work would make the world a better place.

This is why someone recently coined the term "reverse-mentors" to describe the inverse relationship between a Mentor and his protege.

If you're not selfishly getting more out of Mentoring that you're putting in, then you're not doing it right.

I remain, Ever the Taker,