Sharing the Joy of Software/Delphi in the .NET world

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Updated -- Another Side of Software Development

Back in November I wrote about how the other developer on my project and I were not really meshing and working well together. I will not go into details since you can read that for yourself and get up to speed. Well the story is about to come to an end. Tomorrow Bill will be terminated from the consulting company I and Bill work. The last 2 months have been interesting and very educating. The bottom line is that Bill oversold himself and had a very bad attitude towards most things including any technology he had to deal with. He showed most people around him just what an unstable person can be like and affect by his actions. Now Bill did the work he had experience with fine. He was in charge of the physical and logical data models for the system we are building. We have been in design mode for almost 2 months and he did a decent job on the data models. So here is a list of things that I hope people will learn from and always keep in mind when dealing with customers and clients: 1. Make a point of really listening to people around you and especially the people that you are trying to help in some way. This means the people you are selling to or performing a service for. When you are in a meeting please listen and take notes. This gives the impression that you are valuing the conversations you are involved with and making sure that you are "listening well". Listening means also keeping track of all the information you have. I write down as much as possible when I am listening to a client since I know I would forget a lot. Most people do. Bill never took notes or listened well. That was because he was too busy talking and trying to either impress people or make himself look good. 2. Do not bite the hand that feeds you. What I mean is do not undermine your employer in front of the customer or client. Very bad for business and personal career paths. By bad mouthing your boss or the company you work for in front of the people you are serving does no good. When someone is paying you to do a job just do the job and make sure that you give a good impression of them. Even if you do not like where and who you work for, always give a great impression to the customers and clients. That is a sure fire way to burn bridges. I write this because Bill never hesitated in telling the client every little thing that our company annoyed him about or caused him so called grief (usually it was his impatience or ignorance). 3. Deal with issues in a manner where they are challenges and look at them as learning experiences. Too many people see a problem and give a sigh and start complaining. I have never seen where complaining about something fixed it. I have found that if I have something that needs to get done I break it down into smaller issues and fix them each. Having a good view and taking some time to evaluate the situation gives you so much help. With Bill every time he came to a problem or issue I would hear a sigh or a swear coming from his office. I would also hear over and over how something was not working right or something was not correct to him. 4. If you are working in a team be a team player. Do not say that something is not your job or responsibility and walk away. Even if you do not have experience with something the team is doing, you might have some good insight or can learn something. Also make a point of at least attempting to help with the aspects of the teamwork that is not fun or glamorous like for example all the documentation that need to be done for clients. Could help later in your career. I was recently promoted to Team Lead of the project so that gave Bill the excuse not to have to do any documentation. He also would not offer help when little things came up but told that he was the database person and that was all he was responsible for. So be a team player. 5. Just be a good caring person who people enjoy being around. Do not be the person that people walk away from when you go down a hall or go into a break room. Being friendly and respectful goes a long way in life not just at work. 6. Do more than what is expected of you. I live by this rule everyday even of my wife does not think I do. :) Do more than what the customer or client expects will give you and also your employer a better reputation. In any business, we live by our reputations. Also by giving more you will be rewarding with more -- more praise, more responsibilities and hopefully more money. So am I happy that Bill is leaving? Yes but I am also disappointed since he does have a family. He would have been terminated sooner if not for the Holiday Season. Our boss did not want to ruin his kids Christmas so she gave him a few weeks. Bill was not entirely a smuck. He had a few good moments. I just do not understand how people can go through life with such a warped view of things and believe they are going to succeed. Being an asshole will only take you so far. Some people do go far being rude and disrespectful but they always seem to end up not achieving as much as they could have. Now I am not saying I do not have faults. I do. But what I try to do is minimize my faults by learning from others, from my past mistakes and using my strengths in the best ways. In the end all will work out. I think Bill will find another position that fits him well and where he can do a good job. My opinion was that he was not a good fit in a small team. Bill I feel works well when he is part of a large team and given tasks to perform.


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