Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Five Unanswered Questions
Are you a Democrat?
- Emphatically NO! Just because I post pictures of George W. Bush in comprimising positions doesn't make me a Democrat. It does however mean that I am not a fan of him. In fact, I would argue that he is a bigger Democrat than the Democrats themselves. If you look at No Child Left Behind then you would know that even the Democrats couldn't have envisioned something that braindead.
Will the real Republican's please stand up? Real Republicans understand that for their to be freedom in Iraq that we have to let folks choose freedom, not have it forced on them. Real Republican values requires folks to become the best examples, not to force their believes on others.
For the record, I also feel sorry for all those folks who thought that Arnold was a Republican and then pulled a switcharoo on folks by proposing laws to provide medical care for illegal aliens in California without having a clue as to how to pay for it.
Which is your favorite Redmonk analyst?
- Believe it or not, the one I read with the most passion is Michael Cote as he is always on point with his commentary. Of course a strong number two is James Governor partially because of his very cool and similiar sounding name along with his brutal honesty, something that I don't get to see/hear much. Stephen O'Grady was a lot higher on my list but lately the conversations on the weather in Denver have been somewhat uninteresting. He could spice it up by saying that the weather is crap because of global warning. I think I am going to like Anne but would ask that she consider dropping the bullet style as I really don't like folks shooting at me. In general, I like all analysts that go past the simple coffee clutch conversations I can find easily by talking to my other Enterprise Architect peers.
Who is the guy on the side of your blog?
- This depends on which picture you are referring to. Prior to several weeks ago, I used to have a picture of Malcolm X whom in my humble opinion should be equally acknowledged along with Martin Luther King as Civil Rights requires not only passive resistance but also those who are willing to break the chins of those who turn the other cheek. Lately, I have switched the photo to Huey Newton of the Black Panther Party whom stood up and challenged the laws of the government and more importantly those that enforce them. I guess it is the McGovern antigovernance in me.
You talk about diversity but what does it mean to you?
- As I have said before, I used to understand what diversity meant when it was a metric tied to EEOC laws, but nowadays I still have no clue as to what it means. Maybe someone from an HR background could not only provide an answer of what diversity means in 2007 but more importantly a litmus test that ordinary folks can use to tell when something isn't diverse.
The one perspective that I do have is that outsourcing in any form does harm to diversity. It is all about consistency where participants aren't allowed to do anything where their isn't a prescribed way of doing something. Outsourcing as a methodology is the big brother that causes harm at home and abroad.
I can also say that diversity may have some dimension of community where we figure out how to embrace not only those within our own profession, but also those within our own neighborhood. It touches me emotionally to drive to work every day past poor folk who will never have the opportunity to prosper. Maybe diversity should include figuring out how to leverage community?
Who was your best boss, who was your worst and why?
- This question is a trap but I will answer it anyway. I won't name names but will describe characteristics. The absolute best boss I have had in my career had the following traits:
- Prior experience in another discipline (e.g. Accounting) and transitioned into becoming an IT professional (NOTE: He didn't just transition to the IT organization but became technical)
- Was concerned with buy-in but only to a certain extent. The primary measure of success wasn't how folks felt but in a measurable way determined the quality of our team's output
- He kept me honest in a noble way. I have had bosses that have kept me honest by asking stupid questions and making me feel pain by explaining them but he did it differently. I remember one time when I was somewhat new to programming and finished an enhancement to a major trading application. He opened up my code randomly to a a particular section and asked me to explain why I wrote it a particular way. By chance, it happened to have been a piece of code that I reused from elsewhere and took a mental shortcut and didn't study the inner workings and only treated it like a blackbox. When I couldn't explain it, he deleted not only the code for that particular module but the code for my entire project. This taught me two valuable lessons.
- Honestly in terms of due diligence is something that you should force upon yourself, and eschew approaches where it is either forced on you or you force it on others
- Hindsight is 20/20. The funny thing is that upon writing the same exact code a second time, it actually was even better. Many folks don't truly get an opportunity to learn from their past, but I did.
- Grew up in IT organizations but otherwise weren't IT professionals. The worst bosses were those who had project management backgrounds
- Focused way too much on what others thought vs. how their own employees felt
- Used words such as management and leadership interchangably and couldn't tell the difference between them
- Always used the right buzzwords but couldn't define a credible career path nor ever did anything outside of the management handbook in order to help me grow.
As far as the worst boss, there are so many to choose from. They all had the following four characteristics:
Anyway, I have been guilty in terms of blogging by asking lots of folks questions. Maybe it is time I started answering some. Ask away...
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