1. SELL YOUR SERVICES
1. QA IS NOT INVOLVED IN EACH DEVELOPMENT STAGE
At some point during your professional life, you’ll probably encounter an exceptionally poor leader, boss or manager – someone you’ve worked for, or you’ve seen in a close team. I have, and it’s stressful and exhausting. I’ve seen some toxic leaders in other teams and watched that team reach a crisis point sooner or later. These bad leaders can make you feel like you hate your job, but the truth is you only hate them. As ridiculous as it may sound, bad leaders can be good for you. You might suffer under their command, but the experience will make you stronger. You can learn from what they are doing wrong. Like my mom says: “you are not useless, at least you are a bad example.”
This post is the first in a series intended to provide my guide to “Right-Sourcing.” This term is what I use to describe finding the best fit for distributed agile augmentation of your software development team. Over a series of posts, we will discuss how aligning your software staffing needs with available options – whether offshore, onshore, local contractors, or FTEs – is critical to the success of your digital transformation projects. Although a variety of best practices keep projects on track, choosing the right approach in the first place is a huge advantage that continues to pay dividends.
Being promoted from within to assume a leadership role on a team where you were once a member has a set of inherent challenges — many of the issues that you would encounter come from assumptions and not taking the opportunity to set expectations. If it is an outside hire, they will likely be more descriptive in their approach to taking charge as they need to assess several team characteristics of which you are already aware. Because things like communication, ways of working, culture, etc., need to be understood, there will be a need to define them and therefore setting the expectations of the new leader. I suggest you set your expectations early and assume nothing.
Having teammates spread across wide geographies and different time zones has its challenges, and there are strong opinions, both pro, and con. With the speed of the highly competitive software development market and the need for continuous improvement in application development, trends are pointing towards companies trying to find and retain the best talent, wherever they may be.
Many communication pitfalls can derail an otherwise productive conversation with a geographically distributed, Agile team. In my experience, an accusatory tone, even though unintentional, can turn an otherwise productive conversation into a defensive situation, and you are then reliant on an intermediary to recognize and diffuse the situation.
The title may come off as a bit dramatic, so I’ll clarify what I mean. It’s impossible always to be professional. We have our personal lives and downtime. You shouldn’t keep up a business persona during all occasions. That sounds exhausting. What I am saying is to consider how you are perceived at three crucial points during your time with a company and the importance of being considered as consistently “professional.” Be mindful of the impression you make while interviewing for a company, while you are working for them, and when you leave. So, when we look at it this way, yes, always behave like a professional when dealing with potential, current, or former colleagues.
According to the research of Martin Seligman, author of “Learned Optimism,” the answer is, yes. However, if you are a pessimist, you probably don't believe it.
Saying that the software development industry is hyper-competitive is an understatement. And, in this volatile marketplace, employers are perpetually looking for professionals with skills that are adaptable across multiple technologies, implementation methodologies, and frameworks. So, if your technical skills are strong, you shouldn’t have to worry about your professional development. Right? If you agree, you are only partially correct. In our experience, technical proficiency is not the only thing that matters for employers.