Thursday, June 25, 2009

Software Development – Ego Driven – Part III

In almost all white-collar professions, we have to deal with Ego, Ego is a trait mainly driven by superiority and some inflated feeling of self. Ego is a main driver of one’s growth and without ego there is no improvement. But ego is very complex subject, I’m here try to present my thoughts and how to work with Egoistic environments. Ego is great tool for improvements hence can be used as weapon whenever required. Too much Ego is not okay because that’s main team work killer. As a rule of thumb, too much egoistic person should be an individual contributor like sales, decision making and use the egoistic to beat outside market competition. Here are some more points about egoistic.

Polite or Bully: It is very hard to understand whether a person really bullies or showing bully behavior out of ego. A same person act very polite with “inferior” than one and act very aggressively or bullying with “superior” than one. But the reality is all are equal and everything is illusion that one is above and below. It is very tough to work with those but flexibility and showing some weakness of our own to egoistic person helps and improves team environment. One interesting story is, I know a sales guy who is very egoistic and very successful but always do some mistake in total price or ask some stupid questions like “John, how many zeros for millions”. The secret is he wants to work with others very friendly manner hence some time act like he is also a prone to mistakes and he is not a super human.

Can Do or I can do everything: Can do attitude is really great and positive but we can’t do everything possibly under the sun. We have to depend on others and our success relies on how others also willing to working with us. For example, Software we have initiation, plan, design, code, test, deployment, support phase and each one required some team effect from everybody. Even though we were experienced developers sometime we need a support from a system admin who joined just today, so some level of politeness required to get some help from him/her.

Balancing Ego: Actually we are all ego by birth, but getting mature and interacting with others help us to taming or balancing ego. My best advise to use ego as weapon or we are in team environment and want to balance ego, we have to start using “we” instead of “I” and share credit with others.

But any ways not all are same, we are all having different traits and Ego is not a bad one, as i said it is major factor for improvements and use it as weapon but not always. Actually my tactics would be, when ever i play cricket i would be always with non-tamed-egoistic caption because i always want to be with winning team. Here I’m ending my psychology side of software development series.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How to become a Saint

Actually a long ago, one of my friend used to do some unusual stuffs like avoid salt for 3 months, sometimes avoid sugar for 3 months, no talking with parents, friends for a week etc. I thought that he was kind of paranoid person. But I didn’t know that he was tried to become a saint. Each try of some thing unusual gives him some will power and feel the pain of others who really suffer from the disease. The main purpose of Ramzan and Good Friday is to experience the hunger of poor people, hence people start share something to others to eliminate hunger. Buddha was a rich prince and he become saint only after he sees and feels the pain of others. The same with Gandhi also, he also a rich and earning lot of money as lawyer in South Africa, but he become a father of nation because of his experience and feeling pain of others.

So becoming saint required emotional trauma or high integrity or something unusual things that my friend did, or 30 days no food, or go out to forest to see some things or go to South Africa or Jerusalem. I think none of them are required to become saint. In fact, we no need to become something extra ordinary personality to become a saint. There are some important things we can follow to become a Saint.

1. Don’t talk about others when they are not in front of us: The talking about others and gossiping is like a playing highly addicted video game. Once addicted it is tough to come out from it.

2. Not addicted to money: As I said in previous posts, addicted to **anything** has some remedy to come out from it, but addicted to money is incurable. So making money and saving money is waste? No, money should be considered as a tool, we have to earn it as much as we can and save it but never go beyond it.

3. No to superiority and inferiority: We are all human, equal, each one living for some purpose, some where and some profession. There is no one is above and below. Opportunities are out there, system is fixed and any body can become anything. But what we had in mind is stopping us to become what we want. There is no place in this earth has dictate that one has to do this and that (other than some regimes). The point is most of us has freedom and choice what ever we want to achieve and we are forcing or liberating others also to join us, greater example is recent Iran protests.

4. Stop Unnecessary Fear: 6 months back we are all feared, what is going to happen to our economy and job market etc? But now things are slowly returned normal but we are not out of woods yet but better than 6 months ago. If we fear now is meaningless and unnecessary, the bad time was behind us and we have to think about future growth. So unnecessary fear is won’t make us Saint rather pull us down.

5. Learn as much as possible: When ever I say learn, some my friends mistaken that I’m asking every one to rejoin school or check out books from library. Learning means everything we try something new including cooking, going/seeing new places, playing something, writing about some new things. What ever we do for fun is also learning.

There are many other things helps us to become a Saint including helping others, volunteering, community service, laughing with others, playing with kids, going to worship places, spending time with friends, socializing with others and many other things. So am I a saint? No, not really but like any body else, I’m also trying to become Saint. Together we will all try our level best.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Software Development - Stress Management - Part II

Our life is full of surprises and twists and turns, no one in this world meticulously plan for future, day by day activities etc. All we need is a brave heart to face unexpected. Stress management is really important in our life. We should not get stress easily and burn out ourselves. When i started software development, industry suffered a major setback is managing stress. But now due to the maturity of industry stress is not a big issue. What causing stress, actually stress is unpredicted one. For example, one is very easy go on many things but get stress whenever Christmas season is around the corner, major reason is how can i handle shopping for massive relatives, friends, kids? but s/he may be handles $10 million fund in wall street.

Stress can cause major damage to health, mind. One more important thing is, stress won't show up until it grows bigger and bigger in our own mind. Back in India, i wondered that my dad, uncles other relatives who ever working with public sector never complained about Stress but self employed and private sector complained about stress. What is the connection between them?. Actually one important thing is, India freedom of speech, expressiveness is higher in public sector companies with compare to private sector, since employees enjoyed free to talk, free to say no etc in public sector, which helps them to free up from stress. Based on my opinion, here are some major points in terms managing stress.

1. Say what we can do, talk from our own mind, don't commit more than what we can achieve.

2. Learn to say NO, but not always NO. Balance between Yes and No is really important to manage stress.

3. Treat others as friends/helpers not competitors, competition leads to race which leads to stress.

4. Plan ahead, create a step by step guide to achieve end goal. Get professional help if we need to.

5. Go to new places and learn about new things.