Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Job Went to India Book Review

Businesses cannot exist without the IT and vice-versa. They are interdependent. IT systems automate the business processes and run 24 by 7. Therefore we cannot really view those who work at the “Business” level as above us. So, I disagree with the author on this point. However, he does sort of make a U turn later on in the book.

This book will make you think. For instance: What is the supply demand for programmers in a particular Business domain? This would be a good question to research so that we can plan our career.

He talks about how to survive layoffs by being knowledgeable in different areas. Not everyone wants to stay in one organization for a long time. Another thing is that it is almost impractical to learn everything in a particular technology (say, Java technology). Developers will have different intentions, for example they might have a backup plan in case of IT downturn, either by having a cash cushion or generating cash flow through software products.

I agree about following your passion. It enables us to transcend limitations. It inspires us and makes us reach a level of performance that amazes us. This explains the previous paragraph (which sounds like excuses).

Another principle that he explains - “Be the Worst” is very real. Two projects, one early in my career where I had the opportunity to work with a strong and talented team of developers and project manager. Recently when I found working for people who were not anywhere near my capabilities, they did affect my performance.

This book helps to see and expect what the work environment could possibly bring us and what we can do to proactively handle these situations.

Maintenance is seen as a menial work and recruiters downplay any experience on it. Oh, this is a developer job… Chad advises you to learn to love maintenance.

He recommends having a mentor and I am glad I read his book. I know mentors can also come in the form of a book!!! You can have more than one mentor.

I love the Eight-Hour Burn concept. This explains why I get very depressed and productivity drops during the last few weeks of the project. Now I know how to make the work stay in the office. No more nagging problems following me home!

The concept of “Presence” is very realistic. I learned this by making mistakes in the workplace and the cost was high. I wish I had read this book early in my career. Lot of things that he explains has already happened to me in my career. Still I was able to learn how to handle those situations successfully next time around.

Reading open source code really helps to solve recurring problems quickly. I have experienced this in my job. The cover of this book really needs to be improved. The content of the book is much better than the quality of cover image.