Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Depends on whose hands it's in - Technological Pedigree

Sometime ago, an Assistant Pastor at my church preached a message entitled "It depends on whose hand it is in". He started by explaining a spalding basketball is worth US$29.95 but in Michael Jordan's hand it's problem worth 100 times that. A golf club in my hands is worth US$200 probably but in Tiger Woods' hands it's worth about 100 times more. A promise made by me to you isn't worth it's weight in gold but a word spoken from God is a sure one and could be taken to the bank.

So for this post it's all about the movers and changers in technology, the people who's word matters and with one speech can transform/shape the thoughts of others.

During my years as a developer and growing into other roles such as Snr Developer and team lead, I've been faced with many technical challenges and have proposed many solutions to solving complex business problems, many solutions sad to say have been rejected by peers and superiors who wouldn't support them because of my technological pedigree. What I would always find interesting is that a rep from Microsoft could call, propose the very same thing (without much details) and management would buy in. Why is this? What is this pedigree I refer to?

In my mind, this Pedigree comes from, being there and doing that at the highest level. Many times you really can't earn the adoration and respect from your management teams with emerging technologies and concepts unless you've had a track record with those technologies and/or concepts. In my case it was the Service Oriented Architecture I had proposed to implement in the business to encourage consumption by different business applications. I had conceptualized a subscriber model managed my the support services department which would allow different applications to subscribe to services in this architecture and consume same.

So what are some of the things I've learn't to develop this "pedigree"

1. Study to shew thyself approved, a workman needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. - You have to know your stuff and know it well. Know the other guy's stuff too and it'll serve you well. :)

2. Incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding - knowing alone won't do it but understanding how to apply your knowledge is more important. WCF is really cool technology, but what does it mean for businesses?

3. For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counselors there is safety - Seek guidance from those who have been there, done that and have the "pedigree". Don't be too anxious to go it alone.

4. A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men - Don't be a butt kisser! No one can keep down a rising star.

Oh, how did this come up...Anders Hejlsberg added optional parameters to C# and there was a big discussion as to the importance or necessity to have optional parameters. Now the thought is, if someone from our team had suggested it, everyone would have said "Naw...don't neeed it..." but Anders said it...again... depends on whose hand it's in or in this case mouth :)


1 comment:

owen said...

in life everything has a pecking order. its a fact of life, if people aren't confident in your abilities or you have no backer (such as MS) then people at less likely to risk going with your idea.

You either going have to develope a zero risk solution or wait until you have more power.