Most of us spend good part of our life at office interacting with various folks. Recently I've been trying to recollect moments or interactions which have made an impression on me.
Some of these were positive and have inspired me, some of these have not been positive and have inspired me by teaching me how 'not' to be or do something. Here is the list.
- I was a new manager dealing with a situation where I had to deal with a problem being faced by one of my team members.It was getting a bit tricky as I was dealing with several senior managers each of whom had their vested interests which clashed with mine. While discussing the situation, my manager said 'what ever you decide I will back you'. This one statement boosted my confidence and dealing with the situation became a lot easier.
- Long back I had rated by 9/10 in VC++ during an interview. The director who was conducting the final round said 'I like your aggressiveness'.
- Once I was involved in a project where a team of around 14 worked very hard for around eight months, delivered on time with very good quality. Unfortunately, the customer for the work decided to not use the service. Of course was a big let down for all of us but all the developers looked at the entire event as a big learning exercise and things didn't really look so bad for us.
- Once while negotiating for salary for a new job the director asked me how much I expected. After hearing my expectation, he said it wasn't enough, and said that the company is used giving higher joining packages.
- At an eDiscovery conference in Bombay, the presenter was trying to talk of the benefits of eDiscovery. He mentioned the massive number of lawsuits faced by US firm. However while trying to extrapolate this point and fit for India, he admitted on stage that eDiscovery is not really needed in India. I loved his honesty.
- At the same eDiscovery conference, a presenter mentioned how our company allows everyone to be connected 24/7, how people can work even from their holiday resorts. He ended (unintentionally I am pretty sure) sounding pretty sad about such state of affair where one is not able to have a few days without office.
Not so positive experiences
- I was working with a company which had started a new development centre in Bangalore. We were transitioning a huge project which had been in use for more than 15 years without a hitch. The entire code was in Java. During one of the transition talks, my director suggested that we should convert the entire project in .NET because in his opinion .NET is better than Java.
- I was once told by my manager that I have an understanding problem. He then went on to say how people of his 'caste' were all usually doctors, engineers and scientists. Most of the developers quit in a years time including myself. The manager was let go a year after that.
- I was to go for an interview but had another one scheduled around the same time. I actually did not care for the first company much and skipped the interview. I got a call in the evening from this company and the manager said that I had left them "high and dry". Man, did I feel really bad. This experience led to me treating such events with more respect.
- At an exit interview, one of my directors said that I was 'unprofessional for deciding to leave'. Even after several threats from him I still quit.The next I saw him was a year after sitting on the sofa waiting to be called in for an interview at my new company.
- I once attended a meeting where a senior person from the development team mentioned that developers were not much more than typists. At another meeting, someone mentioned that QA folks are a waste and we should retrain them to become developers. The same person also mentioned that we (we were at the time developing/maintaining an enterprise application which works across products from Microsoft, IBM etc) should become like Facebook and have zero defects and have no QA team.