It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for ages, but finally got around to it, blogging!
I’ll admit I’m usually an early adopter of things (when I finally discover them in some cases…) but Blogging is something I just never got around to, and I use to be a heavy user of Twitter back in the early days.
So now I’ve come to a point where my career at one place is ending soon and I need to start thinking seriously on “What Next?” and where I want to work and in some case on what. I love technology and the way it helps make things easier* for people in their everyday lives. I’ve dabbled with many different technologies in my time as a developer (both as an amateur and as a professional) and I’m always willing to try/test out something new to see if it’s any good, or if it can make my life (home and work) easier in some way.
In one of my past jobs, I was stuck doing support work 90% of the time and I got to the point where I was sick of doing the same mundane task time and time again. When I approached my boss about fixing it I was told there wasn’t any resource to fix and test it, and when I offered up the chance to at least make an automated fix program that either the customer could use or someone else on support could, I was told that’s now how they work. Fed up with wasting time each day doing the same SQL scripts, I went against what my boss said and built myself a little .Net application that automated the process for myself and saved me a few hours of work, which saddened me as it was a good little app at fixing common issues, but I was the only one that used it (due to the aforementioned reason) which brings me nicely to my first point for this blog.
Don’t dismiss other people’s ideas without thinking about it.
Yes, some ideas might be “out of this world” for your business and there are always some ideas that really don’t belong in this galaxy, but normally most people have pretty decent ideas which if actioned might just end up saving time/money/”your backside” in the future. If someone is spending 2 to 3 hours a day on a task 5 days a week… then give them at least the opportunity to express their idea and how it could save time, if you go on 2 hours a day scenario that’s ~420 hours a year on a task (or nearly 60 working days, if you say 7 hours a day working…) that’s heck of a lot of time wasted if the task can be automated/improved/fixed!
If you’ve ever done a repetitive job over and over again (see what I did there…) you’d know that it can be soul destroying and can burn a person out (unless you’re someone who likes doing that, in which case good for you).
Sometimes these things work out, other times they don’t which nicely brings me to my second point.
Let people fail
It might sound harsh but hear me out. People usually learn best from their mistakes, for many reasons. And even though you may have the best intentions, you’ve sometimes got to let people fail so they can understand why they failed and hopefully next time avoid that same pitfall. A helpful warning should be encouraged but if they don’t take on your advice then you’ve got to let them fail so that they might come to appreciate your warning next time but more importantly they hopefully learn why they failed and what to look out for next time.
Perfect example is with kids, you tell them not to do something (e.g. “Don’t touch the stinging nettle”) and you tell them again and again, but at some point, they’ll either ignore you and do it anyway or you won’t be in a position to warn them. Funny enough, most kids will only do it once before they learn not to do it again…
*When it works like it should :D