The Legacy of the Machine Age

(c) FreeFoto.com

The current generation of man has a legacy of a mental make-up which has been shaped and groomed in the machine age and which is unable to adjust itself in an age of computers.

It took generations for man to come to terms with the changes brought about by the industrial revolution. Man went through the turmoil of that revolution and emerged victorious. As years passed by, machines and mechanical thinking started seeping into his mindset. Slowly, he had mastered the change, and knew how to live with machines. A new era dawned over mankind creating a new industrial culture.

As man was evolving into the industrial psychology, machines too were evolving. Initially there were mechanical machines. Then came the electrical ones and then electronic. Thereafter came computers. As the industrial culture was deeply ingrained into his mental makeup by then, man thought that computer was just another machine. Armed with his centuries’ old knowledge and the experience of dealing with the change brought about by machines, he adopted the same old approach to deal with the introduction of computers. He thought it was just another electronic machine.

What he did not realize was that it was not merely the introduction of one more new machine, but a dawn of a new era altogether, a change from the industrial era to the information era. Little did he realize that just as the industrial era required a new thinking, new approach and a new culture, the ‘Information era’ too requires adopting new methods and new ideas to tackle the onslaught of computers. His concepts of machines, which were shaped and developed in the machine age, failed miserably when applied to computers. He did not realize that the computer was not just another industrial age machine but an information age device. This failure on his part has caused some key misconceptions, which is the primary cause of the turbulence of the Information revolution which I talked about in my post earlier.

I found Mr. SC Jolly, or rather he found me

I had in my previous post dated 4th April 09 talked about Mr SC Jolly, ex COO of Saraswati Sugar Mills, and wished that he read my blog as I had lost touch with him. I had requested anyone who knew him to get me in touch with him. By a strange coincidence, I found him. Rather Mr Jolly found me through this Blog. This is how it happened.

Mr. Jolly was visiting his son in the US. Once, just out of curiosity his son searched on “SC Jolly, Sugar Technologist” in Google and found my blog on the first page of his search output. Had he searched on any other keywords, he may not have found my page. Mr. Jolly went through the blog and then visited my website at http://pukamble.tripod.com (new address: http://premkamble.com) and left the following post in my guestbook at my website on the 4th of Aug 2009:

Quote

I have been deeply impressed by the awesome work done by you since you left Yamunanagar. From the day one I was touched by the way you approached the problem & the enormous patience you had. This was probably because you were convinced that the change you were trying to bring about was sure.

All the same, wish you the best. Pl keep in touch. [S.C.Jolly]”

UnQuote

I was thrilled to see his comment in my guest book. We later exchanged mails and also talked on phone. I am back in touch with M. Jolly!

Need for IT Awareness amongst CEOs and Senior Professionals


In the long industrial history of mankind, functions like Finance, HR, production and Marketing always existed. IT function is new which has come into existence not in the industrial age but the information age. No wonder, IT is an area where there is maximum ignorance amongst the top management. Man will evolve to understand this new function as the dust of the information revolution settles.

My readers may think I am being arrogant – posing as if IT folks know everything and others don’t know anything. That is not my intention. Yes I do not know the finer points about other functions like Finance, HR, Production, Marketing. CEOs and senior managers too may be equally ignorant of all other functions – you may argue. So why am I complaining about IT alone?

There is a difference. The senior management may not know about finance, HR, Production, marketing, etc. But the good thing is that they know that they do not know about these fields. They also know what they do not know about them. Further, they know that there are other experts who know more than what they themselves do and are therefore willing to use the expertise of the experts.

In case of IT, particularly with respect to Software, the senior management does not know what they do not know and need to know. They certainly know that they do not know software and programming, but there is much more to Software Management (particularly in managing software within corporates) which they can and should know as it is not technology. What is worse is that they do not know that they do not know something which they can know.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
 
Let me explain what CEOs and non IT Managers do not know and which they can easily know.Most managers think IT management is all technology. What they do not know is that software head not only has technology skills (Fig. 1), but also has people/change management and process skills. So whereas the CEOs will readily consult the IT guy for technological advise, they may not know that they can also use their change management and process management skills.
 
On the other hand, most managers are quick to admit that they do not know technology (“I am not a technology guy, you see”). With this they may also absolve themselves of all their responsibility of automation. Technology is just 5% of what they need to know if they are part of an automation project (Fig. 2). What they need to know and can easily know is the management of change and the psychology of change brought about by automation. User Managers should know the process of software development and the limitations thereof. If they can learn this and be fully involved in the automation process, there is no reason why a software project should fail.

There are several change management issues, people dynamics and process issues related to Software management that senior management can easily know. But unfortunately, in the field of software, ignorance is rampant because it is thought of as only a technical field – whereas there is a lot more to it than technology. What is worse is that several CEOs do not even know that such expertise is available to use. They are not aware of even the need to use this expertise, because for them, automation is a technology exercise.

My Experience with the Best and the Worst CEO for Computerization


Summary: This is the story of the best CEO (and unfortunately the only one) that I came across (in my over 30 years of work as a CIO) who understood exactly his role as a business head in the IT-Driven transformation in the company. His name was Mr. S.C. Jolly, then head of Saraswati Sugar Mill, a part of Saraswati Industrial Sysndicate/ISGEC group of companies.

He knew exactly the psychology of the people undergoing IT-Driven change, and how to handle their fears and frustrations. He knew how to resolve issues and conflicts between IT Dept and User Depts and make IT a success. Read here a true story of how he resolved one such issue within minutes. I call such CEO’s “Behavioral IT” Aware CEOs.

You need such CEOs to make computerisation a success. You can read true success stories too.  Click here for a story published in a leading magazine ‘Computers Today’ and  here  for a story in ‘Times of India’

It is often the CEO who makes the difference between success and failure of a software driven transformation.

In my long career as head of IT and implementing software projects within companies, I have come across a variety of CEOs and Managers – some of them who were excellent change managers and others who were not. So, I classify all CEOs into 2 major categories – those who understand computerisation (not computers) and those who don’t. Understanding computerization for a CEO does not mean being an expert in technology, but simply understanding the psychology of change brought about by automation. How well the CEO understands this determines the success or failure of software projects.

Whenever I speak of the role of CEOs or top managers, I always remember this CEO who was the best CXO I have worked with in my career – the best at least from computerization point of view. His name was Mr S C Jolly and he was the head of Sarawati Sugar Mill in Yamuna Nagar, (a group company of the Saraswati group consisting of a Sugar mill, heavy engineering unit ISGEC, etc. where I worked as their Group CIO/IT Head and started a new IT department way back in 1985).

It was my first job as a IT Head with only 4.5 years of prior work experience, and I set up the entire IT department and was highly successful in developing and implementing complex applications (happy to share the success stories published in Computers Today and Times of India at http://premkamble.com/ct1 and http://premkamble.com/toi. The GM referred to in these articles was Mr. Jolly himself; there were no fancy designations like CEO/COO in those days!).

Mr Jolly is the best IT enabler CEO I have come across in 28 years of my IT career and 24 years as Head of IT). I hope Mr Jolly reads this. Anyone who knows him may please convey my feelings of appreciation to him. The last time I was in touch with him he was living a retired life in Delhi. (Update: This blog thankfully helped me to reconnect with Mr Jolly!! I found him, or rather he found me through this blog! He wrote to me from US where his son was residing. Read the story how he found me)

And what was it that he did best to enable successful automation? You will be surprised to know – the best thing that he did was that – in a way – he did nothing! Sounds funny? I will narrate a real story to illustrate.

What I really mean is that HE DID NOT OVER REACT. He did not react spontaneously to complaints but took a very balanced view. I was a young ‘below-30’ manager but he spent quality time with me when I used to meet him, often sharing some of his wisdom. He said that he received several complaints about computerization. Some of the users were fed up and frustrated. What was different about him (which I have rarely seen in many CXO’s I have worked with later) is that he did not immediately start blaming the computer department on hearing complaints from the IT-user departments. He said that the complaints and frustrations were not a result of any problem with technology or the tech department – they were a result of their discomfort with change and their resistance to change. Rare Wisdom!!

Let me narrate this real incident to illustrate what I said above.

My first automation project with Mr. Jolly’s company was sugarcane farmers’ accounting solution. It was fairly complex but very successful (real success story published in Computers Today http://premkamble.com/ct1). This was because the folks from the user departments were very cooperative and mature. After completion of that project, I started the automation of the most common and relatively simple application – payroll as the second project.

But unlike the first project, this simpler project provided bigger roadblocks. The HR/Admin manager was simply not able to go live with the application. As is my style, I first tried hard to persuade him and convince him that he had to play his role of driving the implementation. He had to get the master data entered and ensure its accuracy and currency. But when I realized that my persuasion was not working, and that he was more interested in playing the blame game, I set up a meeting with the CEO, Mr Jolly. And following is the scene at the meeting.

There I was sitting in front of the CEO’s desk – a clean big table with just one Economic Times lying in one corner. By my side was the HR/Admin Manager – both of us facing the CEO. And the Manager beside me immediately took off by cursing the system, fretting and fuming and blaming the system in no uncertain terms.  He seemed to have a bagful of abuses and complaints. “Our neighboring company has been using Payroll for years and they do not face any such problems. We just don’t know how to do it… (and more fireworks!).” There I was, waiting sheepishly for the worst to follow.

But I was in for a surprise!

Mr Jolly quietly listened to all that was said. To my surprise, there was no reaction whatsoever and no expression on his face. He patiently waited for the manager to finish. When the manager was done with blurting out what he had to, lo and behold, there were no fireworks from the CEO that I was waiting for. Completely unmoved by all that was said and with no emotions on his face, all that he said was, “What next?”!!

The CEO heard my side of the story. I explained that firstly, employee master data was not created correct, and secondly, dynamic changes happening to employee data are not updated timely, resulting in wrong payslips.

He reviewed the immediate steps to be taken, set targets for master data correction (which, I explained, was the primary reason for all problems) and closed the meeting in a few minutes.

And believe me, it worked wonders. The payroll application soon went live!

Next day, as I sat leisurely in front of his desk, he gave me his real words of wisdom.

“The HR Manager was reacting as he did,” he explained, “because he was uneasy under the impact of change, not necessarily because of any problem with the system.” These words were music to my ears!

“The frustration, anger and complaints of managers implementing a change” he continued, “have nothing to do with the technicalities of the change they are implementing, the root cause is the change itself . The managers themselves do not know that their discomfort is a result of their resistance to change, and have no relation with the issues that they complain about.”

And then came the golden words.

“I give them a patient hearing just to allow them to let off steam”, he said. “And quite often, I do nothing about it!!”

I have not heard wiser words than these from any CXO in over 20 years of my career after this incident. I have suffered from some of the worst CXO’s too – I have seen highly gullible CXOs who would believe the first guy who went and complained about computerization. And hell would fall on IT department. I often thought that if I had gone and complained first, hell would have fallen on the other guy!

(Update: I have now coined a term to describe a special skill required by all CEOs/Top Managers. I call it Behavioral IT® skill.  Mr Jolly’s skill is one of such skills. So you can classify CEOs into two categories – those having Behavioral IT skills and those without Behavioral IT skills. I define Behavioral IT skill as a special skill required by all CXOs, Department heads and top managers to manage IT-Driven Change (which is the biggest driver of organizational change today) and to succeed in an IT-Driven Corporate world. “Managers do not need IT skills, they only need Behavioral IT skills.”  Click here to know more about Behavioral IT™ and click here for top management seminar on Behavioral IT.)

Technorati Tags: ,,,,

Challenges of being an in-house IT Head

Recently, as a head of in-house Applications Software group, I was asked a few questions related to my job. Given here are the questions and my responses.

public-domain-photos.com Managing large scale software development, implementation and operations, can you give a gist of key challenges and how do you approach your implementations?

Everybody thinks that computers are smart and can do anything. But we, as software professionals, alone know that under the hood we are harboring a dumb, adamant and yet most powerful creature in the world (the computer) which can bring your world crashing with the silliest of mistakes. Computer software is like a glass house which needs to be handled with extreme care. A small change in a comma or a full-stop in a million-line code can crash the system or lead to completely erroneous results. For this dumb and powerful guy called computer to be faithfully serving you right, you need to have a very disciplined process where not even a small mistake is allowed. Now since the world has a very different image about computers, you run a great risk of being completely misunderstood and sometimes hated for your “over cautious and strange ways”. The big challenge for the IT guy is to continue to do the right things in the best interest of the company, even if people misunderstand you and you have to be the “bad guy”. In other words, you cannot be a nice guy and do the right things for your company.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

clip_image001[1] How does business and software development unit collaborate?

Software development and implementation is a very collaborative activity and needs perfect teamwork between the business and IT. The IT person who programs the computer does not know the business process and the business expert who knows the process does not know how to speak to the computer. In such a scenario, it is imperative that both collaborate and create automated processes. It is like two people doing rock-climbing, where both reach new heights by pulling and supporting each other. Having developed and implemented several solutions which are being used successfully by several internal customers, in itself, is a proof of the collaboration.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

clip_image001[3] What do think are the biggest challenge in a internal software development scenario?

Having worked both in internal software development scenario and also in software companies, I can say that internal software development scenario needs very specialized skills which are very different from what a software development company needs. It is a great balancing act between the pressures of your internal customers, senior management expectations, the dumb guy that is computer (as I explained above) and your own staff members who are ready to quit and join a software company at the drop of a hat.

Developing software in the confines of the computer department is relatively easier part of the job. The real challenge comes in implementations when you want to make the software work in the heated environment of personal preferences, attitudes, interests and fears. The people issues of implementation are unique to internal development scenarios which software companies rarely experience. Making it work and sustaining continued error free operation is the challenge only in internal IT.

Creating a Strong Team by Using Individual Strengths

Following is quoted from my article Key Success Factors which described the key success factors behind a record that I created in a SEI Level 5 software company that I worked with – that of delivering all software projects on time to the utmost delight of the overseas customers. Using individual’s strengths in the team was one of the key success factors.

Quote

In a team, it is important that one member’s weakness is covered by someone else’s individual strengths in such a way that each one contributes through his strengths and the team as an entity is solid. A good team is one where everyone puts in his or her strength and covers others’ weaknesses – without any ego problems, without taking pride and without belittling others.

I am sure you will ask, “With this approach, you can never help people overcome their weaknesses”. On the contrary, a good manager uses the strengths of his team-mates while slowly working on their weaknesses – so that the weaknesses are overcome without making the team-mate too conscious of his or her deficiencies. A person normally does a good job when working on the job which he loves to do. Success is a big motivator and the motivation of a job well done gives him the energy to do the other jobs which he does not like to do, and thus helps him to overcome his shortcomings too in the course of time. A motivated person can certainly work over his weaknesses better than a person, who cannot even use his strengths, can. I believe that it is the manager’s job to see that the individual’s strength is used and he feels motivated.

I have seen some people who mainly look at the weaknesses and keep pointing out errors and personal deficiencies. Nagging a person for his weaknesses makes him very conscious of himself and he cannot even use his strength. Only a very strong person, who is truly self-motivated and strongly believes in himself, can continue to perform consistently in spite of continuous nagging by his superior.

Unquote

One very important key success factor which I practiced (but did not list in this article when I wrote it back in 2002) was “Effective Client Management”, or effectively managing client expectations. I now call it the policy of being “Polite but Firm”.

Managing Client Expectations

Most of the delays in projects are due to scope creep. Scope creep occurs because the project heads are not able to say “NO” to the client requests. The client does not know what impact it has on the project, but he is certainly interested in incorporating all the bright ideas which crop up after sign-off.

The key to success, in fact one of the most important one at that, was that I was able to say “no” very politely to the client and explain to him that I was saying “no” in the interest of the client and his project, not because I did not want to do it. And mind you, I still had excellent relations with the client.

Drawing a Balance between Customer Pressures and Employee Pressures

IT arena is fraught with acute shortage of skilled and trained staff. Particulalry for in-house IT, the developers may be the authors of the software developed or may have got trained on the products being used. When they leave, it takes time for a new recruit to take control of the code level details of applications which someone else has developed. With the IT job markets booming, the in house IT manager has the constant risk of losing trained persons to the software companies. He has to keep them constantly engaged and motivated to avoid the pressures of natural attrition.

On the other hand there is a constant pressure from the internal clients for continuous changes and for change responses at break neck speeds. Developers too get demoralized due to client pressures, when the client wishes, nay demands, that his requests be met instantly.

The IT manager has to draw a balance between the pressures of the internal client and the fear of loss of employees. The more the CIO lets the customer pressure pass on to his employees,  the more will be his pressure on attrition. I have seen CIOs committing aggressive dates to their internal customers either under pressure or to please them. And then they get jittery and put tremendous pressures on their staff to deliver on the promised dates as their own reputation is at stake. When the IT manager bends backwards to satisfy customer requests, he is bound to put pressure on his team to deliver on unrealistic timelines. This increases the risk of employee attrition due to undue pressures. The burnout has to happen sometime and the employee will call it quits. Then the CIOs panic and bend backwards to retain the employee when he or she puts in resignation or threatens to leave. This adds to the pressure of the CIO – leave alone the tremendous pressures he goes through if he has made unrealistic commitments to the customers.It has a snowballing effect which can break the CIO’s back. Whether it is the burnout of the IT staff or the CIO, in the long run who suffers the most? It is the company which loses out and the company’s IT plans which get jeopardized.

So in the long term interest of his company, it is best for the CIO to stand erect in front of both the customer and the employee and not bend backwards neither in front of the employees nor the customer. He should have a win win relation with both.

This requires that the IT Manager has good client management skills and that he does not succumb to pressure. He also needs to have the skills and the confidence in himself to be able to tell the customers realistic solutions and timelines. The CIO may thereby displease the customer, but will benefit the company and prevent the company’s IT plans from going haywire. If the IT Manager is too concerned with his own image and with earning brownie points, he may compromise on company’s interests. Not many companies understand this balancing that the CIO has to do for long term interest of the company.

Customer Satisfaction (CSat) Survey for ITs

(c) FreeFoto.com

While Customer Satisfaction (CSat) surveys can be good to improve services in most cases, in IT my experience is that it can be detrimental to the organization if the IT head is too much conscious of how his customers view him, or if he tries to please his customers in order to get good CSat surveys. The IT head often has to do things that are right for the organization even if it may displease his customers. I can cite real life situations in my experience which illustrate this.

We had a new business opening up at Canada and a department which was in India started operating out of Canada too. They were using one of my internally developed customized packages for a critical service delivery process in Indian operation. The same software was to be deployed in Canada. When we started implementing the system in Canada, the process head at Canada asked us for changes to be incorporated in the application.Instead of simply making the changes as requested by my users, my team has now learned to question why the change is required. According to us there was no need of a change in the process as the same process was in operation in India – only the persons owning it in India and Canada were different. We requested that a common Point of contact be appointed from among the department who could study the processes in operation in both India and Canada and suggest if there is really a change required. On detailed study it was found that there was no change required and the same system could be implemented in Canada too.

I may have displeased my internal customer initially by not complying to his request, but by having one version in India and Canada, I gave my company the following solid benefits:

  1. Saved time of developers and thus cost to company by avoiding the customization effort
  2. Saved time to deliver the product to Canada operations as customizations would have taken time to complete
  3. Ensured one less number of version of software to maintain – thus reducing the staff requirement in my department and saving cost to company

The above were primarily benefits for my department and indirect benefits to the company. What is more important is the following list of benefits which directly benefit the company:

  1. Ensured uniformity of procedures at both locations thus resulting in better processes, faster learning time, no relearning required on employees transferring from one location to other
  2. Ensured that the software did not become prone to errors as every change makes it vulnerable. Thus also minimized errors and chances of  interruptions to operations due to software breakdowns and bugs.
  3. Made it simple – the lesser the versions of processes, simpler the operations

A similar incidence came to light in another department when a process which was running in Chennai city office was replicated in Mumbai city. In this case too, my application which was used in Chennai was to be used in Mumbai process. And again there was a change request. In this case, there was somehow a slip and before my team manager could insist on a uniform process at both cities, someone lower down in his team had already created two different versions and given it to Mumbai. I came to know about it when I got a thank you mail and appreciation from my Mumbai internal customer! I may have made my client happy but did I do the right thing for the company?  And in Canada, I am sure my customer may not be as happy as my Mumbai customer, but I am sure I did what was right for the company. Remember, they are both my internal customers.

And if there is a CSat survey, my Mumbai customer will certainly give me the best ratings and the Canada one may not, but should I ignore the interest of my company for the sake of a few brownie points? I am dead clear I will not – even if it means I am the most hated person in the company.

;

How and why IT fails – My interview in CyberMedia India Online Magazine

(c) FreeFoto.com

Following is my interview published in CyberMedia India Online at http://www.ciol.com/EC/CIO-Speak/How-and-why-IT-fails/3308104134/0/

How and why IT fails

Monday, March 03, 2008

Prem Kamble, Vice President, Global Software Infrastructure, Sutherland Global Services, shares his experiences with Pratima Harigunani of CyberMedia News.
It was a candid speak and some bird’s eye view on the reasons, mistakes and mishaps that go behind failures of apparently promising IT deployments in an organization. For successful implementation of IT, a go-getter ready to experiment and take risks is a must, says Mr. Kamble.

What kind of IT initiatives falls in the failure bucket? Are they being talked about?

There are many failures that are not often talked about. Failures can be delays. In some cases, applications bought or developed but not used are failures. And no, they are not talked about. Most IT seminars discuss technology but rarely the people issues, which is the single most critical factor in success or failure of IT initiatives. The issue which I call the IT – Management divide is never discussed in seminars. We should have the courage to discuss this threadbare and not push it under the carpet.

Why do they fail?

The greatest pitfall in this otherwise fantastic technology is communication. There can be failures in communication of requirements: the business expert knows the process well but fails to communicate, or the person has incomplete knowledge, or the IT expert who listens interprets wrongly. Most often, the businessperson does not understand IT and the IT person does not know business.

How have you tackled such failures so far?

To minimize this big communication gap, pundits in this field have prescribed a method of not only documenting the requirements but also signing off. Because only if someone has to signoff the requirements is he really serious about it. Unfortunately this is not always practiced. The other very successful method I have often used is to find the right person and put him in charge of the implementation project. Since people and their attitude make a big difference in successful implementations.

Who should take the blame of a failure? The CIO or the users? Is it ever seen as a joint accountability?

Yes, it is a joint charge. Any computerization is a team effort between the IT and the end user. Either both succeed or both fail. But there is one more party, which plays a major role in the success or failure –the senior management, who has to look at it as a team effort and not as an IT initiative. IT institutions and event organizers like you are also partly to blame, for not discussing the real issues which are people issues.

So what is the right way of solving failure dilemmas?

The Communication pitfall should be taken care of. The user requirements should be shared and gathered properly to start with and signed by the user. Proper documentation and trials are important too. Most importantly, senior management’s involvement in the right degree makes a lot of difference. I say the “right degree” because sometimes, over-reacting to issues may make matters worse. The senior management has to be aware that most often, they are more of change management issues than technical issues.

As a CIO, what should one remember in tackling failure situations?

The role of CIO is not to do with only technology. One needs tact more than any other skill in handling the people issues. There are people, political and psychological problems to be combated. The CIO should sense a possible failure and act immediately. The trick is to find people who can endorse and espouse the IT initiative. You need people with enthusiasm and risk-appetite here. I have, in my experience, seen user department heads who were eager to have automation but too scared and not ready enough to experiment. I have in the past brought back projects from the brink of failure by hand picking from the user departments a person who was a go-getter, a risk-taker and courageous to try out, and putting him at the helm of implementation. Such people are instrumental in driving an IT change.

What is easier in implementing the right IT solution, is it being convinced by the right vendor or convincing your organization’s people?

There is nothing called a right IT Solution. The trick is in making it work for people because the best products can fail and not so good solutions can succeed – the difference is people.

(pratimah@cybermedia.co.in)

© CyberMedia News

del.icio.us Tags:IT Management,Software,Computers,Change Management,InfoTech,Information Technology,InfoTech Management

Finding the Best IT Professionals

publc-domain-photos.com
I was discussing with a friend who runs his own software company. He was keen to devise a test to be able to recruit the best candidates for software development. And who according to him were the best candidates? The ones who are extremely sharp, particularly the ones who can crack puzzles instantly, those who believe that they are intelligent and the best.

I personally do not emphasize on testing the skills of the candidates. I look more for an attitude of learning. In the field of information technology, there is so much to learn that you can never know all. So I rarely test the knowledge of the people I interview. Even for those already working with me, I do not expect instant solutions when I ask them a solution to a technical problem. I am okay if he says, “I do not know, but let me look up and see if there is a solution”. And he may have to look up manuals, user groups, web articles, etc. There are some who feel awkward to say “I do not know if there is a solution” and will instantly say that there is no solution. I am in fact happier if the guy says that he does not know of an instant solution but will need to research”. A person who is ready to research is a person who can look at alternative solutions and is not “fixed” to only one solution.

And that is another very important quality I look for in a software professional – HUMILITY. Humility to say “I do not know, but let me look up and learn”. For that is what is most important in IT – not to know the solution but to be able to dig, research and find a solution. The knowledge out there is so vast that you need to be a seeker and not a know-all. That is where the real sharp people who think that they are the best can be serious failures. They may not have the humility to think that they may not know, and the vast field of IT can completely floor their ego.

Those are the best IT professionals who have the humility to say, “I probably don’t know some part of it, let me explore and find out”. It is the attitude which matters not the skills and knowledge. He who gives the right solutions may not always be the one who knows the best solution, but the one who has the attitude to find the right solution.

%d bloggers like this: