Saturday, March 24, 2007

The compulsions of IT people

Those working in IT Industry are often forced to face certain compulsions, because of which they end up saying/acting/doing things which they otherwise wouldn’t have done.

Everyone in the industry, from trainees to senior management are bound by these compulsions which often makes them to speak sweet things they do not mean. Those who hear these statements will also have a fair estimate of percentage of truth but there’s nothing much anyone can do about all these.

This post is an analysis of such compulsions. Read On.

Disclaimer: This post is drafted on majority opinions and on popular notions prevailing in the industry. It may not be true in all the cases and it not targeted at any individual/organization and resemblance if any is purely coincidental

The developer/SE/Team Member:
Towards Management: He/She needs to keep impressing the management that he is putting maximum efforts, dedicated to work, deserves all the opportunities
(Lest the management will think he doesn’t deserve any benefits)

Towards external friends: He needs to create an impression that he is not at all working and making merry at company’s expense
(Lest they will think this person doesn’t know how to enjoy life and is working like a donkey)

Towards family: He needs to keep telling them that he is going to office on time, coming back on time, taking enough rest and sleep…
(Back home they’re genuinely concerned about his health and wellbeing)

To Peers: He needs to keep conveying that he doesn’t know anything, he can’t do anything, he has no hopes of promotion or other opportunities
(Lest they’ll envy him…It’s a dirty rat race)

Towards society
There’s a compulsion to maintain status symbol. Just a roadside eatery would have served the purpose during college days but now he needs to go to a nice restaurant only. Rs.50 would have been his entire day’s food expenditure earlier but now that amount is spent just on starter. If he doesn’t buy a car, doesn’t go abroad within few years his relatives will suspect something is seriously wrong with him.

People at onsite:
Towards their peers at offshore: Life here is very hectic…too much of work…no time for anything…(To avoid their peers thinking that he is making merry at onsite while they are working hard at offshore and to give them condolence that they are lucky they were not asked to come onsite)

Towards Clients: They need to fake an experience and try to show off they are the most experienced hands on board on the given technology/product.

The Manager:
Towards his subordinate: He has to keep everyone happy and keep giving them impression that they’re doing great work (core of the heart he knows they’re good for nothing) and keep assuring them that he is doing everything possible to send them onsite or give other opportunities and benefits

Towards customers: He needs to tell them he has got the best of the talents in the globe to do the work and can do any given task in record time and least cost

Towards senior management: He needs to keep telling them about the cost cutting strategies he implemented, the attrition he has curbed, the business benefits he has leveraged and the value his team has generated…

Other people in the industry also face similar compulsions, not details here though
In all the above cases, the real truth lies as a compromise somewhere. Let me give some illustrations:

An employee can never tell: “I was busy on meebo, orkutting and mail forwarding since morning so couldn’t start the task you assigned” He instead tells: “Work is in progress, some great bugs came up which I resolved successfully and the task will be completed anytime soon”

If a manager tells: “Don’t think of an onsite opportunity for next 2 years” employee will start thinking of new company to work for altogether. So manager often ends up telling: “There’re many projects coming up and you’ll soon be sent abroad…just keep the good work going”

If a pre sales executive tells the client: “This project will surely take twice the time we’ve quoted in proposal and you’ll end up spending 3 times your allocated budget on this” the client will get scared and you’ll never get the business. So the tactic used is to give nice presentation and get the deal giving false hopes, and then justify the delay somehow

A small amount of exaggeration is generally permitted but the situation in industry is such that it’s difficult to survive if you’re honest and straight forward.

Do you agree with me? Leave a comment...

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