Programming Skills Translate Well to Management.
I had the displeasure of nearly passing out with “Attending useless meeting syndrome” today. Though I did learn a few valuable things today while watching the meta of this meeting today. In particular I came to realize how applicable my skills as a programmer actually would translate pretty well as a manager. As a programmer I often have to deal with very complex systems composed of tiny individuated bits of code all trying to work together. I also understand the need for proper and efficient information and material transfer. To explain this, if I have a whole bunch of objects in my code that all need a unified piece of information, I try to make a centralized and standardized source for that information and tell everything to interface with that, rather than having each new object try to obtain that information from some other object in a long chain of information sharing. This prevents future problems when one of the objects in that chain need to be modified and someone decides it doesn’t need to hold that information any longer, well then the chain of information is broken proving that it was just a bad model to begin with. Also, then you have one physical location in memory with that information rather than multiple copies of the data in lots of memory sectors, it is just more efficient.
But now I’m getting into the nitty gritty. I know that people aren’t objects in computer code. They are far more quirky. But in some respects they have some of the same limitations, they are bad at multitasking, when coded properly they both utilize or have a limited amount of bandwidth, they both have functions that they carry out, they often shouldn’t need to know the specific details of every other worker/ object, in order to do their job. I could probably go on if I give it a bit more thought.
But you see, here is what I saw in my meeting today. There was no programmer. There was no flexible and knowledgeable leader who was working on nothing but optimizing the system. The meeting just ended up as a haphazard group of the objects all trying to sort out what each other did at the same time and no one looking from a higher up scope trying to figure out how to make the small changes to repair the data streams and make everyone’s job work better. There was also virtually no action items for anyone, least of all myself. There was no action items for me. So why was I in this meeting? It was highly disorganized, tried to generalize everyone’s specific problems and specific instances of problems, and just felt weird.
I kind of feel like each company should almost have their own scrum team dedicated to IRL programing done on the actual workflow to make tools to tweak things here and there to make them more modular, compartmented, and flexible. Lean manufacturing was a good start, but Programmers have been doing it better in their own field for years.