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Are You Easy To Work With? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, November 23, 2011 7:16 AM
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WolforthJ (11/23/2011)
Whenever I hear "perfect is the enemy of good" is usually means, "I like my idea and I don't understand your idea, so do it my way". I have been told "stored procedures are too hard to work with, I like to see the SQL right there in my code". I have been easy to work with and accept it when someone says "we'll deal with that obvious problem later", then later comes and they did nothing and I'm the one who has to deal with the consequences. If I point that out, I'm told I complain too much.

Computers expect logic, if you don't start with that, you're going to have a difficult time working with them. Obviously it's good to be nice and consider the business issues, but when they took off their "engineer" hats and put on their "manager" hats at NASA, we lost a space shuttle. I'm being dramatic, but it is the same, just a difference of scale, when businesses are short sighted and tell you to cut your estimate in half and just get it done with no understanding of the long term cost of that decision.


I totally get where you are coming from.
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Posted Wednesday, November 23, 2011 7:36 AM


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laura davis (11/23/2011)
When we are hiring, I look for someone with good hygiene, who will show up & actually get the job done, and that I want around 40 hrs/wk.

Well, now that's just being picky...


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Post #1211018
Posted Wednesday, November 23, 2011 8:06 AM
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Any relationship requires give and take. I like to work with people who communicate and seek to jump the hurdles to success on the project. I prefer managers who request the project, including any specific known requiements and then let us get the job done. We will provide status and results. If a team member is not working up to capacity, peer pressure will motivate them.
Post #1211049
Posted Wednesday, November 23, 2011 8:40 AM


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I agree with the quote "perfect is the enemy of good", and I'll be the first to compromise.

Here is the problem: Ask 100 people to define their idea of a "Perfect" something (user interface, president, pizza, anything) and you'll get 100 different answers. Perfect is a subjective concept that is artificially made objective only within the context of a set of documented requirements, which ideally the group has collectively and intelligently settled on.
However, we typically don't start out with anything close to Perfect information, and external circumstances or new information make the stated goals of the requirements no longer optimal, functional, or useful. At that point the team would ideally change the requirements and thus change the definition of Perfect. If not, then Perfect is the enemy of good.




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Post #1211090
Posted Wednesday, November 23, 2011 8:48 AM
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Hmmm.................
I think I'm generally easy to work with barring a few notable exceptions.
When I'm instructed to massage data in order to influence others or change business plans, that violates my sense of ethics. I'm pretty intractable about ethics.
When a person screws up, and we all do at one time or another, but refuses to take responsibility or even lies about it, I'm pretty hard to work with. I don't respond well to that kind of thing.
When other DBA's, IT personnel, or contractors make unilateral changes to database structure without consulting even one person, I get annoyed. I'm down right hard to work with if the changes break my reports and tools. Just happened yesterday, if you're wondering. A DBA added a column in the middle of the existing columns in a critical table. No kidding.
Other than that I'm exacting, but generally easy to work with.
Post #1211102
Posted Wednesday, November 23, 2011 9:14 AM


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JP Dakota (11/23/2011)
Just happened yesterday, if you're wondering. A DBA added a column in the middle of the existing columns in a critical table. No kidding.
Generally I agree with your points, however, although I'm not a fan of unilateral changes adding a column in with other columns doesn't seem like such a crime since good coding practices will generally not cause a failure because of this new field..

So is it the addition that aggravates you or that it broke something?

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Posted Wednesday, November 23, 2011 9:27 AM


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JP Dakota (11/23/2011)
Just happened yesterday, if you're wondering. A DBA added a column in the middle of the existing columns in a critical table. No kidding.
Other than that I'm exacting, but generally easy to work with.


Was it me? There's a reason I consider SELECT * to be the enemy and as long as our sourcing tool reflects the changes you should have been good to go. I'm sure as heck not going to report to the entire team every time I make a minor schema change, like including a new column.

EDIT: Heh, guess I'm not easy to work with!



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Posted Wednesday, November 23, 2011 9:37 AM


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peter.row (11/23/2011)
However what you said is totally one sided. You seem to be saying that the business people can get away without explaining to you or helping you understand what they want (even when you ask) and that it should be acceptable that they have no responsibility to aid the project you just have to lump it and accept their complaints.


I would disagree with that being what was said here, at least by Andy. I brought the business as a primary point into the discussion, Andy was mostly about the tech side of the team. A good portion of that is because I try to keep the business in the team, to avoid that exact scenario.

Most of the time in my experience when you have scenarios like that it's because IT has become the black box. When the team does the equivalent of locking the door to the cubes and finds that a meeting with the business people the equivalent of an hour of water torture, it comes across and they can't be bothered either, they're busy too. Get and keep them involved, and you'd be amazed at how rarely that occurs.

You have to have buy in on that from the general atmosphere of the company, but it does work well.



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Post #1211160
Posted Wednesday, November 23, 2011 10:16 AM
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When the team does the equivalent of locking the door to the cubes and finds that a meeting with the business people the equivalent of an hour of water torture, it comes across and they can't be bothered either, they're busy too. Get and keep them involved, and you'd be amazed at how rarely that occurs.

I find the common perception is that IT causes this, as noted here with your "lock the cubes" analogy. Certainly the classic half-door gateway to the old mainframe shop is a symbol of that. In my experience of being hard to work with, I have found that if I ask the business to be involved it is perceived as if I am asking them to do work for me or making excuses for not just coming up with the solution. Ask them to participate in testing, that sounds like I should have tested better, ask them for more detailed definition, I should know those answers, ask them to consider the financial consequences of asking for more bandwidth, forget about it.

Post #1211195
Posted Wednesday, November 23, 2011 10:28 AM


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WolforthJ (11/23/2011)
When the team does the equivalent of locking the door to the cubes and finds that a meeting with the business people the equivalent of an hour of water torture, it comes across and they can't be bothered either, they're busy too. Get and keep them involved, and you'd be amazed at how rarely that occurs.

......In my experience of being hard to work with, I have found that if I ask the business to be involved it is perceived as if I am asking them to do work for me or making excuses for not just coming up with the solution. Ask them to participate in testing, that sounds like I should have tested better, ask them for more detailed definition, I should know those answers, ask them to consider the financial consequences of asking for more bandwidth, forget about it....

Really? That has never been my experience.

At the beginning of any project, I approach the stakeholders and warn them I'll be regularly trying to pick their brains so I can properly understand their needs. Without exception, they've been gratified at being both consulted and involved, even if it costs them extra effort. This point is driven further home by the number of these stakeholders who then come back to me again after the project is finished and present me with a new challenge. I make sure they're involved, they then view me as a problem solver and seek me out again. It's a clear, strong, demonstrable and measurable link.


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