Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Seeking the just good enough?

I recently read through issue 3 of PragPub and found the article Clone Yourself (http://www.pragprog.com/magazines) – the focus was suppose to be on (I think) building a better career through following the pattern of perfect process…one section deals with the idea of not getting the best person for the position, but a person that’s just good enough given that you have the right processes in place to ensure their success (if the process is good the person can be mediocre). I’m not sure if there has been any subjective research on this matter – but I would have a difficult time agreeing to it. The author references some past experience where they got the best and they didn’t work out, I would say that perhaps the definition of best was incorrect, what do I define as the best person for a job?:
  • someone who is enthused about what they are doing (gotta love the job)
  • willing to do what it takes to get the job done
  • great communicator
  • team player, but not a compromiser
  • independent worker
  • intellectual capacity for the job (knows and/or ability to learn)

Some traits I would think disqualifies a person for a job:
  • inability to work with others – at any level
  • very narrow skill focus – unless the skill is so narrow that it requires such a narrow focus
  • to many preconceived, unshakable, predefined concepts
Overall, the idea that a person is only needed to follow a set of processes leads me to think that the job is probably not a real development position where something new is being developed, but where the job is no more involved than a data entry position from the 1970’s. No matter how hard PMI or Agile Alliance or any other group tries to define a set of steps to ensure success of a building process, they have not yet succeeded and as far as my theoretical thinking can take me, can never succeed since they would have to finitely define every potential step for every development effort that has or WILL take place…even Madame Marie on the Asbury boardwalk cannot make that assertion.

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