Sunday, August 28, 2011

It is not about working software anymore!

Undoubtedly,  Agile Manifesto brings in a tremendous change in our mind set towards software development. It is very easy to understand that -
"Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation 
Responding to change over following a plan 
                    That is, while there is value in the items on 
                    the right, we value the items on the left more.
However, this was a thought in early 2000. Today, it is not about working software anymore - it is all about customer delight. We have multiple experiences where we developed applications that does the job perfectly but failed miserably to bring customer satisfaction or delight.
So, is it time now to update the Agile Manifesto? Rather than focusing on working software we need to focus on customer delight. After all Agile needs to be Agile as well!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mr Jobs' Attention to Details

One thing that makes successful CEO and (probably) successful organization different from their other counterparts is the attention to details. Though I don't belong to the perfectionist category , & I don't want to be, but lot people with whom I work at times becomes unhappy due to the fact that I put lot of emphasis on making our delivery naturally attractive. I believe this come from attention to details. Here is one great story from Vic Gundotra — the man behind Google +,on one of the great person of our time - Steve Jobs. Here is how it goes -
One Sunday morning, January 6th, 2008 I was attending religious services when my cell phone vibrated. As discreetly as possible, I checked the phone and noticed that my phone said "Caller ID unknown". I choose to ignore.  After services, as I was walking to my car with my family, I checked my cell phone messages. The message left was from Steve Jobs. "Vic, can you call me at home? I have something urgent to discuss" it said. Before I even reached my car, I called Steve Jobs back. I was responsible for all mobile applications at Google, and in that role, had regular dealings with Steve. It was one of the perks of the job.
"Hey Steve - this is Vic", I said. "I'm sorry I didn't answer your call earlier. I was in religious services, and the caller ID said unknown, so I didn't pick up".
Steve laughed. He said, "Vic, unless the Caller ID said 'GOD', you should never pick up during services".
I laughed nervously. After all, while it was customary for Steve to call during the week upset about something, it was unusual for him to call me on Sunday and ask me to call his home. I wondered what was so important?
"So Vic, we have an urgent issue, one that I need addressed right away. I've already assigned someone from my team to help you, and I hope you can fix this tomorrow" said Steve.
I've been looking at the Google logo on the iPhone and I'm not happy with the icon. The second O in Google doesn't have the right yellow gradient. It's just wrong and I'm going to have Greg fix it tomorrow. Is that okay with you?"
Of course this was okay with me. A few minutes later on that Sunday I received an email from Steve with the subject "Icon Ambulance". The email directed me to work with Greg Christie to fix the icon.
Greatness brings greatness! And in business that brings customer delight. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How Software Companies Die - by Orson Scott Card

Got this accidentally & thought of sharing with you - interesting read!

The environment that nurtures creative programmers kills management and marketing types - and vice versa. Programming is the Great Game. It consumes you, body and soul. When you're caught up in it, nothing else matters. When you emerge into daylight, you might well discover that you're a hundred pounds overweight, your underwear is older than the average first grader, and judging from the number of pizza boxes lying around, it must be spring already. But you don't care, because your program runs, and the code is fast and clever and tight. You won.
You're aware that some people think you're a nerd. So what? They're not players. They've never jousted with Windows or gone hand to hand with DOS. To them C++ is a decent grade, almost a B - not a language. They barely exist. Like soldiers or artists, you don't care about the opinions of civilians. You're building something intricate and fine. They'll never understand it.  Continue reading ...