March 30th, 2009
The advertisers are always onto new things. As I was following the score of the cricket game between India and New Zealand, I observe this story about “Robert Paulson” – a she man who got rich on $10,000 govt grant. Since some of you may be a little bit confused about why do I refer to this rich guy as a she man, I will clarify my position with a thousand words:
March 26th, 2009
The guy who showed up for an interview today was one hell of a talker. Very smart guy, the kind of guy who can prove the Pythagoras theorem in his head. (Do you know how to do that? Its not that difficult on paper, but not so easy in the head). Seems like he could build a program to track all broken off satellite pieces and their future coordinates in about 3 days. He certainly said so.
Still, we did not have a “go get this guy” approach. I have noticed that I have had some hesitation in hiring new developers recently, even though there is significant amount of work (and funding) in my division. This has led to some very good candidates having been rejected recently (Sorry guys!). The reason is simply that I have been too busy to take on new recruits. The last few weeks, I have put in about 28 hrs / week on my first job where I had estimated that it would be spending 40% of my time. (That simply translates to about regular 70 hrs/week, which seems to be about 25% above my average – on average ).
Currently, I have 9 direct reports (two of whom are also project lead reports), and I think that is a bit too many. My past attempts at creating a hierarchy below me have not worked as well as I had hoped.
One thing that has helped me a bit has been BizMerlin – a business management software that has a timesheet module. The nice thing about it is that it sends me a daily report from each developer in a nice format and with an attachment/snapshot of their output. Also has nice plugins for links to Jira, which has helped as well. This allows me to review things faster and give feedback, many times right from my email box. For example, if a developer created a page that looks significantly different from the spec (and sometimes our spec doesn’t have a snapshot – hard to believe, but true!), then I can respond right from the email saving me going into Jira/dev site.