RAMAKRISHNA REDDY — CONFESSIONS OF A SOFTWARE TECHIE — 2017
This practical handbook for techies is full of common sense remarks and notes and we have to keep in mind that common sense is the basic quality of anyone in any kind of any job. Common sense requires, first of all, a good knowledge of the situation you are in, the company you work for, the people you work for and with, the objectives of the company and the people you work for and with. If you do not understand these things, you better retire straight away. If you understand these things then you just apply simple common sense logic to the situation you are in and wonder what your objective can be, what people expect from you, what you are able to deliver and do, what can valorize you in your own eyes and in the eyes of people around you, you work with or for.
The central concept is added value. What value are you able to add to what comes to you for you to transform it into some effective and usable item. If what you do does not add any value to what you handle, you are useless and you will eventually be replaced by a machine. In modern times when machines are becoming intelligent and are becoming ever abler to do every day more intelligent and smart things, you have to wonder how you can out-perform these intelligent machines. That’s what this book is all about.
Take emails. You can always have an automaton, a robot that can send robotized automatized answers to most emails that come in. Obviously, some cannot be answered by bots, robots and other AI machines. These have to be sorted out. A machine can sort them out as being the emails that machines cannot answer. We are talking about intelligent machines. Then the book is interesting about the advice it provides on how to write a good email, and god knows how many emails are bad that end up in my mailbox. There are a few good ones and unluckily most of these good ones are produced by bots, robots and AI machines. It is amazing how few human beings are able to write a good email, starting with the subject that means nothing and ending with the greetings that are just off the point and ineffective as for establishing a decent relationship.
If you keep in mind this simple idea you will understand that you must treat other people just the same way as you would like them to treat you. If you are a clear-minded person who cannot spend hours every day reading ranting and raving emails or papers you expect people to send you email or papers or memos that are laid out in the most visible way possible, in the clearest hierarchical progression possible, etc. You want to see the main points straight away and in their proper order of importance. You expect bullet points or numbers in proper order of importance. So do the same in your turn.
You expect no frill no thrill no drill communication, keeping the frills, the thrills, and the drills for later tonight at the bar or in front of the TV and whatever comes afterward because working has to be intensive and to the point all the time. True enough a side-remark with humor can be fun now and then but not to the point of disturbing the minds of other people and the work of everyone. You may like gross or sexy humor, but everyone does not and you have to accept that the person you make a sexy remark to has to be ready to accept it and you must be ready to accept his or her retort at the same level, with the same tone. If you tell a student in class that — for any justified reason whatsoever — you are going to spank him one day, first you must be sure he (that’s what you can say to a male student, not to a female student) is able to accept the humor and you must be ready to get his retort like “Promises, always promises, Sir!” which might be quite embarrassing in a classroom or an amphitheater.
It is the same thing at work. It takes two consenting people to have a snowball fight or to exchange humorous remarks. If the two people are not at the same level of understanding and acceptation one is necessarily harassing the other. That’s common sense again. And that is essential in the workplace. Everyone at any level has to be respected, that means that everything you do to anyone, you must be ready to accept the same thing coming from them. If the bullies who harassed women or men were actually ready to be bullied by them there would have been no harassment because a man who treats a woman or a man or a boy or a girl as a sex object is definitely not ready to be treated as a sex object by the women, the men, the boys, or the girls he has treated like that for years. And it works just the same for women because there are quite a few female sexual bullies in the workplace or in society.
So you cannot appreciate this book if you are not in that mood, in that state of mind. But if you are I guess you will find all the notes and remarks just plain sensible and obvious because you would probably have already encountered them and devised them in a way or another.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU