Where is going software development maturity?

August 4, 2011

In a domain where many keep their kid heart, what can we say about the industry maturity? Even if software development is a young discipline, we have seen a lot of practice changes and improvements in the last 10 years. One of the big steps in my opinion is that we now acknowledged that change is part of our daily job. It has made the industry search for better managing and processing ways. Other discipline paradigms have been observed, duplicated and adapted to our context. That has made our body of knowledge growth and new ways of doing things emerge.

I personally think that we are a people business, our industry require motivated people willing to work as a team to get results. That’s the reason why it’s more and more important to consider the human aspects more than the technical aspects. It’s also a society tendency: people desire more human jobs. Team that will succeed will be those who understand that fact and act in this way by caring about employee, team synergy and ensuring it’s an applied value by everyone.

What are the software development hot topics?

Agile Architecture - conference resume

Agile Architecture - conference resume

What I liked about that conference is that it presented a good summary of the hole DevTeach event, by presenting a little of every main concerns and ideas raised in the other conferences. You can follow Mario on his talk show (French).

In your opinion, what are the other emerging concerns and ideas in software engineering?

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Raise your employee retention and motivation NOW

June 23, 2011

Employee retention and motivation is one of the biggest challenges of the industry at the moment. I have worked in the recognition industry for 2 years and got my CRP certification. Recognition is one of my passions and I strongly believe that this is the way to achieve innovative projects in a successful way with the current generation’s mentality. More and more people start their own company or go free lance because their employers weren’t able to give them what they need.

I consider that there are 3 pillars to be happy in your job:

  • Remuneration: Base salary, holidays, incentive bonus, sick days, …
  • Environment: Relation with your boss and colleagues, ambiance, …
  • Opportunities: Chance to learn and grow, challenges, career, …

Today, we no more heard “Your boss hires you” but “You hire your boss”. Good managers need to recognize properly their employees. A work needs to be a winning situation for everyone in the equation and today’s generation strive for a more human way of working which is why we see more and more company willing to accommodate employees. Working from home, flexible schedules and milestone celebration become more and more common in many industries.

How do you motivate your employees the right way?

As we do with many things in live when we want to succeed, we need a plan. Here my summary of what are the main elements of a good recognition strategy. This is influenced by the CRP certification I did in April 2011 given by the RPI.

Recognition Strategy

Recognition Strategy

Questions:

  • What element of this strategy is the most relevant?
  • In the last week, did you recognize someone? If yes, how?

How GREAT companies recognize their employees?

March 11, 2011

Here’s an interesting article about Motivation best practices that I read and resumed. I thought it would be nice to share it and try to start a discussion to get your opinion.

How can we start to motivate employees?

  • Use communication, transparence and trust
    • It requires self-awareness and get over industry paradigms
  • Focus on employee engagement, interactions and happiness
  • See engagement as an investment instead of an expense
  • Focus on the company culture in the hiring process
  • Let employees drive company culture and regularly review it
  • Reach innovation and creativity through open roles and responsibilities over control and rigid processes
  • Implicate and invite employees in decisions
  • Bring value and quality to the clients over short term gains

What do you think?

  • What would be the impacts of allocating more time and resource to continuous improvement and employee’s implication?
    • Example: Google allocate one day a week (20%) of employee’s time to innovation and it’s clearly integrated to their culture and products.
  • What are the chances that self-management employees do their best for the company success versus do minimal work when not supervised?
    • Hard one since every individual is unique, although people with the same culture and values tend to act the same way.
    • Individual objectives recognition and engagement surely influence that behaviour.

In the article, I disagree with one company idea that HR department is not required. I think it’s important to have people dedicated to improve company’s best practices, cultures and employee engagement. Without time and resources allocated, these company’s attribute won’t improve alone. Although I like the idea of all employees being able to provide their input on these subjects or anything related to the company.

These best practices also align with software development agile processes: agile manifesto