Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My mistakes

I had an eye-opener meeting with my skip level manager - meeting where I was told my rating in the company - I was rated an average performer in my team. I was stumped. I had been working day and night (literally) for over 10 months and I had thought I was doing great. What I was told was that it was not what I had done but how I had done it that was not impressive. I had met all my commitments (which were a more than a lot of folks in the team), but I had missed on some important points while doing that.
I had a lot of food for thought. I was first angry and thought that the system. I thought was quitting. As sanity came back to me, a new though process started taking shape and I started thinking of everything I had done and how I could have done them differently. I realized a few things I should have taken care


It is very important to have a continuous flow of communicating up. Especially when you are working on something that is not very apparent. Managers hate not knowing(atleast mine does). And they often think that if you are not communicating, there is no progress. They often get asked questions by their peers and their seniors, they love it when they have the information handy.


Rather a very, common sensical realization. As they say, common sense is fairly uncommon. Sometimes in the heat of things(excitement of what you are working on), you tend to revisit the priorities of the various work items in your plate from the teams perspective. I realized that it is even okay to give a back seat to some of your feature work, when there is something that is deemed more important for the team in your hands. Its important to revist these and keep your managers posted of these in your weekly meetings/ status email.


This is especially true if you are working on a very complex problem. Managers feel better if you keep showing small progress and delivering some work incrementally instead of going into your own Silo. We often think that I need to atleast do Y before I can share but if you have done X share the X and the manager will be happy to see some progress atleast. This kindof ties back to the first point of communication.

Showcasing my work

Nobody knows what you have done/achieved as well as you. Make it a point to sell it at every point. After all Shakespeare said every man is an actor...! I did a very poor job at this compared to some of my team mates. I have realised that if want to get rid of the 'average' tag, I have to start behaving and talking like a winner.

It was good to sit down and analyze my mistakes. Make a note of them and in the future make a concious effort not to repeat them. This would require discipline and awareness. I feel better and more in control of my future and my career after doing this exercize.

I hope others don't make my mistakes and learn from my recap of them. Best of luck to everyone in the business of testing.