Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How to Manage Geeks

Happy geeks are effective geeks. The main reason IT people are unhappy at work is bad relations with management, often because geeks and managers have fundamentally different personalities, professional backgrounds and ambitions. Some people conclude that geeks hate managers and are impossible to lead. The expression “managing geeks is like herding cats” is sometimes used, but that’s just plain wrong. The fact is that IT people hate bad management and have even less tolerance for it than most other kinds of employees.

So where does it go wrong? Here are some top ways that managers can lead geeks effectively and respectfully.

Value training. If a boss thinks that training is a waste of money and expects you to teach yourself, you feel pretty de-motivated in any job. Training matters, especially in IT, and managers must realize that and budget for it. Sometimes you get the argument that “if I give them training a competitor will hire them away.” That may be true, but the alternative is to only have employees who are too unskilled to work anywhere else. Also, if you pay them well and have good benefits, they won't go somewhere else.

Give recognition. Since managers may not understand the work geeks do very well, it’s hard for them to recognize and reward a job well done, which hurts motivation. The solution is to work together to define a set of goals that both parties agree on. When these goals are met the geeks are doing a great job.Keep overtime down. Avoid taking the approach of wringing as much as possible out of IT employees just because you figure they don't lead a normal life. Wrong! That’s a huge mistake and overworked geeks burn out or simply quit. It's a complete myth that long work hours are good for business.

Avoid using management-speak. Geeks hate management-speak and see it as superficial and dishonest. Managers shouldn’t learn to speak tech, but they should drop the biz-buzzwords. A manager can say “We need to proactively impact our time-to-market” or simply use plain English and stick to “We gotta be on time with this project”. The latter makes total sense to everyone involved.

Don't try to be smarter than the geeks. When managers don’t know anything about a technical question, they should simply admit it. Geeks respect them for that, but not for pretending to know. And they will catch it - geeks are smart.

Act consistently. Geeks have an ingrained sense of fairness, probably related to the fact that in IT, structure and consistency is critical. The documentation can’t say one thing while the code does something else, and similarly, managers can’t say one thing and then do something else.

Don't make the mistake of ignoring the geeks. Because managers and geeks are different types of people, managers may end up leaving the geeks alone. This makes leading them difficult, and geeks need good leadership - the same as all other personnel groups.

Include them in decisions. Never make decisions without consulting geeks. Geeks usually know the technical side of the business better than the manager, so making a technical decision without consulting them is one of the biggest mistakes a leader can make.

Give them the tools needed. A fast computer may cost more money than an older one and it may not be corporate standard, but geeks use computers differently. A slow computer lowers productivity and is a daily annoyance. So is outdated software. Give them the tools they need.

Remember that geeks are creative workers. Programming is a creative process, not an industrial one. Geeks must constantly come up with solutions to new problems and rarely ever solve the same problem twice. Therefore they need leeway and flexibility. Strict dress codes and too much red tape kill all innovation. They also need creative surroundings to avoid “death by cubicle”.

Recognize the outcomes of not treating geeks with respect as outlined above. Happy geeks are productive geeks, and the most important factor is good management, tailored to their situation. Doing the opposite to what has been outlined in this article has serious consequences for your organization, including:

- Low motivation
- High employee turnover
- Increased absenteeism
- Lower productivity
- Lower quality
- Bad service

Advice

- Caveat: not all geeks are the same; geeks are wildly different people and this article does generalize dangerously. And this article is not saying that all IT-people are geeks. Some are, some aren’t.

- This advice would work well with most employees, not just geeks.

- The word 'geek' in this article is not used in a derogatory manner.

Friday, January 2, 2009

World stock markets open 2009 on high note

World stock markets opened 2009 on a high note, with Hong Kong's index up more than 4 percent, as investors shrugged off more dreary economic news to focus on government moves to ease the global slump.

With most investors away for the holidays and more than half of Asia's markets still closed, trading volumes were extremely light, which exaggerates price moves. Chinese telecom firms surged after Beijing approved next-generation mobile licenses, and commodity companies were lifted by stronger prices for raw materials. European benchmarks followed Asia higher in early trade.

But many analysts found little reason to be optimistic about the world economy as a whole. After one of the worst years ever for global equities, many expect more volatility in the first half as the effects of falling exports and higher capital costs start showing up on company balance sheets.
Read More Here

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Top 10 Dating Tips

  • Get prepared for dating. If you really want to succeed in the dating game, decide who you are looking for, do your research and be ready to commit to dating. Half heartedness won't work. Also prepare for some let downs along the way but don't take dating too seriously either.
  • Get your act together. Begin a regime of looking your best. Join a gym, read health magazines, get fit and start a diet. Get your hair cut or styled and begin a new regime of good grooming or beauty treatment. Though it will not find you a date in itself, you will feel a million times more confident about yourself.
  • Go shopping and treat yourself to new clothes and even a whole new look. Get your image right, one that you can manage and live with, but one that flatters you. Don't go overboard and look like someone you are not but maybe its time to throw out those tired jeans, old sweaters or cardigans and spruce yourself up. People appreciate appearance.
  • Have a good think about what your dating goals are and timescales. Do you see yourself married within 2 years? If you do then approach dating accordingly. If you are more laid back and don't take dating too seriously then ask yourself some honest questions about why you are dating and what you hope to achieve. If it is purely sex then ask yourself if you are about to be honest with those you hope to date.
  • Sort out your confidence levels in advance. By following the first four tips you will feel better and be more focused. Do all the things that will boost your confidence from avoiding negative friends (often the married ones) to attending the right kind of social functions. Couples at dinner parties in suburbia is not necessarily where you need to be right now.
  • Choose those you have a good chance of dating, don't aim low but do aim realistically. In other words, your dating is based on the whole package you present as well as just your personality. If you are looking for a glamour girl or boy and want to date someone trendy and gorgeous then good for you, but be prepared and be realistic about your chances.
  • Work out in advance where in your neighborhood you are likely to meet people and join clubs, societies, sports events, drama groups, anything where you are likely to meet potential partners. The kind of partners you are looking for. I know its a cliché but you will not meet people by staying indoors.
  • Take time off from dating occasionally if its not going well or causing dating fatigue. Dating is an ongoing process and so recharging the batteries and keeping the confidence and optimism levels high is an absolute must. So date in phases if necessary.
  • Enjoy dating for what it is, dating. It is meeting people and socializing and spending time in the company of stimulating individuals who may or may not bring you a sparkle. The fact is, most people are interesting and whilst you may not be out there looking for new friends, you may well find one or two fabulous people along the way.
  • Never ever make yourself too available. People like mystery and enigma and the thrill of the chase when dating. In keeping with this do not sleep with your dates early on if you want them to progress, so keep sex until later. The longer a person is made to chase and fall for you within reason, the more likely that love may blossom. Peak too early and you have little left to offer and emotions may never have had the time to develop.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

To all My Friends And Visitors

First I would like to take this moment to thank all my friends and visitors who have been visiting this blog. I would like to say I am sorry for the lack of posts and visits on my part. Between my business booming and I have been sick for the past few weeks. I have not had much chance to keep up with the blog. I hope this will change and I will be able to devote sometime each day. Thank you in advance for understanding. And I hope all my friends in the cyber world will continue to visit.

Have a Great Day...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pacquiao to Fight Again

Manny Pacquiao is giving away $550,000 worth of tickets for the “Dream Match” and 500 turkeys for Thanksgiving.

Yes, the Filipino superstar has admitted to philboxing.com that he has spent around $550,000 or roughly P27.5 million on tickets to be given away to his friends coming over to watch him fight Oscar dela Hoya on Dec. 6.

Pacquiao normally spends a fortune in fight tickets and even plane tickets given away to friends. Only this time, the amount has gone twice or thrice as much simply because the prices have gone up.

Tickets to previous Pacquiao fights were highest at $600 per ringside seat, but this time the same seat costs $1,500. The problem is they’re all gone, and the only way to get them is through the black market.
Read More Here

Monday, November 17, 2008

How to Understand Your Digital SLR

When they were first introduced, digital SLR cameras were enormously expensive and a tool for professionals only. Since then, they have come down in price into the consumer price range. Because of this, many people buy digital SLRs without understanding how they work -- and, consequently, not making the most of them. To find out how you can get the most from your camera through the most common functions that they have, and to show you how to learn to use one by experiment. The principles are the same for any camera; but you will probably not be able to set your shutter and aperture manually on most non-SLR cameras. Read More Here

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Early struggles of President-elect Obama

It’s all history now. Barack Obama Jr. becomes the 44th president of the USA.
* * *
But did you know the new US president was a “Cinderella man” who struggled against great odds from early boyhood before he reached the peak of his career?
Barack came from a broken family. He was only two years old when his parents Barack Hussein Obama Sr. from Kenya, and mother Ann Dunham, a white American from Kansas, separated and later divorced.
* * *
He saw his father only once after the divorce and before he died in a car accident in 1982 at age 46.
His mother got married to Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian. When his mother moved to Indonesia, Barack went along and for four years studied in grade school there: two years in a Muslim school and two in a Catholic school.
Ann Dunham, his mother, decided to send him back to Hawaii to be raised by his maternal grandparents.
* * *
His mother’s marriage to Soetoro didn’t last long although they sired a girl name Maya. It ended in divorce and shortly afterwards Lolo died in 1987 of complications from a liver ailment because as Todd Pordum wrote in his article “The Making of Obama” in the June 2008 “Reader’s Digest,” “he became more and more like a Westerner” whose “big thing were Johnny Walker Black and Andy Williams records.”
* * *
Looking back, Barack Jr. said that while his “mother was the most positive influence in my life,” the men in his life were a disappointment. “They made an awful lot of mistakes,” he once said. Barack admitted to using alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine during his teenage years.
* * *
Later, however, as he decided to make something of his life, he gave up those counter productive traits and focus on his studies and career as a lawyer and eventually as a politician.
* * *
So it was an uphill climb for the young Barack from the very beginning. Another blow struck when his mother died of ovarian cancer in 1995 three years after she saw him marry Michelle Robinson, a lawyer. This left him a complete orphan.
* * *
What we can learn from Barack Obama Jr. now President-elect of the USA was his relentless determination to pursue his goal but to do that he resisted to wallow in self-pity over his broken family and bitter past. Above all, he had to get rid of his negative traits and destructive use of alcohol and drugs.
* * *
This required a lot of self-discipline. As one writer put it, “If you don’t have discipline, you don’t even deserve to dream.” For instance, if you aspire for a high position, say, in politics, but persist in being a gambler, drinker, womanizer, don’t ever bother to dream because your negative lifestyle will drag you down to the sea like a millstone tied around your neck.
I guess this is what the Lord meant when He said: “Unless you reform, you will come to perdition.”
* * *
TODAY’S HUMOR. CLASSMATES? Have you been guilty of looking at others your own age and thinking, “Surely I can’t look that old”?
I was sitting in the waiting room for my first appointment with a new dentist. I noticed his DDS diploma, which bore his full name.
* * *
Suddenly, I remembered a tall, handsome, dark-haired boy with the same name had been in my high school class some 40-odd years ago. Could he be the same guy that I had a secret crush on, way back then?
* * *
Upon seeing him, however, I quickly discarded any such thought. This balding, gray-haired man with the deeply lined face was way too old to have been my classmate. Hmmm ... or could he?
After he examined my teeth, I asked him if he had attended Ilocos Norte High School. “Yes, yes, I did. I was in the A Section,” he gleamed with pride.
* * *
“When did you graduate?” I asked. He answered, “In 1963. Why do you ask?” “You were in my class!” I exclaimed. He looked at me closely and asked, “Were you one of our teachers?”
* * *
GOD BLESS--the following latest donors to our poor seminarians scholarship program: Ms. Josephine Olano, West Covina, USA; Florencia Myers; Rodolfo Sudaria, San Jose, CA; Rebecca O. Aluyen, CA; Ed Matias, Arizona, USA; Anonymous.

Story from http://www.philippinenews.com