I'm still learning

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Prelude

Ok, first of all: I know, I have already used the yoda picture below in the past, but even if I am not at all a fan of the Star Wars saga, I like it. ATTENTION! This is a deeply desperate post: don’t judge me, I’m sad, I’m alone, it’s raining, I don’t feel to have any perspective but there’s a positive thing: I’m still learning. So… let’s divide the complaints by sectors.

To companies

In the last year I learnt a lot about processes. I understood that the processes are those things that make things work and, because of that, they should be appreciated. I learnt to appreciate them. But, in the end, I also learnt they make things complicated, and therefore things stop working. What a shame. Why do companies not change the processes that actually do not work?! I don’t know, but I think because it’s impossible - or near-to. I understood that processes are like the foundations of a house: if they are badly built at the beginning, you can not change them and sooner or later the house collapses. What does it mean badly built? Why should you build bad foundations, I mean, you - Father of The Company [oooo, acclamations, claps] - why did you create such a mess? There’s not an answer to this question, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a founding fathers fault if your company is bad organized. I guess the causes are related (at least) to two things: the will and the employees.

About will

The mission should be grow as a group, not as a company: the growth of The Company should be a consequence, not the triggering cause. I heard a lot of slogan in the past screaming sentences to inspire employees, to make feel them part of this freaking-awesome-community that is The Company they are working for, bla bla bla. Stop. If the employees have to be inspired by the company, those employees - let me say - are (kind of) losing the flame. At the same time, if the company is made of employees that have to be inspired, I think there is something wrong in the company. From my perspective, there are three possible scenario: the emplooyes are not the right people for the company, the company has not the right principles in its playbooks, or both of them and destiny did the rest. I think that each employee should continue working on himself, no matter if it is spurred or not by his working place. It’s not a matter of inspiring, creating, or telling stories: it’s a matter of doing things. If people want to do a good job, they simply do it. If they don’t want, there’s a reason and if the company don’t know the reason, there’s a problem. So, I think a company should work on will, mainly because finding the will in a large group of employees it could be very challenging, especially because people evolve. And that’s why the source of company problems is often searched in the employees approach.

About employees

Employees become older, they lose passion, will, they change priorities, grow, build their career and in the end they start delegating. I mean, even the first chiefs, in the end, stopped doing and started delegating. The point is that when you start delegating, things change and go better or worst: in this second case, it’s not because people are wrong - not always, I guess. It’s more about the change itself, the passage of informations means losing part of them. This is part of evolution and re-intepretation, but wait: core decisions has to be taken from the part of the employees that haven’t lose passion and are still interested in the company and - still - able to cope with temporal technological evolution. I’m start thinking that the driver is too much times simply money - not “we don’t have money” or “how much money do we earn from doing this?” - but simply “money” or a symbol, like $. But, ehi! It’s a company, not a church, dudes! The goals is money, it’s an institution, a inviolable principle. Sounds right, it’s not a church: maybe I’m a dreamer, but I still think that making decisions thinking about money - it’s a matter of time - bring you to ruin. This decisions let companies outsourcing, insourcing, cloudsourcing, resourcing, people, software and hardware: the result is that nobody is able to deal with a world that is changing to fast to let employees be consistently and knowingly involved in what they are doing. There is always someone who knows more than someone else, on this, on the other, who is more suitable than someone else. This state of confusion leads to the fear of hiring people who are not expert in something, that are not able to solve company’s actual problem: that problem arised yesterday, come out months before, without nobody looking in the right direction. Again, maybe I am a dreamer, but I think it’s more interesting having someone able to learn how to solve problem, interested in learning why the problem arised, and passioned - still - enough to learn from to the one (or ones) that eventually has solved it. Someone with the passion of learning something, the will of change himself, that someone expert in solving specific (or all kinf of) problems. But (there’s always some but in complaints) I think this is more related to another aspect of the companies, which basically concerns the recruiters.

To recruiters

Ok, recruiters, you could be or not part of The company, but you are of course part of A company, I guess. Listen to me: it’s not a matter of what a candidate can do, what he has done or he’s actually doing: it’s definitely so much more a matter of what a candidate can learn, how much a candidate can understand while he’s learning and if he’s passionate enough to still do it over and over again. I don’t have skills in any of the things I have done, because I did them. I forgot them. It’s natural. Even my professor of Maths was not able to resolve the problems - at least, not so fast as its students - that he proposed to us after so many years of teaching. He has an incredible background, plenty of logics, theorems, foundamentals, etc. But he’s not a machine: people forget things. The point is: how much fast are you in re-learning something? This what you should looking for: evaluate people to hire - but also, and mostly (I guess) already in the company - to find out if they are still interested in learning, in what they do for the company, and eventually why, if they are not anymore. Again, maybe I am a dreamer, but I think that nobody can work - more in general - doing somethings, for an entire life, without looking for a satisfaction. It’s literally impossible: this should be the role of the people inside the company that do things for the internals - chiefs, HR, leaders, doesn’t matter who. That’s the point! People - me even - usually sit on sentences like “I don’t have time”, “I don’t want to sacrifice whatever”. I read a nice aphorism about this in the past:

The difference between having no time for something and having it’s called interest.

I am interested in learning and I learnt to learn1: the problem is that, in the end, it’s not sufficient. I still don’t know why, if you are a developer this is not enough. Ok, there’s another problem: because, if you are a developer like me, of course you encountered some bad recruiters in the past. What were they looking for? You don’t know. If I was a recruier, I would like to know (again) how much fast a candidate could be in learning somethings he has already done in the past, or or how much time he needs to learn something new, something he hasn’t done before. Maybe this is something related to us, the developers.

To developers

If you are a developer, your life is almost certainly complicated: first, as in many other technical works, the dialogue with those who do not belong to the world of development is difficult. Why? Because it is difficult to explain the problems, it’s difficult to justify the time needed to complete tasks, it’s difficult to make decisions without (often) having the support of other developers. I live this scenario every day. So, why developers do not work together? Actually, I think they do in the right company. But… in accordance with the needs of The company, often working together turns into work on different project along and after a while having n people working on m different projects without any kind of intersection. What if you put developers together? This is strange, because it’s difficult for them to explain the problems, it’s difficult to justify the time needed to complete tasks, it’s difficult to make decisions without (often) having the support of other developers.

Let’s focus on individuals: why it so difficult for them to work together, to work alone, to be developers? It’s simple: they (we) are scared. How to blame them (us, actually), I say. In a continuously changing environment, what you can do to be able to deal with several technological stack? Of course, focusing (both at work and at home) on only one of them is not a solution because tomorrow you could be remain without work and not be able to cover the gap to understand something new starting from zero. At the same time, you can’t study in depth everything because it’s impossible - probably even sacrifing each aspect of your life and, in any case, this could not be a solution. So the only thing you can do is to superficially know a little bit about everything, while keeping - or, at least, trying to keep - yourself ready to learn something new, something that could be the fashion of tomorrow, and the shame of the day after tomorrow. Next time: philosophy.

Epilogue

And back to the companies: how to be still attractive in your company or for other company? There are those who prefer coding skills, who not, who looks at what you did, who looks at what you do, who looks at what you studied, who looks at how many languages you speak, how many awards you have taken, how far you have been away from home.

In my honest opinion, I think each of us should have opportunity in terms of what he can do, not in terms of what he had done. But… ehi, I could be wrong: in the end, I’m still learning.

Thank you everybody for reading!


  1. Just to be clear, I think you can’t learn to be intestered. It’s a curse. [return]

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