Saturday, December 30, 2017

"How" vs. "What"

As I continue to grow as a software developer, I've come to realize that my interests lie more in the way we create solutions (How) rather than the solutions themselves (What).

At the beginning of my career, I was captivated by the incredible things that technology allows us to do - from launching rockets into space to developing video games and robotics. However, I've come to understand that the true value lies in how we approach the development process. It's not just about the impressive products we can create but about the method by which we bring those ideas to life.

In our daily work as developers, the most important aspect is how we tackle challenges and bring our visions to fruition. This focus on process rather than the product has become increasingly clear to me over time.

Currently, the following aspects of my work as a software developer are most important to me:
  • The way we work as a team and support one another's growth as developers.
  • Our ability to communicate and collaborate effectively.
  • The value we create for our customers through our solutions.
  • Our dedication to continually innovating and improving our processes, relationships, and learning. 
These are the elements that, in my opinion, truly drive success in our field.

For me, the journey is just as important as the destination. It's the people and experiences I encounter along the way that truly matter.

It may seem counterintuitive, but in my experience, I've found that by focusing on the "how" of things - the process and the people involved - I'm able to be a part of creating strong, effective teams that produce great results and products.

So to evaluate new opportunities, I follow these steps:
  • First, I evaluate whether the opportunity aligns with my personal mission and ethical values (See more at my Personal Mission).
  • Second, evaluate "How" they work:
    • Whether the focus is on resources and assets or people and skills.
    • Whether the company's values are reflected in their hiring practices.
    • How the company approaches uncertainty and risk in the product development process.
    • Whether the focus is on outputs or outcomes.
    • Whether the company is open to validation and learning, or if they seem to have all the answers already.
    • Whether there is a genuine culture of collaboration within the company.
            In summary, are they optimized for continuous change or are they optimized for an industrial age that is no longer relevant? ;) 

            I'm trying to determine if the company's culture is 'green' or 'teal' in nature (see the following infographic), or if at least the company is open to evolving towards those models.

            For me, "How" we work directly affects my day-to-day satisfaction, my motivation, and my overall performance.

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            (Text updated 2022-12-20)

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