Friday, January 2, 2009

Producing information

In our industry, the leaders are those who produce most of the information, while the followers are struggling to keep up when consuming that same information.
Not long ago, my team leader mentioned to me how important this is for us to stay ahead on the producers side, and not to fall back to the "consumers" status. In my previous team I did the same myself, as I (almost-) forced teammates to generate masses of information in many forms: documents, wiki notes, blog posts, frontal lectures, presentations and the likes. This is what keeps us as leaders.
I came to think about it this week, as I realized I've been posting a blog post virtually in each day of the week. I wish I had more time so I could write longer posts, but blitz-posts are better than nothing. Also, using information created by other people in order to create more information, is better than not creating information at all.

As I wrote in this year's blog day, one of my favorite blogs in my reading list is StackOverflow. This week's post reminded me of two topics I wanted to write about:
  • Joel writes about how important this is to test your RAID failover scenarios before going on-line. I'm really all into it. This is one of the most important things you can do before going production. Moreover, the thing they didn't talk about, is how often do you put your DRP to test? Do you exercise disasters at all?
    This is more important than most people can imagine, and still few are the people who really care about this or can handle real time catastrophe. Recent disasters in banks, voting systems and sites which were taken down (due to the war situation in Israel) only proves that even the largest organizations aren't prepared, or have only a semi-complete DRP. Go now, and write one. If Jeff and Joel can do this in their spare time, so could everybody else.
  • Jeff and Joel say about themselves they are broad generalists. Only after reading their definition for it, I realize that I'm such as well.
    Lately I hear many people worried about their future in our industry. Some think they'll become obsolete, so think it'll be impossible to find a good job in a good workplace. What's common to all of them is the fact they don't realize they are (or could be) generalists as well. If you love software, and think you're meant to do it for the rest of your life - finding a job would be (relatively) easy for you, regardless any crisis. But if you don't like what you're doing, or every day you wish this day to end so you could go home - go find another field, you really won't survive for an entire career.
    FYI, software companies are still looking for people. Especially those who master many fields - DBs, OOP, Security, etc. I know this because some HR recruiters still ask me if I have friends for specific roles. So if you're talented, and fear about your future in the industry - don't.
Only rarely I get to write long posts. Guess the fact today is Friday helps.
Good weekend you all.

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