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Comment Succeed? (Score 1) 283

TFA doesn't have any definition of "success". Every shop I've worked in has various examples of staff with "what you know" and "who you know". But in the end it tends to work itself out in the "right" way.

"It's very hard for those outside the technology inner circle to determine who has mad skills and who's slacking, until it becomes obvious that certain IT ninjas are the ones who step in to solve the problems again and again."

Those ninjas are usually the ones that find themselves on the short list to stay on when the economy turns south. That sounds like success to me. As a Sr. PHB myself whose technical skills have dwindled now down to still being able to spell EssQueElle and vaguely understanding that data can Hibernate but in a slightly different way than polar bears, it can be very difficult at times to hire qualified technical staff. Personally, I utilize some of my ninjas to help with that process but every once in a while someone makes it in that truly can't cut it. And now that funding is tight, I don't seem to have any of them.

Indian Police Using Facebook to Catch Scofflaw Drivers 130

New Delhi police have a new weapon in the battle against bad drivers, Facebook. Two months ago the police created a Facebook page that allowed people to inform on others breaking traffic laws, and upload pictures of the violations. The page has more than 17,000 fans, and 3,000 pictures currently. From the article: "The online rap sheet was impressive. There are photos of people on motorcycles without helmets, cars stopped in crosswalks, drivers on cellphones, drivers in the middle of illegal turns and improperly parked vehicles. Using the pictures, the Delhi Traffic Police have issued 665 tickets, using the license plate numbers shown in the photos to track vehicle owners, said the city’s joint commissioner of traffic, Satyendra Garg."

Comment Four Levels, Train Customers, Change Control (Score 1) 483

Most important step is to train your "customer" about the 4 levels and gain acceptance.

L1 is pre-initiation with virtually no project details. Estimating is done solely by managers using experience, actuals from prior similar work, and their gut feel. We call it the SWAG level, and customer is trained to expect +/- 100%. We also occasionally have to give ROM estimates for our customers to gain funding prior to a project being accepted as real. In this case we use three high-level estimates (worst case, most likely, and best case) and then show three levels of std. deviation to the customer.

L2 is during initiation, when a few more details are known but usually no hard specs. SDLC area leads do the estimates, but still at a high level. Customer is trained to expect +/- 50%

L3 is after business requirements are documented and accepted. SDLC area leads and key staff do the estimates, and chunk work into no more than 80 hour tasks. Customer is trained to expect +/- 25%.

L4 is after technical design is documented and accepted. SDLC area leads and key staff do the estimates, again chunked into >=80 hour tasks. Customer is trained to expect +/- 10%.

Managing requirements changes after L3 is crucial. You have to ensure the customer understands the impact of any changes to scope. Works for us on $15M of project work every year for a happy customer. Side note: after about a year, it's scary how close L1 estimates can be. Managers aren't all bad. :)

Comment You're Fine on App. Languages (Score 1) 569

Really. Focus on tuning your database knowledge a bit. Adding SQL and PL/SQL to your resume will certainly help. You likely won't find a job that doesn't expect some database proficiency. I don't disagree that having C#/.Net may be helpful. Of course that depends on the market in your area. But you should be able to find a job with the languages you already know. Finally, figure out a way to grow some experience. That's not easy, but doable with a little effort. Show that you are trying to utilize your newly learned skills. No employer is going to expect a new grad to be able to be fully productive. However we* do like to see grads that have tried to apply their skills in the real world, no matter how small an example.

*Since everyone adds a reason why you should listen to them, guess I will too. I'm the managing director over a software development group of about 120 people. Oh yeah, with about 15 years of industry experience.

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