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Comment On a train in the UK going to work... (Score 2) 558

East Midlands Trains has wifi, but there is a little bit of inconsistency in their network :-)

64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=237 time=186.522 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=237 time=382.941 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=237 time=218.723 ms
Request timeout for icmp_seq 3
64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=237 time=357.108 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=237 time=1866.197 ms
Request timeout for icmp_seq 6
64 bytes from icmp_seq=7 ttl=237 time=189.342 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=5 ttl=237 time=3010.007 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=8 ttl=237 time=186.937 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=6 ttl=237 time=3081.013 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=9 ttl=237 time=196.033 ms

Given I'm doing 100+ mph and still have Internet access I guess I'm not going to moan too much.

Comment Re:stop doing grunt work (Score 1) 708

Wow - I haven't been so wound up by a post in a long time. I'm sorry but I need to call out the BS. The development teams I run in has an average age of 40-something. They are working on modern stuff (functional programming, very high performance modern architectures). If you're good, you'll get paid (significantly) over $100K as age has absolutely nothing to do with it. At the extremes I have a brilliant 25 year old and at the other a great late 50-something. What I can tell you is that I've rejected/fired/removed lots of people - all of them based on ability and performance. And I am I working on removing the role of "project manager" from the large (1,500 person) department I (co-manage) entirely.

Comment Re:stop doing grunt work (Score 1) 708

Funny - agile isn't new. It's actually a shift backwards 20 years getting rid of all the "buzzword-compliant critical-paradigm-shifting methodology". It's really simple at it's heart - you get close to the business, you work on the things they care about most right now and you deliver regularly (weeks rather than months or years). Back to the early 90's. Also, I didn't say remove "overhead" entirely - I only said be wary of being in a group of people who do not actually deliver anything - most especially in these rather challenging times. Management is still needed, but not the 20-40% middle management we see in so many large organizations these days.

Comment Re:stop doing grunt work (Score 1) 708

Interestingly I didn't use the word "developer" or "coder" in my post at all. I only said "worker". If you understand anything at all about what agile is all about, you would know that it requires multi-disciplinary teams that self organize. Self organization doesn't mean dis-organized - in fact I have found that agile teams are at least an order of magnitude more organized than any traditional team where the "organization" is single threaded through an overworked team lead (for example - stuck waiting for input).

Rather sadly I have the title of "chief architect" (which I despise since it means nothing) but I am most proud to be a team member (who writes at least some code every day) delivering the right value at the right time to the business I support (not serve). Thankfully, agile says nothing about architecture - it merely says you focus on the most important things and continue to adapt.

Since I am also one of the management team of 10 people who run the 1,500 person department I work within I am also fully accountable to make it deliver. It didn't deliver very well with waterfall and lots of project managers. It's doing a little better now.

I am in my late 40's and very happy working closely with some great people and a business that really appreciates what we do. This seems to be at odds with many people posting in this thread. It might not be perfect, but at least I'm enjoying myself.

Are you?

Comment Re:stop doing grunt work (Score 5, Insightful) 708

The CIO of one of the investment banks once said - in a very public forum - there are really only three roles in IT. Peon - the new guys who don't know very much yet, but should become valuable soon. Worker/do-er - those that actually create the stuff that makes the organization run. Overhead - everyone else. He then said - "be very wary of being promoted into "overhead".

This is very sage advice. There is no such thing as "grunt development work" - developers will make or break your project. Project managers are only there to support the team and to protect them from the rest of the organization.

The world is steadily moving to agile - only those delivering value to the team matter. Everyone else is "overhead". Be wary.

Comment Are you good enough? (Score 1) 708

Please don't do an MBA - that fad is done. If I see a candidate has an MBA I pretty much dismiss them at the resume screening stage - too many bad experiences. There are a lot of people who believe the same.

Contracting can be good (been there, done that for many years), but you have to be prepared for the lean times when they come.

I am a senior IT manager in an investment bank in my mid 40's, one of six who run a group of 1,500, yet my aim is to still code for some hours of the day. I sit with the core team on the development floor (average age - in their 40's). One of my peers does the same, four do not - this is choice about management style. Management does not mean "not technical".

Great people are always in demand. Find the "right" sort of organization/group to work for - one that does modern methodologies (agile) and modern technologies (mixed imperative/functional languages, no-sql etc.) where you can stay up to date. Don't assume you'll ever make yourself invaluable by being the guy maintaining the legacy system - it's just that kind of stuff that some crazy manager thinks about outsourcing.

You don't need to worry if you're truly technical and good at it. Ask yourself - are you good enough? If not, make yourself good enough.

Comment And now who would trust Silverlake (Score 1) 300

Two side effects -

1. If you were a startup would you want to do business with Silverlake having seen this?

2. If you were an exec working at a startup owned by Silverlake would you be reviewing your contract?

Dumb move. In business if both sides don't feel that there is a win for them in a deal, then the "winner" will shortly have very few people to do business with.

Comment Re:I picked economy, but... (Score 1) 365

I flew the BA001 from City to New York recently. All business class in an A318. It's a bit like a step back in time because of the small numbers of people and the tiny airport. Seats are slightly bigger than the usual BA business ones in a 777 or 747 - the inflight entertainment is less good (Archos player). Very weird going transatlantic in such a small plane (only 32 seats). Very attentive service (flight had only about 24 people on it). Only hassle is that the Westbound flight has to drop off in Shannon in Ireland as they can't carry enough fuel to cross the Atlantic *and* do the STO out of City (it's a super short runway). On the plus side you clear US immigration in Shannon which means you make up for a large amount of the time because you don't have to go through the super OTT US immigration (how many times do you really want to take my photo and fingerprints?)

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