Your Culture: How Do We Treat Each Other?
I was excited about the job when I read about it in the paper (yes, this is an ancient history story). It had great technology. It had a great commute. And, during the interview, I walked by one technical argument.
“You *&^%*& sons of &^$#^& female dogs.It can’t possibly work that way. It has to work this way!” Well, the architect didn’t use the term ‘female dog.’ He used another term that rhymes with witch. Everyone in the room was sitting there, cowed, heads bent.
I asked my HR interviewer who was in the room. “All the developers and the lead architect.”
“How many architects are there?”
“We have seven architects.”
“And how many developers?”
“We have six. You would be our seventh.”
I saw perfectly what would happen. The Architects Would Hand Down the Perfect Architecture From On High and then be angry when it didn’t work. We would implement it and beg them for their valuable time when it didn’t work. No, thank you. I didn’t take that job.
In another interview, I asked how people evaluated design alternatives. The developer said, “Well, we talk in a funny way about designs. I hope you don’t take offense.”
“Not much offends me,” I explained.
“When we get going, we start talking about ‘brain-dead’ designs. We don’t mean that *you* are brain-dead. No, not at all. We just mean that that part of your design is questionable. Is that going to be a problem?”
These folks were concerned about not being offensive to each other, but were concerned about being able to have frank and open discussions and let their passions show.
Now, ‘brain-dead’ is not a politically correct term these days. I am not advocating it. You’ll notice that the person I spoke with separated the feedback about the person from the design.
Join me at the Final AYE Conference
This year’s AYE conference is the last. There will be no AYE conference in 2013. If you have thought about AYE and put it on your “bucket” list, take it off your bucket list and take one of the remaining six spots.
I’m leading these sessions:
- Has Your Project Outgrown Its Training Wheels?
- Replacing Management Myths
- What’s Your Number One Project?
- Improve Your Social Networking Skills
- Reinventing Yourself
- Congruent Coaching, a full day workshop
I do hope you join me there.
copyright 2012 Johanna Rothman