Thinking out of the “box”

Ever got into a dead-end with no one to ask for help, or new ideas to try?

In 1975, one creative guy (not from an IT background) have came out with a “box” of ideas cards to give him clues whenever he gets puzzled and starts looking around without a purpose. He called it Oblique Strategies.

These cards actually doesn’t include answers, rather, it has some phrases that can trigger your mind to try new solutions that you might have not thought of.

The funny thing is that you can use these cards in software engineering and yet you can find it really useful. Here is how.

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The Economic Crisis and Software

 

A week ago there were news about Google laying off recruiters and yesterday I read More rumors of Microsoft job cuts and it is clear that the global economic crisis is going to have its impact on Software industry.

The end goal is to continue in business and to cut costs. One way to do so is by outsourcing, which is the trend of most American and European software companies now.

On a personal level, you need to save your employer’s money but doing the right job right from the first time. I know it is easily said, but also it can be easily achieved with a little concentration and a good focus on quality.

By quality I mean quality in every aspect of the process; it is not enough that it works. Quality in code includes readability, simplicity, reducing load, traffic, and waiting time.

Sometimes developers feel relaxed that a code review or a senior developer will discover their bugs. Testers are always considered a second line of defense and hence written code is not tested thoroughly by developers. In the coming years, this would not be accepted.

One of the most inspiring words in my life as a developer was in the movie Antitrust, in which a software company owner says “… this business is binary, you are a 1 or a 0 … alive or dead … there is no second place”, you need to watch this 3 min video, or watch the full movie, it really worth it 🙂

As you heard in the video, “… there is no room for idle time or second guesses … new discoveries are made hourly …” so you need to read constantly. Always read and always keep in track with what’s new in your field.

Equally important, you should build up on others experiences. No need to go through the same learning curve. Always start where others have reached. Best practices, patterns, frameworks, libraries really are time and effort savers, leaving you enough time to add something new … to innovate.

Good luck.