When I am reading a book that I really enjoy and am approaching the last few chapters , I often feel sad that it is coming to end , but at the same time- I feel a rush to finish it off and start a new one.
In fact at times, I get so impatient that I will start researching my next book on goodreads or amazon and will go so far as to buy it as well- before I have finished the book I!
Today- as I get ready to wrap-up my stay at PAREXEL, I am feeling the same rush….
6.5 years… It was a long stay . Longer than I expected. Somewhat frustrating at times. Oh well ! Who am I kidding ? It was crazy at times !
But as I reflect on how I evolved in the last few years- it has been truly a fascinating ride.

However- if I were to highlight 5 things about my stay at PAREXEL- it would be..

Read.Watch.Listen.Speak.Write.
It really started with my managers at PAREXEL – who instilled in me to read more. I re-connected with books. Read a ton- be it blogs or books . Attended bunch of conferences and in fact , went on to present at user groups and conferences. That was cool. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Couldn’t have been possible without unrelenting support from all my managers. I learned to focus on my career rather than my job…

Technology and innovation
Inspired by all the reading- I went on to bring in changes. The two that I am most proud of are – First steps towards Continuous Delivery and an Automation framework that I helped develop. Innovation happens not  (only) when the individuals are innovative, but when an environment is provided which supports innovation. Other than that- I got to work on some pretty damn interesting problems.Moving a legacy architecture to a new platform can be daunting task. I tinkered with some ideas and patterns .my favorite being – Strangler Application. The most important lesson I learned was- technology and innovation is great and awesome but useless- if the end user sees no (immediate) benefit of it. Go lean !!!

Management and Leadership
This was my first time- having direct reports. I have had indirect reports before, but not direct reports . I discovered my management style.. Before joining PAREXEL, I had concentrated most of my career in development . Now for the first time- I concentrated on delivery – Deployment, Process. Automation and Team building.Its not technology but sociology of your organization that you need to focus on. (I am currently reading peopleware - which talks about exactly the same topic). Openness is the key. I was impressed by how one of manager would share an email he sent to his manager after he was yelled at. I went on to pass on that to my team and on more than one occasion had someone from my team share their frustration and plans to change jobs. I thought – it was pretty cool they did not feel threatened to share something that could be so damning.

Agile
It deserves a category of its own. I was new to Agile when I joined and interestingly – so was the organization. It was quite a journey. I saw the highs. Saw the lows. Saw the promise of Agile. Frustration on not making progress. Finally realizing- it is not the silver bullet. To stop short of becoming a scrum-nut. Realistic and re-confirmed and more grounded faith in Agile. Wouldn’t work for an organization in future- that is not committed to agile-mind set.

Relationships
Can’t say enough about the awesome relationships that I have built here. It has been a little overwhelming for the last few weeks actually. Ever since – I announced my resignation, I have been touched by the numerous gestures the team has extended.It truly has been a humbling experience to work with such a fine lot. I now realize- the biggest asset I gathered over the last few years is not technical knowledge or skilled set or domain knowledge but relationships I have formed here.

Job half done ?

As I head out- I do have the nagging feeling – that I could have done more …. Maybe I should’ve tried harder to put my point across and that would have made a difference ? Maybe I should have cleaned out more code and design ? Maybe I should have done more to establish practices – that we have struggled to set in place?

But then- we are never done- are we ? I leave behind a team that I am very proud of. Both in Hyderabad and Billerica. The team is eagerly working on a transition to a new platform. Exciting times ahead…but I need to move on..

In closing…with some help from Bill Watterson

 

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