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

 

 

Another weekend spent with nerds… we shamelessly sat through the weekend talking about…stuff.

This was my 3rd visit to NFJS.  Why do I go back ? There are 3 reasons why I like to go conferences like these…

The adrenaline rush: I gushed about this few years ago- when I first went to NFJS.
New technologies \ tools: Could be something that I have heard of before , but never tried or something totally new to me . Good opportunity to learn something new.
Instant gratification: Every time I have been to a conference, I bring home some changes to practices or new tools or design strategies- something which made us grow. Some are explicit changes and others have a subtle impact on how I work and think.

Without much further ado- here is a brief summary of the sessions that I attended during my latest visit to NFJS.

Continue reading »

 

I don’t exactly remember when I first came across the Project Management Triangle . But it left a huge impact on my psych as a developer.

Whenever I find myself battling to be on time (which happens quite often), the ghost of the triangle, plays scenarios in my mind. Can I push the date? Get more people? Do I really need to fix this defect?

I am not here to do a critique of the Project management Triangle . But just wondering- is there another way to be on time?  be able to do more within the same constraints ?

These are our endeavours- in particular order…

Gradle:

We are currently using ant. We decided to move to Maven style repository and since we (or I) love everything groovy, Gradle seemed to be a  natural choice. It may not be very obvious Continue reading »

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