Showing posts from September, 2017

The value curve for new hires in skills positions

What is the relative value of a new hire in their first year?   The value is impacted based on many factors, the hire's motivation, their prior experience, the hiring company's onboarding process, the culture fit and other factors.  Good processes can dramatically impact the contributions made by new hires.   This posting is really not about about the interview and hiring process's impact on the quality and eventual capabilities new hires.  This posting is about the general rate at which new team members contribute as measured against their eventual capabilities. My main area of experience with this is with technical teams, software developers, testers and technical analysts.  I suspect it is also true for other skill positions and integrated team. Understanding the Learning and Networking Curve The graph shows my gut feel for the rate at which team members contribute within their first year relative to their capabilities. It doesn't rate the new team member

Black Swan IT Projects: The Loan Servicing mainframe replacement

This blog discuss a little the "the Mainframe Servicing System Migration", a project that should considered a  Black Swan A Black Swan Event    The  black swan theory  or  theory of black swan events  is a  metaphor  that describes an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of  hindsight . The term is based on an ancient saying which presumed black swans did not exist, but the saying was rewritten after  black swans  were discovered in the wild.  The Fannie Mae loan processing servicing system replacement was Initially budgeted for  18 months and $75M.  Eventually cost about  72 months and > $800M. The project turned out to be a black swan that could have bankrupted other less stable companies. In the Mid 2000s Fannie Mae closed out either Q3 or Q4 in that year with a recorded profit of $1B. This was a "peak profit" period that stood out. They decided to push some

Sales Engineer Guide: Hunter or Farmer

Enterprise level sales representatives are a whole other breed of person from their pre-sales engineer. Enterprise sales representatives execute and help formulate corporate sales strategies and programs.  They must be extremely self-confident sometimes carrying entire companies on their backs. Sales representatives performance directly impact the job stability of everyone else in the company. Pre Sales Engineers do best when they understand the personalities and styles of their partner representatives.  Two major personality types are hunters  and farmers. Most people are a mix of the two but some are hard core hunter or farmer. A Note on the Danger of Stereotypes Hunters and Farmers are descriptive stereotypes.  You rarely run into someone who is completely anything.  Think of this as you would any other personality classifications. It is a useful way of reminding yourself that you may need different approaches with different people in the same jobs. Hunters These folks s

Playing with Web Apps in Azure? Create a Resource Group and App Service plan first.

I dabbled in Windows web app Azure deployments for 3 or 4 years before I realized I needed to pay attention to the Resource Group and App Service Plans I was using.   This became especially expensive when deploying CI/CD pipelines while teaching classes or when doing random operations while trying to understand how stuff worked.  I partially blame the great Visual Studio integration / wizards for this.  They made it easy to "start clean" every time I created a new project. Resource Groups let you bundle all the components that make up an applications or composite system.   See the  Azure Resource Manager overview  for more information.   Application Service plans are specific to web and task type deployments.  They describe the compute resources that will be sued by one or more Web Application deployments. You can think of it as a PaaS or Docker type container which is filled with deployments.  Multiple deployments and run in a plan.  A plan should generally not be used a