Xuxo Garcia

An infra developer • A father • A dude

Our Anti-Sigma approach (Part 2)

First, we have been able to provide an uptime just about a decimal nudge away from 100% on the more than 1300 databases that we work on. Second, we have laid out the foundation of an internal platform that soon will provide complete technical-health visibility and centralization of functionality in our area of work. Once stripped of all things “us”, we hope to share the design back with the communities in the true spirit of open-source. Lastly, we have worked on 600+ items with our internal cross-discipline experts.

Now that those three engineering items have been mentioned, I must add two non-technical ones. One of the subtle goals achieved via our Anti-Sigma methods is a standard level of voice decibels in our office. What do I mean? We don’t raise our voice, scream or loose our tempers as we collaborate. Well…I might be loud…but I can’t help it. I come from the festive land that gave you Ricky Martin after all! Another little goal that we have significantly improved on, is the lessening of after-hours work and sleepless nights. Those have been reduced to such a low level that I will not share. It would not be fair to some friends in here that are still rocking like the heroes they are until the early hours in the morning. Disagree with me, but that does not bring anything good to a person, a person’s family, or a product that aspires to quality. Believe me…I know.

If the above sounds like bragging…100% IT IS! I brag about my team, I brag about the wonders that they do! With a smile brighter than a 1000 suns I thank the other teams that help us every day (you know who you are!…as you are AWESOME too!). You should brag the same way for your teams.

On these posts, I have concentrated on the team itself and what we have accomplished in roughly 180 days of communal, respectful and inviting collaboration. As I continue, it is necessary to discuss the concept of abstracted management. Previously mentioned but not explained, I have applied the opposite of what I have learned from that subject. (To be completely truthful, I only applied the lessons of about 3 people that I consider true technology managers thus far. I hope to meet more of those jewels in my career.)

I label Abstracted Management (AM), that style of management that is not aware of the technical challenges of the day-to-day and the long-term. Hence, it is abstracted from the program or project’s reality. The AM‘s constant focus is the cell color in the spreadsheet that helps the AM move to the next slot in the project or program without any real honesty (conscious or unconscious) of how to get to that slot. Many times, the second priority of the AM is driving the proverbial bus. That bus eventually not only tramples trust and morale on your team, but eventually completely squashes your entire project.

Frankly, my team made me study, polish up, and refresh unused skills. How am I going to be able to perform proper assessments, give advise, and help in ourdecision-making if I can’t do SQL, if I don’t know VMWare, Linux, Python (even which version works where!), Ruby, Java, and all the other things my people are great at! I better know it! Heck, I’ll never be part of AM, If I’m going to change that cell color in the spreadsheet, it will be with real time, data-driven code!Knowing what I didn’t want to be, and channeling those 3 great leaders, I went to work…

(Part 3 coming soon…)

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