Category: Idyllic Software

Why Will You Never Work with a Project Manager at Idyllic

Any job title suffixed with the word manager means:

“Manage something that is unmanageable.”

You need one if you have an unmanageable team, you want to have a manager to manage it, ie. someone to be held responsible.

In my opinion, the term “Manager” is a disguise that organizations have created to cover the mess inside and look pretty.

As an consulting company, if you are still thinking of hiring a manager, it means you are trying to cure the symptom and not the cause. The cause is that you have an unmanageable team. You need to fix that. Hiring a Manager would not do any good.

So, why you should not hire for a “Manager” role?

IT’S NOT THE MAGIC WAND YOU THINK IT IS

You want Mr. Manager to manage the team and get things done. If the team is capable enough and self governing, they do not need a manager and can handle things on their own. If the team is not capable, Mr. Manager will not have the magic wand to get the work done anyway.

SLOWS THINGS DOWN

Instead of having to deal with the development team, multiple people, you want Mr. Manager to be your single point of contact. Now understand how managers work. They generally create meetings (waste of precious time), generate reports, track velocity and use other tools to give you the high level information. They formalize trivial things. Formalizing trivial tasks actually wastes time.

Ideally you should be able to go to any team member and get the information you need. Any member of a self-governing team will be able to help you with the information.

LOSS OF TRANSPARENCY TO CLIENTS

Your project manager generally gets on the client calls. Mr. Manager is the buffer between the developers and the client.

However savvy this Mr. Manager is, the information rarely comes through untarred. It’s better, to have a group call with the client.

If you are an offshore company like us, your clients are already concerned about transparency. When they work with the developers directly, it gives them the confidence of whom they are working with. It also helps team members ask relevant questions and align with the vision of the product.

At Idyllic Software our Ruby developers often handle the client call’s directly and do the talking. We feel a direct conversation is in the best interest of the project and our clients. We encourage, and at times require, our clients to use our project management tools to sign off on the work we deliver, as we deliver.

Since our team is capable enough, we do not need managers and will never have one. As a client, you must always work with the developers directly. Learn the tools they use and speak their language.

Why will we NOT have an HR department ever?

We recently realized that we do not have an HR department in our organization for a reason. Thank you to the young, smart and very talented HR professional who applied for a position with us.

HUMANS are not RESOURCES

The title itself is very incorrect. How can a human be treated as a resource? The definition of a resources as stated in Wikipedia is “A resource is a source or supply from which an organization gains profit. Typically resources are materials or other assets that are transformed to produce benefit and in the process may be consumed or made unavailable.” We believe that the very existence of a company is by people. Treating humans as resources makes it sound otherwise.

Human Resource Management

We hire grown ups!. They know how to manage themselves. Micro managing them or even macro managing them does not feel right. We know that once our associates pick up a task, they know their responsibility and will manage themselves well. We do not need to baby sit them.

Responsibilities of HR Professional as PERCEIVED

1. Recruirment and Retention

We are people centric. We truly want to grow every individual on our team. We hence focus on providing a good life environment, noncompetitive growth opportunities and fun. If the next big opportunity is knocking at someones door, we do not want to be in the way. Hence we do not have a notice period of few months before you can leave. We make it hard to leave by solely providing opportunities which are hard to match. If you think harder, all it boils down to is growth of an individual whichever way she chooses to go.

2. Performance Management & Periodic Appraisal

The concept of appraising periodically is not fair. A company expects every one contribute exponentially while they grow their people linearly. This is not fair. A person should be able to grow as she desires and deserves. More add value you add to the company, better you grow personally, professionally, in responsibility and of course financially. We are trying to work a point system which enables you to earn a pre determined cap and make you eligible for an appraisal. If any one has experience or ideas around this, please let us know. We will even pay you if you can build a completely tangible appraisal system.

3. Developing Leadership Capabilities

Some say leaders are born and others say leaders are created. Staying away from that argument, we believe that attitude and ambition drives it all. If you are good at something, you lead & mentor, while be a proud student when some one else is better at something and learn it. You cannot know it all now, can you? We would rather focus on building intrapreneurs than developing someone to become a leader.

4. Hierarchy Management

We are a flat organization. There are no titles, only roles. There are no hierarchies here. We treat every one equally and there is nothing to manage really. We are already seeing a lot of companies being flat and we have already joined the movement.

No Offence to HR Professionals

This blog post is not to offend HR Professionals. We realize that there are other roles you play such as training, health and safety and many more. However, we are only unhappy about “HR” as title in some ways and how it is viewed and realized. These are only our views to highlight a few important aspects that we believe in and know that we truly respect all professions equally.

Patent Wars Get Personal – The Silencing of Maya

silencingofmayapic

The Silencing of Maya – An infographic by the team at Idyllic Software Development Company

Support Maya and Embed this graphic on your site: Copy and Paste the Code Below

The Silencing of Maya – an Edititorial Graphic By Idyllic Software – An infographic by the team at Editorial Graphic by Idyllic Software Development Company

Maya is a 4-year-old little girl who has the same bubbly personality of most 4-year-old little girls. However, she has one challenge that has made her the center of a big dispute. Maya cannot speak.

Prentke Romich Company (PRC) and Semantic Compaction Systems (SCS) make devices that are used to help people like Maya speak. These devices cost around $9000, and are not always the best fit for every individual who might need them.

PRC and SCS are suing a small company, Speak for Yourself (SfY) over alleged patented technology. SfY makes an inexpensive iPad app that costs around $300. The app helps speech deprived adults and children to speak. In fact, 4-year-old Maya has a Speak for Yourself app on her iPad, and has been making great progress in her ability to communicate with her parents with this app.

With her Speak for Yourself app Maya has been able to talk to her mother about the weather outside, she has been able to tell her parents what she wants to eat for lunch, and she has been able to spontaneously tell her Daddy that she loves him.

Apple Pulls SfY App

Even though the patent dispute is still undecided, and even though PRC has openly stated that they have no intention of creating any type of inexpensive app using this technology, Apple has decided to pull the app from iTunes. This decision leaves Maya (and anyone else who benefits from SfY, or may benefit from it in the future) without a voice.

Big Company slogans that profess to promote language, ideas and give everyone a voice are not reflected in the actions taken by the same big companies who would pull this app, and possibly others like it, because of alleged patent infringement.

Much of the time we don’t pay a lot of attention to patent wars between big corporations. We may go through our daily activities and not care who owns the right to what, as long as our lives don’t change. For many, however, the amazing technology that exists today is not merely used for convenience or for fun, but is truly life changing. And when arguments about who owns this life changing technology negatively effect those who need it, business does get personal.

We urge you to consider the fact that big business does change lives. PRC, SCS and Apple are making business decisions that are changing the life of little Maya, not to mention the countless others who are in her shoes.

Please speak up, so that Maya can speak for herself.
Sign Maya’s Petition
The Silencing of Maya Blog
Spread the Word

Web page – Power titles

We had been hearing a lot of praises for our website page titles until today when some one complained saying – we have to browse your entire website to read all the titles. So we thought of getting them all down in this one blog. There you go:

  1. We’re web developers specializing in Ruby on Rails.
  2. Work with us once & we’ll SPOIL you forever.
  3. Software development services with a purpose – YOU.
  4. High quality software for SOON TO BE BIG companies.
  5. Platform you’ll build your SUCCESS upon.
  6. Ruby on Rails – It’s COOL, It’s FAST, It’s PRAGMATIC.
  7. Rails is a KILLER app for Ruby. Its AWESOME.
  8. Gone in 3 seconds. That’s the name of the game.
  9. A CRITICIZING user is way better than a DORMANT one.
  10. Ready to build the next BIG thing?
  11. Make your profits EMBARRASSINGLY large
  12. It’s common sense to do Ruby on Rails
  13. A dream come true for SINATRA lovers
  14. We hate to work. We are RESTFUL.
  15. It’s not about beautiful data. Its about MEANINGFUL information.
  16. ezeeee javascript.
  17. A witchcraft for REAL TIME applications.
  18. Up your productivity. Up your MARGINS.
  19. Your CREATIVITY delivered.
  20. Sexy design, BEAUTIFUL implementation.
  21. Reality is that part of IMAGINATION that all agree upon.
  22. Become a one-stop-shop for your clients.
  23. We’ll ENLIVEN your beautiful designs.
  24. We’re what we are and we’ve a need to be.
  25. We do what we love and we love what we do.
  26. Talent works, attitude creates.
  27. Think Big, Aim small.

Have a good day.

Experimental emergence – A hale and hearty, living idea

There are thousands of software consulting and services company – so why add one more to the mix in such a matured industry?

This was the first question that was asked when we were about to roll out Idyllic Software Inc in July 2009. A very valid question from a very sane business minded person – Mr. B. We did not have a pragmatic answer then which would have satiated Mr. B, nor we have the right answer now. Though we knew the answer right from the beginning, there was nothing which was pragmatic and practical.

We are choosing this blog to be the medium for us to be out with our story.

Idyllic Software Inc

A mere experiment, was started by a handful of “Good” software developers with over several years of experience. Some of the key factors that drove to the formation of our company are as below:

“Converting ideas to implementation – and what about realizing the vision? “

We firmly believe that the ideas that occur to us can be quickly implemented technically. But realizing its vision is an entirely a different effort. It is important for the team to believe in the product they are building. Hence we choose the work we take on and make sure we can employ the right attitude to get the vision REALIZED. Being technologists ourselves, we take on the responsibility to build a robust, maintainable and more importantly evolving software. However, we understand that it takes more than mere implementation to make a software successful. Hence we constantly work with building the right partnerships with the necessary adjunct skills. Below are some of our major partnerships to illustrate a few:

  • As we realize that positioning the product is equally important as compared to the aesthetic value of the product, we have partnered up with an experienced branding and positioning expert company as compared to merely getting a graphic designer in place.
  • PR plays a vital role in calling out to the right audience and we work with our PR partners to ensure justice to the task.
  • As the product kicks off, you surely need a professional support team to communicate with the end users and hence we ensure non technical services such as call centers are not ignored.

Of course we understand the budget constraints with start-up projects and hence we step up where ever we could ourselves too. We recently did a creative imaginary story for one of our client considering their budget constraints. To our surprise the story rightly attracted the target audience and created long lasting engagement with the product. It surely was a discovery for us to find out the creative skills of one of our team members.

Now that is what we call the “Right Attitude!”.

@ISI realizing the vision of the idea is of utmost importance. End of product implementation only marks the beginning of efforts towards even more important milestones.

“You have a Voice but not a Choice – Why?”

If you are a developer, you would have felt or heard this out very LOUD. Oh boy, do they think that engineers cannot think business? We know Mr. B is a bright guy and respect and learn from his gray hairs and of course we know that he is paying our bills, but you cannot neglect the fact that he has not seen it all. There are several other bright people involved in developing the idea whose experiences differ and who think differently.

Bouncing ideas and making combined thoughtful decisions on what to build defines a successful product. It is part of our job role to help the business, Mr. B, by shouting out on approaches that are not going to work and of course pointing towards things that will work based on our experience and findings. Discussing and making a thoughtful decision does not only help save money but more importantly contributes to the success of the product.

@ISI we strictly do TDD – Team driven development of our company and the products we work on.

“Take ownership of your work – And what about the revenue?”

It is vital that the developers engaged in building the software have a stake in the success of the product. Not seeing developers as product partners is unfair to the product it self and hence the client. The developer boils down to an unmotivated coding monkey who codes by requirements only. Giving a revenue share for the work, gives an inherent stake to the developer in the company and motivates her to be at her best. This is a win win situation for all.

@ISI developers and clients are partners.

“Corporate life and personal life are different – What? I thought I had ONE life”

They say 60% of your life is work, it is very important that you enjoy your work life. But I do not understand why such a hard line between the two? Why cant working be equally fun and of course share the same intensity of responsibilities?

@ISI we have one good life. We do not see Monday Morning Blues and look forward to come to work as much as we look forward to going back home.

So did it work?

All that good things being said, 2 years down the line we now ask ourselves – did the experiment work?

The answer is, the experiment is still going ON. So we cannot give a quantitative answer to that, but here are some facts about us thus far:

  1. Very pleased and happy clients.
  2. Zero attrition rate: People leave companies for other jobs, no one has quit on us yet.
  3. All our clients from day 1 still work with us. I would say we formed some really good partnerships around.
  4. Zero marketing up until this blog goes live and growing by mere references.
  5. Very very Interesting work in technologies such as Ruby on Rails, Padrino, Sinatra, Alfresco, Java, Facebook applications, Yahoo Widgets, and lately even streaming servers such as Wowza.
  6. Even more interesting involvement in the field of marketing, PR and creative writing.

More to come on this as we go. We will keep you posted.

Subscribe To Our Blog

Get access to proven marketing ideas, latest trends and best practices.

Next up home

Contact

Lets build cool stuff

Share your contact information & we will get in touch!

I want (Tell us more about your dream project)