Friday, 14 September 2012

When past experience starts to bring value

At this point of the transformation, this organization needs some Development growth attention. A lot has been said, explained over and over on the practices, work visualization, limiting the WIP, measuring throughput and so on. Now it's time to get hands dirty and talk CODING.
The last time I touched code is some time in April of 2009. At that time, I accepted the new role as Project Manager for Maya and Mudbox (2 GREAT 3D applications from Alias/Autodesk). The condition was that I had to close all the work at my plate at that point. My previous role was Software Developer (C++) and what I was developing the anti-piracy module that was linked with applications and made sure that nobody was running the software without proper license. At least made it hard to do so, because,we all know that in real world, anything can be hacked.
Since then, I have tried to clean up the shelves on my brain and make room for Project Management stuff, Scrum Master stuff,  Agile/Scrum/Lean stuff. I have to admit that Lean is the new Love of my professional life right now. But then, at some point, when the discussion comes on how to improve the development and delivery, I find myself still connected with my first professional love, development.
I am very lucky to have worked at Alias/AliasWavefront for 11 years. When I started there, I was pretty green into development thinking and practices. And then I found myself in the middle of a very smart, mature, passionate and intelligent group of developers and  network administrators. All I had to do is listen, notice and LEARN from their experience and maturity. That is where I have seen how a good team of developers is setup, works and delivers. Discussions were constructive, new ideas and experiences shared and welcomed, a very healthy competition between developers and a very helpful Infrastructure team that supported new ideas and positive improvements.
That is a picture that I want to take with me and bring it everywhere I work. That is the kind of environment I want to see everywhere where there are developers and network people working together. So when the transformation hit this need, I volunteered to be part of this project, Tooling strategy. I have to admit that getting back into development mode after so long, it is scary. But my daring and challenging nature always pushes me toward scary areas. so I can prove myself to myself more than to others.
In 4 days, I was able to setup my machine with the right environment, install Java 5 times, started/stopped Glassfish server 10 times, started/stopped MySQL server 6 times, ran ANT n times, deployed to Glassfish n-10 times, installed Jenkins 2 times, started/stopped Jenkins 5 times, ran Jenkins Build job 42 times, ran Jenkins deploy job 8 times. At the end, I had a basic example of Petcatalog, all up and running, automated build and deployment build all set.
It was 1:30 am when the deployment script ran successfully and a sunny icon showed up beside the Jenkins job. WHAT A FEELING!! Really proud of myself for a while.
And then, the next step is to move this to Maven. and then will be the addition of linking with WebSphere. And then... a lot to come.

Looking back in retrospective, everything I have done in my life, is gluing together in the Coach role.  Development is helping me to help developers, teaching is helping me explain things in a simple way, Program Management and Scrum Master-ing are helping me to translate Agile to traditional PMs, my personal interest in psychology is helping me model the way I talk with people and my personal experience as a mother helps me forgive everyone frustrated with the transformation process. 

I feel that merging all these together will be the key of my role. I just have to get very good at it. Lots of road ahead of me, and it is NOT on a dark tunnel!

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