Catch Me If You Can. Manager version

    Are you a programmer. I am an effective manager. Well, you think so. Maybe you’ll even write an article about me, pick up a bunch of pluses - the topic is gracious. In the article, the word “effective” must be put in quotation marks.

    I no longer work in your company. I decided to tell you how it really was. Soon this story will come back to you, which upsets me very much, but it would be better if you learn everything from me.

    You must have been surprised when you attended the cross-interview. I’m not from your village, I’m not connected with it at all. But he came and got an IT director, even after passing a small competition. It was not difficult because An Executive MBA from Harvard Business School acts magically. The girls from the personnel department did not even dare to take a copy from him - they asked me to do it myself.

    I will pass to the main thing. The owner sent me to your factory. As you probably know, he moved to Moscow a long time ago, significantly expanded the structure of his assets, diversified, and now looks at life a little differently. Including your factory and its directors.

    I will not rephrase it, I will simply quote what he said to me: "I just want to disperse this whole swamp." I did a lot of crisis management, preparing enterprises for sale, strategic changes, business valuation, and I understand him well. But I always propose to sort it out first. It doesn’t happen that all employees are the same swamp.

    The fish rots from the head. The phrase is so battered that it is no longer consciously perceived. I will put it another way: the head of the enterprise creates an environment for himself. If the enterprise has rotten management, it is only because the director is rotten. If the company has a mutual responsibility, it is only because the director is not engaged in management, but simply goes with the flow, squeezing the maximum benefit out of the owner for himself until they are kicked out.

    And the environment below top management simply mimics, adapts to the top. Downstairs, wonderful, smart, educated people can work, but they will sit, as you say, with their tongue in the ass, afraid to say a word. They simply adapt to the environment and imitate exactly the activity that is expected of them. The environment strangles them, does not allow them to develop, to realize themselves, to achieve results that can be proud of.

    Especially when it comes to a factory in a small town. There is simply no other work, especially for narrow specialists. Believe me, I have seen a lot of such enterprises. You know what rule their leaders adhere to when determining the level of staff salaries: to pay so much that they do not die of hunger, but also could not save up for moving.

    The director begins to feel like a king - and not only the factory, but the whole city. If he is also the owner, then in general - write is gone. Power over people, their families, their future is so stupefying that the director simply stops thinking about business development. That is exactly what happened with your director.

    I came to determine the scale and structure of the problem. Understand the motives, goals, and results of as many employees as possible. Secretly, of course. You understand that if I had reported on the purpose of my visit, I would not have crawled out due to the covered meadow, director’s personal hunting estate, a blood-milk-milk sauna, walked on the floors of sparkling shops washed with shampoo, and watched mesmerizing presentations about brilliant strategic development plans.

    I needed reality. The ideal position for her to understand is the CIO. There is access and understanding of the information system - i.e. almost all data on economic activity are invited to large meetings, no need to waste time approaching top managers.

    You probably wonder why I'm telling you all this. Because I liked you right away.

    I spoke at cross country that in the past I was a programmer. I'm sorry, I deceived you. I am still a programmer, this has remained my hobby. I do not know a better way to realize the need for a change in reality that is inherent in every person. No music, literature, computer games, building a house can be compared with free, creative programming when you do what you want for yourself, without a task, deadlines, requirements and metrics.

    I looked at your code. I remember how you smirked, giving me full rights to the system, considering it a manager moron. And I needed all the code and all the data. And you did not disappoint me.

    More precisely, you are not the present, but you are the past. When you came to this plant with burning eyes, a desire to change the world, write cool code, solve business problems. I even found your comment many years ago in which you expressed your own programming strategy: “to make sure that the boys are not ashamed to show.”

    And your decisions of the first years were just that. You, apparently, did not dare to show them to someone, but everything is ahead. Your abstract tools for solving typical business problems, optimized for speed, ready for any changes in the subject of the task, customizable with just one mouse - it’s really not a shame to show the boys.

    But the code also shows your degradation. Not professional, no - I'm sure you are still able to create crazy solutions. You degraded like a man. You, like everyone else, mimicked under the environment. No one needs your decisions in the midst. More precisely, nobody needs precisely such solutions - any solution to the problem will work. And you took the path of least resistance.

    You just started going to work. Leave the development environment with modified code open so that an asterisk appears. You showed me the module with the SLAU application solution. I had to pretend that I did not understand what it was. I did not begin to tell you that the SLAE solution is already implemented in the platform that you use for development. I have not used it for a long time, but I know about it.

    Then you tried to heal me that the acceleration of costing is necessary for accounting and the problem lies in the convergence of the algorithm for solving SLAE. Don’t do it again, please. Okay, loyal to you, I smiled stupidly and left. Any decent specialist will tell you that the problem is in the number of equations that is generated not by the algorithm, but by the data. In this case, the idiotic setting of cost allocation, the favorite village method of "all for all." When conducting custom accounting, this, sorry, ass.

    I tried to rock you, to bring back the thirst for free programming. To do this, on my knee, in the evening, pile up a task management system on your platform. I specifically made her wretched, uncomfortable and clumsy. So that you experience such a strong professional disgust that you could not restrain yourself and correct. I know that the task management system of the IT department at the plant is the freest area for creativity when it is created by the IT department itself, for itself, without setting a task from the outside.

    But you did not succumb. He arranged for me an Italian strike, in full accordance with the image of a village programmer, self-conscious, scratching his hairy belly, constantly crawling out from under a dirty T-shirt.

    There was an idea to realize what you dreamed of in your youth - to show your code to the boys. Actually, I showed. There are a lot of acquaintances - both at integrator companies, and freelancers, and CIOs, former programmers. I must say right away - your code is really not ashamed to show. When the conclusions were sent to me, I felt proud for you, as for my own child.

    And I sent you your friend Seryoga. I knew that you would just have a cup of coffee, whimper and no review would work. I didn’t check you, but Seryoga. Unfortunately, not only the environment at work spoils you, but also your professional connections. Seryoga is the same flabby, covered with shit shit, who has lost faith in himself, reconciled with reality and already, deep down, has not considered himself a valenko programmer for a long time.

    I got in touch with Lyokha, your friend, who moved to Moscow. Lyokha could not come. Lyokha is doing badly. In the village, he considered himself a full member of your Great Three, the navel of the Earth, the coolest programmer, but the reality and challenges of the big city showed that he was wrong. They didn’t take him to decent places, so he just stumbled upon a similar factory in the glorious city of Sergiev Posad.

    Unfortunately, you did not escape the role of the Savior. This often happens with factory programmers. Remember, I came running, white as chalk, and said that the accounting department put in to me? I had difficulty, but I managed to pretend that I was terribly afraid of a fine of 20% of revenue if accounting did not pay income tax.

    I don’t know if you are aware or not, but accounting uses a method called “artificial time pressure”. Yes, you automated their work. Yes, you taught them everything. Yes, they can do fine without you. But they don’t want to.

    During the quarter, when there is free time for the carriage, and all the mistakes can be corrected, so that by the time they close they’ll be completely prepared, they work like lazy seals. They do the necessary minimum without worrying about analytics, cost structure, correct numbers and adequate balances.

    And when the time is running out, they include a panic fool. Yes, we understand that we could have done everything before. Yes, we understand that we ourselves are to blame. Yes, we understand that now we can do everything ourselves. But you, a programmer, will do it faster and better. “This is your program.” But we have time pressure, time is running out, the fate of the enterprise hangs in the balance, it is necessary to save. And who does not want to save? Programmer. He is nits. He does not care for the fate of the enterprise. Uses a crisis situation to realize his own ambitions.

    Here you appear, Savior. As Vysotsky sang, "the gloom was angry, but he walked." Gritting your teeth, swearing and carrying bookkeeping, you sit down and work for them. Hold me seven, do not get in the way, right now the chef will work. Without ceasing to whine that they can do everything themselves.

    And when the crisis subsides, you don’t stutter about it. Although I could carry out systematic work, insist on timely and quality accounting - I know you can do it. But this is not beneficial for you - the role of the Savior will be lost. Unfortunately, you have confirmed that you like this approach.

    When you came to raise the salary, I was bustling and dodging, trying my best to let you know that you shouldn't do it now. I saw your smirk, and I guess what you thought. That I have no power, that I am shaking for my career, that I am trying to win the respect of the director and top managers, that I wanted to shit on you. And you are gone.

    I really hoped that you could be a little patient. But you probably decided to show me who the fish is here and who the toad is. You went to the director, and he threw you twenty. No explanation, no results, no goals, no market analysis, no understanding of your work. Just picked up and threw it.

    Such a royal approach to salaries, as I wrote above, is one of the first places in the list of claims of the owner to the director. You know, probably, how much he pays to his friend, the production manager? Salary at the level of Moscow top management. And how much does the chief accountant involved in the corruption scheme for virtual costs from technical organizations get? Why is it that people who really create a product, engineers, workers, craftsmen cannot afford to buy a used foreign car on credit?

    I tried to return, revive, actualize your competence in systems thinking, when I suggested you evaluate the feasibility of the project. I know how important this competency is for a factory programmer. Alas, you refused. Plus - he hid from me that he had already done such a project, and you have the source code. I did not immediately find out about this - only when I began to look at the code under the first closed tasks, and found it in an elementary global search in previous versions of the modules.

    In working with users, I wanted you to start asking the question “why?” As before. You have long since stopped asking him. I came to different departments, asked what they need to automate, they were carrying some kind of nonsense, I pretended to not understand a damn thing, and sent you. And you came and just wrote down their Wishlist. It is necessary, it is not necessary, it will be useful, it will not be - you are no longer interested in it. I just added regular bricks to the inverted cone, which is the enterprise information system.

    In general, I did not succeed. One month wasn’t enough for me to get into your soul and get the divine programmer out of there. The rest of the work I did well. The list for dismissal is made. Unfortunately, you are in it too.

    Director, chief accountant, financial director will be quietly merged. They have no options - there is a criminal. Friends, girlfriends, lovers and relatives of the director, of course, will also leave. The anti-crisis team will arrive. I don’t know who these people are; the owner chooses the team. It is suspected that it will be "effective."

    But I am an optimist. I still believe in you. Now that you lose your job, you will run into difficulties. There is a chance that you will not be hired in your city because of the scandal. He will not advertise, but word of mouth will work perfectly. The owner wants it so. So that the top of the company tasted all the fruits, but did not go to jail.

    Come to Moscow. To my company. I will find a good place for you. I will help with the move. Read this text an hour later, and then another day later. To without emotions. Understand what I'm trying to tell you.

    Remember how you were. After all, not many years have passed. Revive in memory that energy, the indefatigable thirst for the new, the desire to be the best, to write code that is not embarrassing for the boys to show. I need you like that.

    Waiting for your reply.

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