Daily Archives: October 8, 2010

Humble Is Ok, But Obedient?

While I am not actively looking for a job, I like going through the craigslist job postings regularly. In the process I even pass on some of the job posts to friends whom I feel might be interested based on their skills and the job description. In fact, one of the company whose job post I recommended to a friend got acquired by Google (though that friend hasn’t interviewed with them). Anyway, I recently came across a job post for the CTO position by a company called JangoMail. Here is one of their requirement

“Personality

Genius-smart. Communicative. Humble. Hard working. Passionate. Obedient.”

I have seen people wanting very smart people but those who are humble and not be arrogant that they are very smart. Even I prefer down to earth people no matter how smart they are. In fact, many people who are half as smart as they should be for the jobs they do show more than double the arrogance which ticks me off. But what bothered me about this job post is the term Obedient. What? Like the CTO Is going to be a servant or something? In fact, I personally think those managers who want their immediate team members to be obedient are missing the point that the job of their team members is to question your judgment as and when necessary to make sure you and your team is going in the right direction. Otherwise, you just have a bunch of paper pushers. Isn’t it? This reminds me of something I read a while back. I think this happened at Microsoft. When two super smart techie guys were fighting over some technical designs, they couldn’t resolve and went to THE boss. The boss told them, you guys are the best to resolve this technical issue and sent them back and they finally resolved it themselves. Isn’t that wonderful?

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The Annoying “Pending Update”

Say there is an application that allows performing transactions by users. Say that the transactions need to be reviewed at the end of the day to confirm that they are accurate or run through some other audits and finally “post” (confirm) those transactions. In that case, the app has two choices. It can choose to say that some of the data is “pending updates” and not show up to the minute summary or show the up to the minute information as per the transactions with a big foot note that it’s accuracy will be confirmed at the end of the day. Which option would you go with?

For me, I would love to go with the option of showing the summary as up to the minute as possible. However, the big financial company that I use thinks the other way. This is really annoying because I don’t get an accurate picture till the end of the day. Infact, after a stock sale the settlement takes up to 3 business days and during that time the summary information is very useless. It wasn’t a big deal since I hardly trade. But recently I had a few trades in the last few days and it’s a total mess. I have no clue how much cash reserves are there, what my tax implications are etc. I know eventually everything will fall in place, but I want it as of now!

When designing an app, it’s important to see what the end user wants and not just what your internal procedures are. With a lot of consumer facing companies like banks and retailers providing web applications, it’s something to keep in mind.

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