Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
Welcome to the Monastery

Re: Certifications are dumb.

by Your Mother (Bishop)
on Apr 08, 2008 at 20:17 UTC ( #679063=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Certifications are dumb.

I also think you rule and would love to work in the type of environment for which you strive. I want to air out this one:

  • Are you a team player or a loner?

This boils down to-

  • Are you a yes man or a trouble maker?
  • Are you a sheep or a free thinker?

Team player != good collaborator. Little, if any, genius in history has come from teams, but almost all of the bad stuff in the world does. A friend of mine says, "The IQ of a meeting starts at 100 and drops 5 points for every person present."

I'd rather have a workforce 10 friendly "loners" than 100 "team players." The idea of team encourages the idea of group responsibility. The idea of group responsibility discourages achievement, self-satisfaction, and the kind of person who believes in taking responsibility for one's own mistakes and successes instead of "that guy" which every "team" has and everyone but HR and the manager knows is dragging the place down. Star players tend to change teams so often for just this sort of reason.

I'd also like to air out this from tinita above:

you realize that everybody has weaknesses.

I don't realize that and I can't believe everyone just swallows this pill without so much as a grain of sugar. People, like things, have right places and wrong places. What's a scalpel's weakness? That it can't cut a sandwich without making a mess? People are the same. Managers should try very hard to get people into the places they belong. The right person in the right job might have no "weakness" at all. The right person in the right job can create such a surplus of productivity that it covers for the 5 employees who stumbled through life into career paths for which they have no talent, no drive, and no affection.

Oh, and I guess a comment on this one too-

(Of course, this doesn't count certifications required to practice the craft, such as CPA.)

Malpractice kills something like 100,000 people a year in the US. Some estimates go quite a bit higher too. What better "certificate" than a degree 6-12 years in the making with 1-3 years of on the job training afterwards? Since even that can't be reliable, all certs are suspect. (I know you know this, just bringing it up; the legal requirement for a cert changes nothing.)

Whew! On the other points I especially appreciate this: "Do you work days or nights?"

Some, me included, simply do better, more focused, work at night. Fewer distractions. Fewer things to do instead. Little to no chance of being interrupted when in the middle of a sticky problem.

The fact that you're thinking this stuff through, without a top 10 list from Business 2.0 or some shite, puts you at the head of the management class already. If you weren't in OH I'd probably be private msg'ing you right after this. :)

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^2: Certifications are dumb.
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on Apr 08, 2008 at 20:55 UTC
    While the "lone ranger" archetype is very emotionally appealing, it must be remembered that a company is an engine that produces money. Nothing more, nothing less. As such, all decisions have to be made in terms of what will have the greatest ROI (Return On Investment). So, let's examine what is, in my experience, the most common "lone ranger" ROI.

    There are 3 people on the team. Each person brings a ROI of $50k (meaning that the company gets $50k of value above what the company pays). The network effects each brings an additional $100k per connection. So, that's a total of $150k + $300k for $450k. Let's add the fourth person.

    • If that person is a team player, then we get $50k for him plus $400k from the network effects.
    • If that person is a lone ranger, then we get $250k for him plus $0k from the network effects.

    That lone ranger just cost me $200k, even though he is personally 5x better. No, thank you.

    As for malpractice ... I have a different take on that. Personally, I think that the risk of dying due to malpractice in the US is about on par with the risk of dying in an airplane. Now, I have no proof for this, but consider the following points:

    1. Most people who die in a doctor's care either would die within a year or should have died already.
    2. That 100k is out of how many people who see a doctor each year?
    3. How likely are those people to have kept themselves healthy prior to seeing a doctor?
    4. What is the incidence of malpractice death in other countries, specifically Scandinavia, Japan, and China? </oll>

      Puts that number into perspective, doesn't it?

      My criteria for good software:
      1. Does it work?
      2. Can someone else come in, make a change, and be reasonably certain no bugs were introduced?

      I think that the risk of dying due to malpractice in the US is about on par with the risk of dying in an airplane. Now, I have no proof for this, but...

      A couple links:

      From the first, I infer that there are about 100 deaths per year in airplane accidents (I get this from a 50,000 number of deaths in auto accidents and a statement that there are 500 times more of those than airplane deaths).

      The second says medical errors kill 195,000 per year in the US.

      These are certainly not indisputable sources, but they'd have to be pretty far off for the inequality to go the other way.

      I know what you mean but there is a huge amount of HR-marketing-sprak stuck in all that stuff. I have learned to shut my mouth in certain circumstances because team players don't say, "that's a mistake, it's gonna cost us down the road." Not every job but in a few it has been less risky for me to let everyone make mistakes than it is to fight to do a good job. I'm not a lone ranger. I love supporting others and stuff like pair-coding. Love it. But that is not what people mean when they say "team player." They mean committee -- don't ask embarrassing questions, don't make waves, don't be different, don't stick your head out or it's for the chop. This is a huge productivity, talent, and enthusiasm killer. I always think of the scene in the "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" remake where they execute Sting.

      Most people who die in a doctor's care either would die within a year or should have died already.

      You are insufficiently jaded. :) E.g., 80 people die every day in the US from bad prescriptions. I'm from a family of medical people. I could tell you toe-curling tales of incompetence like patients waking up in the middle of thoracic surgery because the anesthesiologist was too busy chatting up a cute nurse to do his job right. A *large* majority (was large 20 years ago anyway, one can hope it's not close to 90% anymore) of doctors fall into at least one of these: alcoholic, smoker, overweight; persons who are trained in taking care of people. Lots of surgeons are drunk or high at work. Lots of cops are bullies and racists. Et cetera and so forth. I wanted to pull a punch line out of that but it's not even darkly comedic right now. :( Part of what "team player" means to me is "look the other way for the team." Maybe I'm overly jaded but I find the term hopelessly corrupt.

        I don't doubt that many doctors aren't fit for duty and, just like the Blue Wall, they have their own code of silence. Just like IT folk, too. I could tell you toe-curling tales of IT incompetence with mission-critical systems, such as banks. If you don't think a bank's trades processing system has real-world consequences, then I don't know what to say.

        As for teams and teamwork ... it sounds like you're too jaded. Yes, a team can be used to squelch initiative. It can also be used to build said initiative. And, many times, the person with the initiative would have screwed the pooch and it was only due to the team keeping a lid on the loose cannon that the mission-critical system was saved. I know - I've been that loose cannon.

        The key is to encourage creativity and initiative while still maintaining alignment across all team members so that everyone is going in the same direction. Remember - you are paid for a reason. If you don't like it, make your own company.

        My criteria for good software:
        1. Does it work?
        2. Can someone else come in, make a change, and be reasonably certain no bugs were introduced?

Log In?

What's my password?
Create A New User
Node Status?
node history
Node Type: note [id://679063]
[marto]: Nobody we spoke to in Berlin had a clue who Hasslhoff was
[erix]: heh: The Dutch do one thing very, very well
[LanX]: the sidekick of this blonde playboy model which was saving lives with her red bathing suit ... (what was her name again ...)
[choroba]: Pamela Anderson?
[choroba]: erix: I'm proud to be from a nation that also does one thing well
[LanX]: ah yes! And he called her Kit and she could talk while a light was going from her left to right eye and back...
[erix]: choroba: pretty impressive! :)
LanX imagines which nations would be dominating if the winter olympics were invented in East Asia
[LanX]: Corion: and that's the clue how Germany can dominate Handball tournaments, just continuing the domestic league and forbidding the best players of the world to attend :)

How do I use this? | Other CB clients
Other Users?
Others imbibing at the Monastery: (10)
As of 2018-02-23 16:35 GMT
Find Nodes?
    Voting Booth?
    When it is dark outside I am happiest to see ...

    Results (303 votes). Check out past polls.