05 March, 2014

When Top Management Kills the Opportunity for Growth

Coda (web development software)
Coda (web development software) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
05-Mar-2014

My very first venture out of my country of birth was a job that I stayed in for almost one and a half decade. And being employed for so long means I wasn't moving from one employer to another. That is to say I didn't have the chance, or better yet, the challenge, of job hunting.

Now that I am, I realize a few things that were taken for granted for so long.

First in the list is my resume. It took me a while to remember my education details. Mine is quite unusual, coming from a 3-year technical course all units of which are credited when a BS or Degree course is pursued afterwards. It was a problem on the date of the BS Computer Science course that took me some time to realize, until I was reconciling the dates of my previous employments before the decade and a half job.

My next difficulty was the picking of the details to be included in each level or area of responsibility. Brevity is its own merit, and a lot had to be dropped, exercising of course great care not to prune where verbosity matters. This brings me to my main point of discourse.

I took on the interest of web development, and my very first small web apps was really something so small that all that mattered to me when I developed that single page was to see if I can do it. Of course I did it, and a couple of years later on, a really big project came up in the KPI list. It was considerable, and one that took me 2 years to complete: framework, UI design and bare functionality took about 8 months of development. And some other issues took priority. When the same KPI item came up the year that followed, my boss was worried that if it wasn’t completed ASAP, it would never get done at all, and it would be against me. Actually, it can be brought up again the third year, but it would already draw the attention of the next level supervisor – and that would mean bad to me and my boss.

It was done, finally. Self-UAT was carried, and then our internal group UAT followed. A few more tweaks, and it was rolled out for public use. And the requirement was: make it run only in IE, the rest of the browsers didn’t matter. Bummer!

I asked my boss why, and the directive was actually coming from IT: they will only support IE8, at that. He was anticipating any issue that may come, and if not IE, our support guys won’t even take a look. And that directive from top management was the killer.

I don’t blame them, but I have known from my research that cross-browser functionality was the very bane of web development. And form what I read, IE, being proprietary, was THE most uncompliant. No offense meant, but just pointing out that W3C compliance-wise, IE was off the chart.

And being the maverick that I am, I tacitly injected the cross-browser functionalities in my pages, not caring whether or not one day other browsers will be allowed use in the office. For even with that directive, I have tested my codes against 6 browsers:  IE, FF, Chrome, Safari, Maxthon and Opera.

I would understand that top management have to do their job of protecting their own interest, but when it comes to our working level, the decision is ours: do we let them kill our creativity and opportunity for growth?

The choice is ours. I did not. Certainly.

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