Well, I do have to admit that I am part of the late majority when it comes to blogging. So why am I bothering to start a blog now?
I am a managing partner at TechTalk – we are about 50 people, doing consulting for software engineering in enterprise application development, with a technological focus on the Microsoft .NET platform. Besides general management tasks, my primary role is to lead the advancement of our technical and methodical expertise in software engineering. I share management responsibility with my two other partners, who focus on leading our sales/marketing efforts and our project operations.
Being a technical leader was easy when we started. I joined TechTalk in 1997, and although the team grew quite quickly in the first years, projects were pretty much a hands-on experience for me. Communication was also easy, up to the point where we hit the 15 people mark. Since then, my role gradually transformed from daily coding to being regularly involved with architecture (I wouldn’t call myself an architect, though) and whose daily practice is rather about facilitating teams so they can successfully build enterprise software systems.
While I am happy with the transformation of my daily work, the lack of communication within the growing team increasingly started to bother me. In the early days, I knew about every project detail and all the problems and solutions we found, but now there are some projects which I only learn about in more detail when there are already problems to deal with. Even worse, I also have the impression that we have to overcome great resistance in order to transmit findings and perceptions from individual projects to other teams, let alone spread them generally in the whole company.
Another interesting aspect is that my opinions and standpoints are constantly evolving through the experience I gain in my daily work, and inputs I get from external peers. What I found useful a year ago might be not the same approach I would take to solve the same problem today. My colleagues are sometimes surprised when I disagree with positions I took fiercely not long ago. But I think it is essential for a successful team or company to constantly strive for improvement, learning new things, and embrace the resulting change; and that it is one of my primary objectives – to facilitate this process at our company.
Out of these aspects, I decided to start a blog with the following motivations:
1. Document problems, discussions and findings from our daily work, to have them spread more easily within our teams and organisation.
2. Provide a log of my opinions and standpoints, to make it easier for myself, my colleagues and peers to track how they evolve.
The primary target audience of my blog is our own organisation and maybe also some of my peers at our customers. In the intermediate term, I also hope to draw the attention of external readers on some topics I write about, to gain additional outside viewpoints on them.