Software engineers are always known for their intelligence. They always tend to find the simpler solution of critical problems. This is the other thing that their simple solution contains complex algorithms and programs. As a software engineer, I must agree on the fact that software engineers use their brain more than other species in the planet. But my point is not to begin the debate by comparing the intelligence level of IT and non-IT professionals. My question is how IT professionals develop such extra-ordinary skills to do critical task in ordinary way? You must be thinking that their engineering degree program is responsible for this. But believe me; they never implement anything they learned in university courses. The real source of such wisdom is there inside the software company itself. An IT company is like a factory that produce (or rather develop) such intelligent brains.
Here is the practical demo of how IT professionals get trained. No…no…no …I am not going to write anything in C++, java or complex binary languages in the demo; It’s in simple English. Also, I am not giving the demo for any rocket science problem. My problem is very simple in the demo ‘How to find washroom in the software company.’
I must say you would be lucky, if you find the sign board for washroom. Because then you will find it easily without any effort. But it will not give any learning to you. To nourish your brain capabilities, you have to ask this question to someone.
If you ask the question to a person at software engineer or senior engineer levels – “Where is the washroom in company?”, then his/her reply would be – “Go straight from here, there will be lift at the end. Go to ground floor by lift and take right; there is the washroom.” If the person is on *bench*, then he/she would defiantly assist you to reach exactly at washroom; because person on bench in IT company always looks for the way to pass the time in the office. Else, you have to manage it alone. But in any case, you would reach at the destination in 5 to 10 minutes.
But if you ask the way to reach washroom to a person at team lead or design lead level rather than engineer, then his/her reply would be like this – “behind the admin block”. Now if you again ask him to make it clearer, he will give another hint to you – “behind the admin block and beside the server room.” If you ask him again for further more clarification, he would again provide you more answer like these; as the person at team lead or design lead level always have many solution of a problem in their mind. Anyway…Now you deviate from your main goal (washroom) and put your energy to find admin block or server rooms in office premises. When you find your first goal (admin block/server room) then you start for next level search (washroom). Ultimately, when you reach at washroom, it will take 10 to 20 minutes of your time. But it will surely give you important learning about how to approach a problem, how to think about different creative ways to solve a problem, how to break your solution to simple steps…etc…Etc…
Let’s assume, you have asked the way to washroom to project manager instead of team lead, then his/her reply would be – “talk to someone in maintenance department, they are handling this module.” At first thought, you will think that he is avoiding you. But believe me, it’s a part of his job – deviate a query to correct person. So that in future also, you will directly contact to correct department/person for such queries. He will also suggest you to make a document on it, so that next time when other person asks for washroom, it will help him. Now you make your effort to find maintenance department. When you find maintenance department, you will ask someone about washroom there. Now again, if you ask to lead level person there, his reply would be like behind admin block or near server room like these. And if you ask to any entry-level person, he will guide you at the lift. But in any case, it will take almost 15 to 30 minutes to reach at washroom. Again in this case also, there are big learning’s involved. Team lead’s answer make you learn about how to approach a problem; but project manager’s reply make you learn about how to approach the problem correctly so that it always yields to result.
Now think, you have asked this question to a person at very high level like vice-president or CEO. His/her reply would be like this – “Here is the intranet link of our company; you will find details about all departments including maintenance department at this link, like email-address, location and phone number. Talk with someone in maintenance department, they will surely help you. Also, there is floor plan/maps of building in the same link, there also you can find washroom.” At first thought, you will think that it is a big mess to explore the intranet, and it’s better to go outside and spread your dirt at empty open place. But believe me, if you do this, you will miss the big learning – ‘think bigger.’ If you follow his/her approach, you will explore the link and try to find maintenance department there. And if you are really very good fellow, you will try to understand the floor plan also. Then you contact to maintenance department via email or instant messaging or direct phone call. Again, if you talk with lead there, he will make you find admin block or server room. And if you talk with initial level person, he will lead you to the lift. But in any case, it will take almost 30 to 45 minutes to find washroom. However as I said, there is big learning of think bigger in this approach. Lead and project manager were only targeting just the problem and its solution, but VP/CEO looks it more than just a problem and solution. They make you learn business, technology, domain, verticals (intranet access and exploration, web-based applications, CAD floor plan, Google maps, understanding company structure, communication mediums etc…Etc…)
So this was RANCHO’s short demo of a very simple problem and its solution by IT professionals at different levels. This is how people at various levels in IT Company think about a problem and solutions. And this is how your skills developed when you work with them. At end, I would only suggest you to finish all your washroom tasks at home before visiting a software industry, unless you have strong power to hold-off and killing thirst to learn something…
*On bench* – This is the general term used in software industry for the people who don’t have any work in hand. They preserved for future upcoming projects.