The Web Gambit

Thoughts on Web Development

Top 5 things I learned during my time at Telligent

I learned a lot about software development while I worked at Telligent, and I thought it was fitting to list my top 5 while they were still fresh in mind.

1. Short, focused iterations are not optional.  An iterative-based approach is a must in today’s competitive environment. Tight iterations allow you to nail down attainable estimates, effectively utilize your project’s budget, and create higher quality releases.

2. There is no substitute for a great team. Methodologies, Processes, and Technologies can only take you so far.  You need great talent to make these things work.

3. Tools should not create much friction. Everyday tools that a developer uses for things like Source Control, Build Management, and Task Management should not be painful to use.  Otherwise, a lot of time is wasted and the team is left feeling extremely frustrated.

4. Do what is really needed instead of what people think they want. This can apply to clients, leadership, and peers.  With a client, understand the problem they’re trying to solve and provide a solution rather than blindly implementing what they have proposed.  With your leadership, understand how the information they desire will help them make better decisions so that you can provide it accurately.  With your peers, help them analyze their approach instead of just helping them find their way around one technical issue after another.

5. If you see a problem, take steps to fix it rather than complain about it. If you think your project lacks documentation, start it.  If you think your team needs training on a technology, learn it and train them.  If an in-house tool lacks functionality that you need, download the source and add it.  If an internal process is inefficient, gather the stakeholders and work to improve it.

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3 responses to “Top 5 things I learned during my time at Telligent

  1. Caleb Jenkins February 18, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Great list Karthik. I especialy like number 2. It’s amazing how the right people make all the difference in the world!

  2. Jim Gross February 18, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Good stuff, Karthik. As simple and common sense as a lot of these things seem, it’s amazing how many large, ostensibly successful corporations don’t do anything to incentivise this sort of thinking.

  3. Brian Browning March 13, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Good points,#5 really hit me.
    Sad to see that telligent had to lay people off, I always though that was one of the best .net companies in Dallas. Best of luck.

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