Thursday, February 22, 2007

Journey of an Afropreneur: Managing, Bears and Rails

Managing myself and others

I count a total of 5 days since my last post I guess I really haven't had much to say even though a lot has happened.I'm currently leading/managing the development of our main products and that has been and continues to be a challenge for the very reason that I have to shed the "coder" image and become a "manager" in the words of Al I need to become more corporate and less of operational. Almost 5 years of web development you realise that writing code is easier then getting a contractor to work and deliver a product that meets the standards your business is targetting. I now have to organise meetings, deliver progress reports, develop product standards, formulate budgets, negotiate costings and sell the idea to new people whom we would like to join the team. A herculean task whichever way you look at it considering that managing myself is already hard enough, I am always tempted to just push away the developer of our current product and get my hands dirty, that's the natural thing for me, but I am always reminded by Al that I am now a manager and I have to lead and manage people, try telling that to a person who gets excited when they hear such words as Python, REST, Web Services and you'll see what I mean.

It constantly is a series of personal improvements on my part as I try to learn and put into practise at the same time the lessons of being a manager. I keep focusing on the bigger picture and try to focus on my strengths while constantly working to overcome my weaknesses. I must admit that occasionally I do give into my weaknesses almost like a little child who can't control their desire to consume large amounts of candy, I find myself spending hours trying to learn a new language or to brush up on those I touched a long time ago, instead of seeing it as a chore or a duty that I must fulfill I view it like a retired athlete who keeps on going to the track to practise even though they know that they have now become a coach.

"Why would you put yourself through the agony of learning a new language?" I think because it keeps me fresh and upto speed, If we ever get a client who insists on having an web app developed in a certain language I'll be in a better position to quantify how long it will take, how many developers we need and how much it will cost based upon my experience and knowledge and that isn't such a bad thing considering that I now have to focus on the "bottom line". goes "Bearish"

On another front, our favorite stocks portal seems to have gone down. I'm informed by reliable sources that it's a database issue which will be resolved soon. I hope they address the issue fast enough since they do have a loyal fan base which I'd hate to see die.

RoR-Sailing using Rails

I'm not sure that's a fitting heading but for now it will do, I spent a couple of hours last weekend reading up and trying out RoR Ruby on Rails. I had earlier on started reading Agile Web Development with Rails and was eager to put what I'd learned into practise, so I decided to develop a blogging application just to see how far I could go. It really is interesting to see how Rails makes it so easy to do stuff with the minimum effort. Hopefully when am done I will put it up so that my people can see :-)


On tuesday we had our first full day strategic meeting at MultipleChoices, demanding on the mind but necessary for any successful business.

Let's see what the next few days will offer

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