I am starting a series of blog posts that will cover my experiences as an architect/team lead/dev lead (insert phrase for guy that is in charge of bag of poo) over the last 10 years.  I say that not as a badge of honor but as a statement of I’ve been around a few projects. 

The series will cover the following areas of observations:

  • About a buck-fiddy
  • Software “blocking and tackling” 101
  • Team building
  • Using and choosing methodologies
  • The rhythms
  • Dealing with the Bobs, the monkeys and when the lawyers come knocking
  • Handling, shining and presenting the big bag of poo
  • Saying goodbye

Those who know me, understand my Izzy-isms.  Those who don’t, I explain them like this; I am not a smart man so I need to draw correlations to daily life.  To do that, I use a TON of analogies to fool myself into thinking that I somehow understand what you’re talking about.  I also tell lots of stories to help relate the yesterday to the today and the potential tomorrow.

I see life as a very large home building project and throughout it, you will collect different sets of tools that will help you, hurt you, or when used with other tools, make magic.  Some author of a book I read called the tools “golden nuggets”.  Hopefully I can become a tool in your life :-).

Men can relate to the tools analogy and women hopefully can relate to the home building.  We will have dreams of additions, remodels, new and shiny things, pretty paint and fabric.  And men think of places to put their stuff, big TV's and places to sit and enjoy our stuff. 

Here is your first nugget;

  1. Draw a line between the vision of tomorrow and the reality of today.  This line is your roadmap.  The vision is the goal (where you want to be).
  2. Now draw a line at different intersecting points as signals to alert you that you are on track. We will call these “milestones”.
  3. Now, create a list of things that are required to walk your roadmap and get to your milestones.  We will call this list a “task list”.
  4. With the task list, we will re-order it based on priority and delegation.  We can call this our “plan”
  5. Next we take our plan, and assign a random dollar amount based on how much money I am willing to pay to walk my roadmap.  I will call that random dollar amount, “budget”.
  6. And now the fun part;  let’s find people to help us walk our path because after looking at all the tasks on the task list, I quickly realize that:
    • ohh, that looks difficult and maybe painful;
    • no one I know can do it or is willing to do it, 
    • I know its going to cost more than what I have in my pocket so I’ll find someone that can do it cheaper
    • I need it NOW!

Sometimes I come in before step 1 (strategy).  Sometimes around step 4 or 5 (planning, bidding or RFP).  Other times I walk in around step 40 (recovery), when you’ve wondered so far off the path or someone you hired took you off the path or worse yet, when someone else calls me in because they see you off the path and you are so far lost, that you don’t even know you’re off the path (bag of poo).

Here we go.  1st stop, About a buck-fiddy.