Garo Garabedyan's Divergent Thinking Blog

Following graduation

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March was a very dynamic month for me and my colleagues in Technical University-Sofia, studying Computer Systems and Technologies. In March, 5 we have received our diplomas in a spectacular ceremony led by the rector of our university, Prof. Ph.D. eng. Marin Hristov.

In a similar graduation ceremony but in 2005 in Stanford Steve Jobs advises the graduates to live every day like it is the last of their life. Jobs is widely quoted saying “Almost everything, all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure, these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” Jobs’ advise is to have passion for technology in order to be ready to face failures without giving up. We all should have passion in our jobs because we face people who succeed with little than our devotion and diligence.

 

Among the best characteristics for a developer is his pragmatic attitude and the ability to follow strict rules. A Turing award winner in 1999 for landmark contributions to computer architecture, operating systems, and software engineeringFrederick P. Brooks devotes an entire chapter in the first ever book about software project management, The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering (1975), about the psychological preparations to erase the first thing that you engineer. In chapter titled “Plan to Throw One Away” Brooks argues that in most projects, the first system build is barely usable. It may be too slow, too big, awkward to use, or all three. There is no alternative but to start again, smarting but smarter, and build a redesigned version in which these problems are solved. The discard and redesign may be done in one lump, or it may be done piece-by-piece. But all large-system experience shows that it will be done. Chemical engineers learned long ago that a process that works in the laboratory cannot be implemented in a factory in only one step. An intermediate step called pilot plant is necessary to give experience in scaling quantities up and in operating in nonprotective environments. Programming system builders have also been exposed to this lesson, but it seems to have not yet been learned, writes Brooks in 1975. Project after project designs a set of algorithms and then plunges into construction of customer-deliverable software on a schedule that demands delivery of the first thing build.

One of the things that have built leaders like Steve Jobs is disruptive innovation. Disruptive innovation is not a breakthrough but transforms a product that is too expensive and complicated that only few people with a lot of money and skills can use it into a more affordable and accessible and a much larger population can have an access to it. In the beginning of the computer industry there were only mainframe computers that only big universities can have one and from then there were a lot of disruptive innovations turning computers to desktops, to laptops and to mobile phones. Disruptive innovation democratizes the product to the point that everyone has an access to it and targets new larger markets.

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Written by garabedyan

March 31, 2012 at 09:54

Posted in Uncategorized

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