Software Development – Black Dan Developers
Improving your software development productivity is not that hard.
My cousin is a fifth dan black belt at Karate. I thought that it was pretty good when he progressed through the various belts to become a black dan.
I thought that this was it. He had arrived. It surprised me even more to find that he continued to progress through the dans and that he had become a bit of an expert.
He had never been that confident before. Now his self esteem is extremely high and he carries that into other areas of his life.
He had left school at fifteen to go into the shipyards. After succeeding at karate he went back to university and got himself a university degree.
Compare that to software developers.
There are trainee developers, developers, and senior developers. At senior developer you have arrived. And then you don’t go anywhere – no matter how much better you become at software development.
To progress you have to do something else like business analysis or project leadership.
I’m not suggesting that you should call people fifth dan senior developers (exposing yourself to ridicule), but perhaps you could have Expertise Level 5 Senior Developers (or something more catchy).
Achieving these levels could be related to their productivity levels, quality levels, and customer satisfaction levels etc.
If the measures are objective instead of using management opinion, the developers know what they have to achieve instead of having them harass their managers at their reviews.
Striving for theses higher levels gives them objectives, keeps their interest, and motivates them towards continuous self-improvement.
It also gives them status among their peers, status which they may not be able to transfer to another company. Amongst the karate community, people with Fifth Dans are accorded a lot of respect from their karate peers.
The same would be true of someone in an organisation where they got the status of ‘fifth dan‘ developer.
High Performing Developers
You can imagine the trainee developers speaking in awed tones of the achievements of this high performing developer, the way that the brown belts do of the ‘high dans‘ at karate clubs, and seeking to attain this status themselves.
Why would Fifth Dan want to leave this organisation when he or she has achieved so much in terms of status, and whilst having a steady job with a regular income, may be paid more than contractors and many of the management through performance bonuses for saving his company heaps of money?
For more similar insights getting better at software development and into Running Projects see Project Manager Man