This part 11 of a 13 part series.
Once a software product is chosen to be built with a fixed set of technologies, its life span gets tightly coupled with ones of the technologies. Once the product is in hands of users, the creators have to keep it up with the latest trends for higher customer satisfaction. At this point the vision is tested in terms of extensibility and scalability. With dynamic technology trends often a short term genius idea needs a makeover for keeping it in the race. This entire activity of reevaluation of the vision itself is Migration.
Within first 5 years of career individuals start realizing the significance of the choices being made in beginning and the short sighted fixes implemented to achieve temporary stability. The introspection in such cases is often painfully harsh and demoralizing in the beginning for a lot of aspirants. The brutal valley between the expected results and actual results is much larger than assumed. The knowledge of several hidden factors makes decision making more difficult. The choice boils down to ability to adapt and learn the new ways. Restarting learning essentially demands going through the entire curve again at a much higher pace and a much focused approach, skills nobody is explicitly trained for in institutions. The curious evolutionary instincts need to take over. The obvious choice is to look for a situation where the curve seems secure enough, that is migration to a new industry or a new work place in the same industry. Migration is cursed by the baggage of incumbency, a hidden variable most fail to account for.
In a system celebrating specialization often migration spells doom. The cure being, an open minded approach to design that accounts for such events in advance, in other words a more generalized approach towards surroundings. Mighty civilizations have fallen due to failure of upgrading their intellectual values, and history is repeating itself. Mastering the mechanics of chance is the only key to survival. Some of the parameters that make the whole equation dynamic are briefly discussed in the following subsections.
The calculation of needs versus desires that threatens to redefine the foundation of the career. With careers based on purely financial incentives, the risk of migration being fatal blow to skills increases tremendously. One possible way to insure against such decisions is to always consider the financial ratio of necessities versus desires. If the desires are allowed to dictate the ratio, individuals find themselves working just for sake of paying bills. On the other hand, ensuring necessities are covered and treating rest as a bonus gives an individual enough security to be innovative and hence prosper in career.
This ratio calculation is obviously not as straight forward considering the complex nature of human existence in a relational social structure. The skills to classify an acquisition as need or desire is the real testimony to an individual’s maturity as a worthy successor of an evolving species. The situation is not very different from that of product that includes all the features its competitors do. Quality of life could be another synonym for this ratio.
The Valley of Dreams
Dreaming is a wonderful phrase often used to avoid the criticism drawn by use of word thinking. The flaw in assumption being, they are synonyms. Unfortunately, inability to accept the fact of paradox called “Dream Job” causes a lot pain for many hard working yet misdirected individuals. The mythical place where lesser efforts result in huge monetary rewards is driving the technology world towards another bubble, both financial and intellectual. Even at core hard work is driving that place but more people who are leading in that direction are failing to realize it. Such places are often built on some strong visions which have their own life spans. Generations of dreamers who are flooding to those places, without actually contributing to migration of the fundamental visions, are slowly tearing down the utopia themselves.
Poet versus Practitioner
With a broken value system, majority fail to admire the quality of a vision. The never ending battle of quantity and quality is just a proof of failure of humans to rectify their thinking process over centuries. The skill can be acquired by a majority but it takes some special effort to add value to practicing that skill. The fundamental idea of practicing a profession as artists has become a taboo. Promise to deliver quality has become an overhead, but this lack of quality in execution ends up demanding frequent migrations and stagnating the entire vision to a mere decaying idea. High time, the practitioners demand time to deliver quality and with more effort add more value to their own lives. The herd mentality to chase professions which results in majority practitioners will only stall the innovative fields all over the world.
Upgrades versus Patches
Patches are ad-hoc arrangements to stop system for failing. By definition they are not suppose to add any value to the system. Professionals have abused the education system to get some cosmetic patches to boost their resumes and get higher roles. But it is an upgrade that is needed to take higher decision making roles. Professionals have to add more depth to their knowledge to enhance their insight. The upgrades demand effort, again something not fitting in personal financial growth graphs of majorities.
Architect versus Owner
The mechanics of success are equally confusing for the ones who classify as outliers. The challenge they face is not how to innovate but why to innovate. The conflict they face is between the passion to build their vision for showcasing it to the world or arguing with the world why they deserve the credit for building something innovative (even before they have actually started building something). It is a clash of rationality versus ego, every creative individual has their own value system for tackling this issue, but taking one side is mandatory. The winning side is the DNA of the vision and hence the resulting end product.
The Volatile Variables
The most weighted variable in the life of a person is the society and yet it is the least explored component of choices one makes. It is definitely over rated, badly defined and extremely volatile to consider in any stable solution yet the practice continues to bias and ruin decisions every second in every single profession on the earth.
SDLC Series iterator : I : Preface , II : Introduction , III: Normal Perspective , IV: Requirements Gathering , V: Functional Specifications , VI : Development , VII : Testing , VIII : Alpha Release , IX : Beta Release , X : UAT , XI : Migration , XII : Release Notes , XIII : EOF , Book Shelf: Bibliography