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March 30, 2015 / kiranpatils

Winning Teams Basics

As Cricket world cup has completed and Australian team won it again (Congratulations to them!), and apart from few people in India. Cricket is religion for most of us. You too – Correct?

“Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” – Vince Lombardi

I know we lost in Semis against Australia – But as Dhoni rightly said “it’s a sport and only one team can win”. And let’s be honest guys and girls too – When Indian team went for World cup all of us, expected that these team won’t reach so far. And here’s when human expectations comes in to the picture,  When we started winning, Our expectation raised. And we wanted team to win world cup. But my personal view is that day Australia played good cricket. And we failed to do so. But I’m sure team will take a learning lesson from this and they do better next time! Sorry for taking conversation off track. But it shows, I’m same like you! When it comes to Cricket – We become experts. I personally believe everyone should follow/play at least one sport. It teaches you lot of lessons, which helps you in real life as well! Best lesson is “Match is never end till last ball” – Follow this rule in real life. At last moment (Yes, last moment) there is a chance that things becomes favorable to you. You just need to stay on the pitch! So, whatever the tough situation you are going through. Just be there on pitch! You might be thinking – Why there are few teams, who always keeps winning? And the other one always keeps losing? (In Cricket and in real life too). And I was thinking to apply this logic, in software industry as well. Why few teams always deliver software project successfully and smoothly. And other ones struggle to do so. As per my view there are two types of teams: Type1 : You can identify them using following characteristics:

  1. People love to be at office
  2. Whatever project they work – It gets successfully delivered
  3. No weekend work (If Project needs them, they will be happy to be available)
  4. Everyone goes at home happily and enjoys his/her personal life
  5. Passionate
  6. Enjoying each others in win
  7. They are always happy and cheerful
  8. Not Stressed

Typ2 : You can identify them using following characteristics:

  1. People look forward for way to not be at office
  2. Whatever project they work – It never gets successfully delivered
  3. Always in office during weekend (Few people like to be in the office during weekend for some research or something. But I don’t count them here. They belong to first team. I would consider people who don’t like to be in the office during weekend. But have to be, as SOMEONE has ASKED them to do so)
  4. Not so passionate – Doing something for just sake of doing
  5. No team bonding
  6. Always frustrated
  7. Always stressed

Sounds similar? If you belong to Type1, then you are the luckiest person in this world. But if you don’t know how it works? And would like to understand few reasons behind it. Then this blog post is for you. If you are in Type2, then I’ve an empathy for you. And would suggest that you work out on following points. They will surely help. And if you don’t have that level of control or someone is stopping you from doing so. Would suggest – Get off the bus! http://www.motivation.careers360.com/Hope-and-Motivation/If-you-are-not-enjoying-the-ride-Then-get-off-the-Bus So, let’s see what special Type1 team does to be there:

Disclaimer : This is based on my learnings. I am not expert on this subject. But few basics which I learnt through my journey and have noted it down. Which I am sharing with you. So, if you think something might not work for you. Feel free to ignore it

  1. Leader: I believe team and team’s leaders makes most difference. Because if leader is not secure. Then he/she won’t let team grow. And then the culture becomes worst and worst. But if leader is confident, technically sound, and smart and get things done person. Then team also follows him/her. So, while making someone a leader, please think twice. “People don’t leave company they leave bad leader/manager” And if you are a leader, then I request you to give your best. Because I believe – The responsibility what our Teachers had at School/College level, Parents had at child level, the same level of responsibility leaders have at professional level. “Good leaders create leaders, and others create followers” https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_why_good_leaders_make_you_feel_safe
  2. People : If Leader is important, Then People working in the team are also equally important. Because people get things done and NOT Process. It makes me amazed that lot of companies focus on setting up good process. But I believe have good people, the process will be automatically good. Their Hiring Process is very strict. They can identify the talent, and know how to groom them! “Only good leader’s eyes can spot, good candidates/leaders”. While Hiring they keep person’s attitude first and technical skills second. Because it’s easy to impart Technical skills than attitude!
  3. Culture  : Company’s culture also makes difference. Always hire smart people, and let them do what they think is right. Company should just act as a facilitator. See Google’s work culture!
  4. Timesheets : I agree that time-sheets are good way to track and manage your time. Because based on that we bill to clients. But at times, people just work to fill in their 40 hours. And in this process they lose their creativity and helping nature.
  5. Team bonding : They not only enjoy and spend time with each other in office. But out of office as well. They do spend lot of time together! Type2 teams works more as individuals
  6. Communication and Transparency : Communications are very clear in these type of teams. Things are Green/Red.  Anyone can speak out. All things are 100% Transparent. Feedback system is also good!
  7. Training : They have very good training process. So, when someone joins the team. He/she knows what/how these team works. Before he/she gets bombarded with so-called strict deadlines. And lack of training makes it stricter!
  8. Balanced between experience and fresher : They have good balance between fresher and experience. Because both combination is required. But as good cook knows, the best ingredient to make good food. Same logic applies here as well. Experience people brings the lot of knowledge and best practices in to the team, at the same time. Freshers brings the lot of new perspective in the team. And while working together, they share those things with each others. And at the end of the day – Everyone wins!
  9. Clear expectations : As I mentioned in #1, Leader is very important. Because Good leaders are always good in communicating expectations clearly. I believe most of the time Type2 are frustrated because of this reason. Leader and Team members are never in sync with their expectations. I think, as a leader if you let people know what is right and what is wrong. And what you expect from them. Then they make sure they do it!
  10. Allowed to make mistakes : Team is allowed to make mistakes. But yes, they are not allowed to repeat them. But as Type1 team learns from mistakes. They rarely repeat any mistake. How leaders should manage their team success and failure- Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
  11. Learning from mistakes :  As Type2 teams are always busy. They just keep running because they are busy. But they never take a step back, and think what is keeping them busy? What mistakes they are doing? How they can learn from them? And Type1 team always learn from their mistakes and shares it with others. So, they don’t repeat it. And that’s how they get things done faster.
  12. Ready to help : They are always ready to help each others, and ready to go out-of-the-way for team
  13. Competition: They don’t compete with each other, they complement each other. If they have competition. That will be healthy completion. Who commits more backlogs/tickets in this release? :-) And Competition stuff happens with most of us. Because since school level. We’ve been asked to be first. In Public Transportation (Bus/Train) as well, we always try to be first! But those concepts doesn’t fit while working in a Team
  14. Helps others in down time : The time is not going to be same for anyone. Sometime X is doing well, at that time, Y is struggling. And when Y is doing well. X is struggling. In all situations they help each other during someone Else’s down time
  15. Links : You may find few more points from my earlier leadership posts:
    1. https://kiranpatils.wordpress.com/tag/leadership/

Remember TEAM == Together each achieves more! Sounds good? Have I missed something? Would be happy to incorporate your views.

It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership – Nelson Mandela

March 29, 2015 / kiranpatils

Cleanup failed to process the following paths

Challenge:

One fine day, while doing SVN Cleanup. We faced following error:
Cleanup failed to process the following paths:
<PATH>
Previous operation has not finished. If it was interrupted
Please execute the ‘Cleanup’ command.

You are also facing similar challenge? Then you are at the right place.

Solution:

  1. Open command prompt
  2. Type TortoiseProc.exe /command:cleanup /path: /closeonend:0

That’s it!

February 8, 2015 / kiranpatils

Because I’m busy!

This something I wrote 6 years back. But never published it. I was checking my old notes, and found this. I thought it’s still true and it will be good idea to share it with you with some updates:

I have time to update my Facebook Status,
But I don’t have time to get updated with my country’s status.
Because I’m busy!

I have time to Google Anything,
But I don’t have time to think, How I spent that evening.
Because I’m busy!

I have time to Tweet,
But I don’t have time to play with a kid, Who is really sweet.
Because I’m busy!

I have time to receive a call and have a long talk,
But I don’t have time to make a call and simply talk.
Because I’m busy!

I have time to chat on WhatsApp for a long,
But I don’t have time to say HI to my Mom.
Because I’m busy!

Are you really busy? Are you still busy?

Good to see:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Z7dLU6fk9QY

December 30, 2014 / kiranpatils

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 69,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

December 21, 2014 / kiranpatils

You’ve been promoted from Developer to a Team Leader?

TeamLeaderLast year during this time, I was packing my bags for an unexplored journey. Before I was signing off, champs  asked me to share my learnings of Transformation from Developer to a Team Leader. Their wish was my command! I did that and they liked it so much!

I was checking few old folders [At times, you should try this. Rather than surfing the web – FB,Twitter, Google, Mails. Try to surf folders from your machine. You will find a gold out of it! It recharges you. And it’s always good to STOP and look back!] and found that same document. I thought rather than having it with me. Why don’t I share with you! And that’s how this post came in to this world.

Since starting of my career, I was always a developer. Who would like to solve most complex business solutions. And convert Software Blue Print in to reality. While working lot of people asked, you are planning to be a Team Leader or Manager? When there was an internal openings for such places, people used to ask me. Have you applied? And the answer was always NO. As I was clear that will never go in to managing people. The reason for that was my myth. As per my perception Leaders/Managers should be :

  • Able to get angry on people
  • Should have shouting and dominating nature
  • Most of the time Political
  • Person who always sits at the other side of the Table
  • Doesn’t get involved in Development
  • Does Micro Management

And as far as my knowledge, I was far far far away from all above qualities. And still today I love spending most of the time with Visual Studio. Which I was afraid that I won’t be able to spend. And as it is said that “Human Plans and God Laughs“. Everything is already scripted! [The Wold is Stage, Life is Drama, We are Actors, God is Director]. One fine day, the need of an hour was.  I have to lead the team. When I’ve been asked — Would you like to lead? The first answer was NO. But finally after discussing a lot. I’ve thought to give it a try! [Would like to Thank you! To all the people who identified a leader within me — Please remember Only Good leader’s eyes can spot other potentially good leader!]

Long story short, Here I am in the role of a Leader from the role of a Developer.  I was not sure. How I will do it. But one thing I was sure. Will give my best to it! [Do your best, forget the rest!] and I was lucky that I got a chance to lead few of the best people I know!

As per the rule of Change, It is initially tough! [“All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end” – Robin Sharma]. But leadership is NOT as tough as I was thinking of. If you are thinking Can I lead? The answer is here : Yes, If you can breathe you can lead! But please be aware leading is sacrificing!

I believe that, Building Nation’s responsibility is on — Parents, Teachers, And Leaders — as per your life’s stage. They play a crucial role in our society! [If as a leader, you’ve insulted someone in public or you had a bad day for some one in office. That frustration shows up in that person’s personal life as well. As per stats 90% of people in the world are NOT Happy with whatever they are doing — I believe few might got caught in to a wrong job, and few of them might got caught in to wrong leaders]

I’ve already written my thoughts on Leadership in my earlier posts:

As per my experience and observation, have worked with few nice leaders (and at the same time few bad as well!) and would like to thank both of them. Because knowing what not to do takes more time than knowing what to do! :-) and the other ones helped me to do so very quickly! In this blog post, will try to summarize the characteristics of a good leader [what I’ve seen], it’s solely based on my observations and reading whatever I had during my working experience as a leader since 2 years!

As per my above blogs, I took learnings from :

  • Good Leaders with whom I worked! — They taught me What to do?
  • Bad Leaders with whom I worked! — They taught me What NOT to do?
  • Lessons from Best Public Leaders/Icons, History — By their life examples, Reading from their book
  • Sports — Sports makes us good team player/leader
  • Started treating others, The way I wanted to be treated
  • And the best example to remember is — Leading is like parenting!

So, you are also in same situation? Eager to know what was my learnings? Eager to see what I shared with champs? Looking for some points, what all things you should take care when you start as a leader?

Disclaimer : This is based on my learnings. I am not expert on this subject. But few basics which I learnt through my journey and have noted it down. Which I am sharing with you. So, if you think something might not work for you. Feel free to ignore it

Let’s go! (Just a note : will write pointers or one liners only. In future, will expand few points from following list If you think you need detailed explanation on any pointer, feel free to drop it in a comment) :

  • Basic characteristics which a leader should have :
    • Good human being : You can’t be a good professional, without being a good person first!
    • Good Listener — God has given two ears, and one mouth. So, speak less and listen more!
    • Patience — You need to have full patience!
    • Stithpragya — This one is from Hindu scripture– Shreemad Bhagvat Geeta – This word is used for someone who doesn’t get so much excited on Winning and doesn’t gets down on losing — Read more here : http://bhagwadgita.nimblefoundation.org/what-we-learn-from-bhagwad-gita-chapter-3/
    • Self motivated – Need to motivate team, When they are down!
    • Control your emotions/Channelize your anger : At times your role comes with lot of frustration, Anger etc. But that’s part of it. You’ve to find a way out of it. So, spend quality time with Family, Friends, Listen Music which recharges you, Read books which talks to you – Books are your best friends! — I always get most of the critical solutions while reading one of my favorite book!
    • Honest, Transparent : If you are driving a car, will you drive it. If you can’t see the road because of foggy or something? No, Correct? Then how you can expect people to follow you. When  things are NOT Transparent. Honesty and Transparency people always like to have! [Honesty is still the best policy!]
  • Initial meeting : Talk to your team first. What are their problems? What makes them happy? What makes them unhappy? What they would like to change? What are their old open issues? Old promises? Take a note of them. And act on them ASAP. These points are your first and important project. If you can’t do something, please update team with logical reasons.
  • New Place always full : When you go at new place it will be always full. People to whom  you are going to lead. Will say. Why we need a leader. We are doing our things perfect? Aren’t we? They are right. But do you know story of  – Kissa-I-Sanjan? : Read here : http://delhiparsis.com/2007/08/19/the-story-of-sanjan-kissa-i-sanjan/ — So, You’ve to be Sugar in the Milk
  • Understand the process first : Initially Understand everything and then try to improve the process. I’ve seen that, lot of leaders join new place/role and try to change everything. Based on their past learnings. But do you know that, One Size Shirt, doesn’t fit for all?
  • Reading : Keep reading, Switch off everything just 30 minutes to read, it will enrich you, boosts you! – “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body”Story of a wood cutter
  • Understand And Analyze : When you’ve to take any decision. First, try to understand, Analyze and then conclude. Good story to read : http://rishikajain.com/2012/05/16/a-heart-touching-story-with-moral-and-inspiration/
  • Be on TOP of Everything : Be Technically Strong and have full knowledge of everything! – I know you can’t master everything. But you should be on top of everything! – Be expert! Good leaders are the one who are ready to roll their sleeves and start working if their team needs it.
  • Stand Firm : Stand firm in tough time – Leaders are like TEABAGS This is the time, When your TEAM really needs you. And based on this time’s stand. People with respect you or NOT respect you
  • Let them fail : At times, let them fail! – Story of a baby Giraffe
  • Small things matters : Team’s small issues are Important may it be Cupboard, Mouse etc.
  • Act promptly :  No one likes a leader, who just takes an issue and works on it for ages, we are living in 4G world :-) Take a decision and act on it!
  • Appreciate in public : Appreciate team, Make sure they are always highlighted and NOT You
  • Criticize in Private : Appreciate [Public]/Criticize[1:1] on time. Give them honest feedback (We Indians have to learn about Constructive feedback) – Don’t go and shout on people. Explain them specifically what was NOT right? And how can you help them. So, it doesn’t happen again. [Doing mistake is fine. But repeating Mistake is crime!]
  • Focus on Basics : Whatever complex the situation is — Always stick to basics. Most of the times follow your guts/Intuition — They know what you want or should do. [“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve jobs]
  • Know your Team : Know your team very well. Individual’s Strengths and weakness. Their likes and dislikes. It is proven that if you give people stuff what they like. They do it by heart! I call it Know your weapons. – Do it Krishna way [This is again from Hindu scripture — Mahabharata – Where Shri Krishna assigns tasks to individual as per their strength. Like if some task needs more Strength — it goes to Bhim — as he was the strongest in Pandavas. But if it needs focus then it goes to Arjuna — As he was the Sharpest in Pandavas ]  – Because If you give someone what he/she likes he/she will enjoy!
  • Make them feel safe and trust them – No one would like to work with leader who can’t cover them from outsiders. Who is NOT Strong enough to fight for their teams. Good to watch : Simon Sinek: Why good leaders make you feel safe Fight for their rights, Even though you need to get wounded for that. At times, when someone is not in form. Help him/her out and boost them up! Rely/Trust on your champs always!
  • Know them personally – Don’t always talk about WORK, WORK, WORK — Know them personally. It will help you to understand them more. What’s their personal likings.
  • Do their tasks on time : If you promised them something to happen by some date. Make sure you do it. If their appraisal is due. Do it first. Remember Lead by Example? If you do their tasks on time, Then only they will do yours!
  • Use Technology as much as you can : Use Softwares like Google Doc/Excel/Outlook calendar to manage and remember tasks – And keep space in your mind! Learn Outlook and office softwares! They are your friends!
  • Share Expectations : Share your vision, and work for a common goal, Convey them! I’ve seen people shine when they know what exactly is expected from them. Clear expectations from both side – Rather than explaining this is not right. Be specific!
  • Share knowledge : Don’t feel insecure – Good leaders create good leaders other create followers!
  • Chunks : When you are working/going to start working on any task. Try to create small chunks of it. Ask your team to do the same. It clarifies your and teams understanding. And you will see the flaws, issues before they arise. And gradually your estimates will become more accurate!
  • Sharpen your memory : You need to have good RAM. Because you’ve to keep track of lot of things
  • Promises : Keep note of your promises – It will be a good option not to promise rather than doing false promise
  • Focus on Solution : Always be cool. Even though everything is down! Think on a solution rather than problem source. Never blame anyone
  • Accept Mistakes : Learn from Mistakes, Accept your mistakes! – And even if it’s team’s mistake for outer world, you should take it on your own! – Story by Abdul Kalam
  • Communicate : Always try to be clear in your communications. Small miss communication can create big confusions. And people starts speculating — That’s human nature
  • Be accessible : No one likes a leader, who is not accessible. And always busy with meetings or closed in Cabin. You are because your team is!
  • No False Justification Please : If something you are not convinced, don’t try to convince them. Fix it OR let them know you can’t fix it. And you are not happy. But no false justification. Because they are engineers and they are as logical as you.
  • Everyone is Special : Accept people the way they are — Everyone is special – Never bad mouth your team — NEVER NEVER NEVER do it in front of others
  • Respect Seniors : Respect seniors in your team. Complement them and never try to compete with them
  • Lead by Example – Don’t ask a task to team, which you don’t do!
  • Take decisions for team – for a team not for individual and stand by them and make them true!
  • Say “Thank you” to your team always! – Because whatever you are, is just because of them!
  • Never lose hope – The game is not WON till the last ball – Challenges for which you don’t find solution/direction don’t worry, Just stay on pitch, runs will come automatically – Story of Two Frogs and Milk
  • Leading is like parenting – Take care of your team, And one day step back. See them shining from afar. Remember the way your parent did when they taught you cycling?!

Have I missed something? Does it matches with your good leader’s perception?

Happy Leading! :-)

November 30, 2014 / kiranpatils

How to get Microsoft certification?

Challenge:

Since last couple of weeks, few friends asked me that how can they get Microsoft certification? Any tips and tricks? I replied to them via email or any other source. But as per Scott’s formula [“You have a finite number of keystrokes left in your hands before you die.” – http://keysleft.com/], rather than replying to email write a blog on it. And share the link. So, next time if someone asks same question to me [Or may be you] Can send this blog’s link.

Solution:

So long back — I wrote Microsoft certification quick start guide

This document is a best place to start! Few things have been changed. But the basics remains the same.

If you don’t have time to go through the document, and need a quick summary. here you go!

  1. Target one exam at a time. Visit each exam’s Home Page – Understand what this exam covers. And start preparing. Best way to prepare for MS Certification is MS Press Books. You can find it from each of the following link – Better to have a hard copy. For example you are aiming to give 70-480 exam. It’s exam detail page is here : https://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-in/exam-70-480.aspx check “Skills Measured” section to understand what this exam covers. Check “Preparation options” section for all resources related to this exam.
  2. Select your exam track from here : https://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-in/certification-overview.aspx for example if you are ASP.NET Web Developer then you should go for this track : https://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-in/mcsd-web-apps-certification.aspx
  3. Before you go for exams. Start giving exams from Dumps, Search for your exam. E.g. http://www.examcollection.com/70-480.html there will be the lot of dumps. But I follow this formula to select a best dump [You will need a VCE Software to run this VCE files]:
    1. Select a dump – Which has MOST number of questions
    2. And which got Max number of votes. So, as per this example it goes for Microsoft.Actualtests.70-480.v2013-12-31.by.MARY.169q.vce
      [As it got 169 questions and 162 votes]
  4. Then book your exam slot, Pearson is best!
  5. All the best for your exams!

Happy Certification! :-)

November 30, 2014 / kiranpatils

Basics for .NET beginner developers

Challenge:

Luckily, I’ve been crafting on .NET since last 7+ years. Initially I learnt .NET in college. And then after explored it further during my professional career. Some time back few of my friends asked me, How can they also learn .NET? Which are the best resources to begin with? And then be a .NET Ninja!

You are also learning .NET? Or would like to start learning .NET? Or you work on .NET. But would like to brush up your fundamentals? Then this post is for you!

Solution:

Start with following links :
http://www.pragimtech.com/c-sharp-video-tutorials.aspx
http://www.pragimtech.com/Free-aspnet-video-tutorial.aspx
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8598C97BA1D871C1&feature=view_all
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAC325451207E3105&feature=view_all

Then move to this :
http://www.learnvisualstudio.net/free/c-training/
http://www.itorian.com/2012/08/LearnDotNet60days.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3lHQdoYsUo&list=PL0BB0AD0F12A24B6E
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Language_Runtime
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.NET_Framework
http://www.codeproject.com/Articles/20694/Net-Framework
http://www.codeproject.com/Articles/3992/What-is-NET
http://www.c-sharpcorner.com/uploadfile/puranindia/net-framework-and-architecture/
http://www.completecsharptutorial.com/basic/parameter-examples.php
http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-topics/c-app-development
http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/c-fundamentals-for-absolute-beginners
http://quickstarts.asp.net/QuickStartv20/default.aspx
http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/software-developmentfundamentals#?
fbid=-dwjFvfio5-
- http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/database-fundamentals#?fbid=-
dwjFvfio5-

Please note Programming is like swimming. You need to delve in to it. To be a master of it. So, most of the above resources are videos. But would strongly recommend you that. Do practice after watching each video!And here are

And here are some exercises for you:

  1. Create a console application which takes user name as an Input and tells moon sign – as per his/her input
  2. Create a console application which takes a Number – for which user would like to print a Multiplication Table
  3. Anything else?

Few nice to read books:

  1. CLR Via C#
  2. MCTS 70-536 Self-Paced Training Kit – Application Development Foundation
  3. Murach’s ASP.NET

Please remember you can’t be master of .NET/any field over the night. As per research it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to be master of any field. So, have lot of patience. Practice as much as you can! — The harder you practice, the luckier you get!

Also, If possible give Microsoft certification exams — Here is Certification Quick start guide for you!

If you know any other .NET resource, which you think is excellent. And should go in this list. Then please do share it with others via comment!

Happy Programming! :-)

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