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Banal bumps, relevant to many

Good afternoon, I would like to share my experience. I am the head of a small startup programmer in the past. I would like to tell you about my path of becoming a project manager (which continues, of course), about the problems I had to face, mistakes, and positive things. To whom this topic has not yet bothered - I ask under the cat.

Prehistory The beginning of the way.
The company we have is small, at the moment we have only 12 people. Not large, but not small. I have been working here for more than a year and a half, which is incredibly happy, here I found my place, although the article is not about that. Throughout my career I worked as a programmer. And then I worked as a programmer for a little less than a year, then the director asked me to take the helm of my current project. Of course, I was extremely happy, but I immediately realized how difficult it was. Initially, there were only programmers in this project, so it was simpler, I worked on the code, distributed instructions and checked the code. It was not so difficult, although very unusual. But after a month the problems started:

May salvation come.
After a thorough analysis of all actions, I came to simple rules for myself:

We also began to hold weekly meetings, where all the employees of the company were to attend. There, each person reported on the work done over the weeks, talked about plans, and then we discussed issues that were specially prepared for the meeting. These were ideas of any innovations, questions, just interesting facts, reports on interesting technologies, proposed project designs, discussions of common tasks of projects. It helped us a lot, first of all, it is always helpful to hear someone else's opinion, the look from the outside is sobering (and we have some optimists), interesting ideas were offered when you came to a dead end, everyone knew who was doing what and where the company was going, it all united us very much.

Man, above all.
So we smoothly approached the issue of people. This is our biggest problem and the most important asset. We live in the 3rd capital of Russia (officially by the way), but there are not so many companies here, in particular in our direction. We always believed in young, purposeful children, we paid little attention to experience in a particular area, language, etc. For us, the most important criteria were motivation, dedication, ambition and a desire to work hard. It was very difficult to find such people, and initially we offered not very high wages, but nevertheless we slowly but surely moved towards the formation of the core of the team. Now I believe that we have achieved this, but we are always looking for interesting people.
What really struck me was the people who came to us for interviews. People who graduated from very good technical universities, with decent diplomas, knew absolutely nothing, many completely lacked logical thinking, besides what they were given at universities, people did not study anything (and as we know, the university program does not so often correspond to modern realities). For me the first time was a big shock. This is of course all subjective, perhaps we are fundamentally wrong, but we believe that a diploma means almost nothing.
A lot of people passed through us, which we eventually accepted, but faced with the banal laziness. I take the liberty to say that about 95% of people are not willing to work hard, they come to work as if they were a duty, they don’t strive for anything, it’s insanely difficult to “ignite” our idea. This is of course our mistake, we didn’t have much experience, but nevertheless, those who are there, they were inspired by the idea of ​​the project, even with our inability to motivate.

Simplify management.
Another of our useful innovations is boards. Ordinary boards, as in schools. Initially, we wrote current and immediate tasks on them, noted who is responsible for them, what tasks are being performed at the moment, what has already been done, and what has been uploaded to the servers. It was the right thought, so very convenient and clear at what stage we are, to plan, monitor the implementation and take measures in time if something went wrong. However, we later abandoned the boards in favor of the online project management system, but this is not the point, because this is a natural evolution. Now we use boards at meetings or just in the course of our work for a visual explanation, construction of schemes and similar tasks.
New step in the long road.
So we brought the project to the state when it is time to go slowly to the market. Therefore, we began to look for sales managers. They also fell into my submission. This is where the hardest thing began for me. I am a techie to the bone (at least at that time - for sure). I had no idea how to set tasks for them, how they should sell, communicate with clients, how to evaluate their work, how to motivate them, what to demand from them. The biggest problem is that at that time we had only those in our office, just like techies. At this point, I plunged into the literature on sales, people management, motivation, task setting, etc. But the most important thing is, before you demand something, you should know how to do it yourself, what should happen in the end, how long it will take. Therefore, the programmer has become a sales and communication manager with clients. How unusual it was! Everything we did was terribly not optimized, we made a huge number of mistakes. But without this there was no way, because there were no people in the team who knew how to do it. But I think that we managed, the bumps that we stuffed, even if not immediately, about us went in favor. And let us still not everything is perfect, but it is already clear where and how to move, what tasks to set for ourselves.

Afterword. Repetition is the mother of learning.

Well, that's all, thank you for your attention, it turned out quite messy and a lot. Probably for many this article will be useless, but I hope that at least someone will find it useful. And I would be glad if you share your experiences and thoughts on the illuminated issue.
UPD. Thanks for the karma, transferred to the thematic blog.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/101723/

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