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Lighthouse

Happy New Year!

I guess a lot of people are very happy to see the year 2008 passed by, just like myself. What a dramatic year! First we witnessed the house value dropping and foreclosures in the neighborhood, then the crisis of the subprime mortgage. Soon, the bad news crawled all over the financial sector. Investment banks, insurance companies, commercial banks, even big names like Bear Stearns and Leman Brothers burned down into ashes overnight. The darkness, like cancer, continued to spread into other industries, such as automobile and even high-tech. The stock market crashed. The unemployment rate soared. The words we heard most in the past several months are “great depression” and “bail-out”, not what we usually heard even in a bear market.

And the worst part, it’s not over yet. Although debating among each other, the economists agreed the economy won’t recover until the later half of 2009. And that’s from the most optimistic point of view.

With all the negative news, it’s very easy to feel depressed or stressed out in this unpleasant time.

Kind of like feeling depressed in the winter in the northeastern United States (where I am living), chilly, heavy wind blow, cloudy sky, crooked tree branches and yellow grass, no sign of life.

But, wait! We still got Christmas in winter time! Even the darkest nights were lightened up by the holiday lights!

Where can we find hopes and opportunities in the depressing days like now? Here are four directions to look:

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I talked about the two most important cultures for a development organization, Goal Oriented and Innovation in my previous two posts. For a development organization to survive, it must satisfy the goals of the business it belongs to. It must align all its activities with the business goals and strive to achieve those goals. If the development organization would like to play a more important role in the business than just providing “commodity” technical services, it must continuously innovate in technologies and processes, in development process as well as the business processes.

But how can a development organization achieves its preset goals and how can it innovate? What’s the ultimate strength of a development organization? Not the thousands of computers it possessed and managed, not the technologies it embraced, not products or services it delivered, or the intellectual properties it possessed. I can be one hundred percent sure to say that the core competitive advantage a development organization has is its people. People are the most important resource that a development organization can draw upon to meet any ambitious goals it may have. Innovations are like springs, flowing freely to all directions. But, if we seek its origin, we will always find one or several highly educated, talented and engaged persons. Thus comes our third ideal culture:

Ideal Culture Number Three: Humanism

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In my previous post, I mentioned the reasons why I would like to write down the ideal culture in my opinion and explained the most important culture for a development organization, “Goal-Oriented”. It’s deeply embedded with the purpose of the existence of the development organizations.

If the purpose of a development organization is to help the business serve the customers, to grow the revenue and to improve the margin by cutting cost, how can it achieve that goal? The answer is sound and clear, through innovation. Thus the second ideal culture:

Ideal Culture Number Two: Innovation

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I thought a lot about the ideal culture for a research and development organization recently. Since I graduated from school, I have been in different development organizations. In each organization, there was something I like and others I dislike. Well, life is always like that. You almost have to swallow the sweetness along with the bitterness because they come together.

Although any organization has its pros and cons, there is nothing preventing me from imagining a perfect organization which has the ideal culture, with my own standards. It can serve two purposes for myself.

First of all, it can serve as a benchmark for me to evaluate any organization I am part of or will be part of. Since, in my opinion, the culture is the most important factor that affects one’s effectiveness in an organization, everyone should seriously consider the culture if he or she considers job satisfaction and career achievements important in his or her life.

And even better, I can carry the culture with me. No organization is perfect. But, at least I can change myself to follow the principles that I deeply believe. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the World”. By practicing the culture I desire, I am able to create a environment/atmosphere around myself anywhere I go. After all, it should be we change the environment, not the environment changes us.

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After working 7 years in one organization, I finally made the move and joined another team. I am still working for the same company, but different location, totally different project and different colleagues. It’s like a new company to me.

It’s always hard to move into a new environment and start to work with new team mates. I need to learn the new project, new technologies and new ways of doing things. The worst part may be that I have to rebuild my reputation. I need to earn my credit again as well as make new friends in the new organization. In the first several days, I really missed my old work place and my old friends.

However, after I thought it over, I considered the current situation a new challenge for me. As we all know, only challenges make one grow. If one always stays at the familiar spot and never goes out to the adventure land, he/she will never grow. It’s the response to the challenges that brings the best out us!

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If you put your heads down working in the enterprise applications for a large organization for many years, you may already missed “what’s hot” in the industry. It’s time to update your knowledge base, and your RESUME with those hot buzz words.

Front End

Language:

Frameworks:

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