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[DevDay 2017] The guide to excellence for software engineer - Speaker: Vinh Hoang - Training & IT Manager at Passerelles numeriques Vietnam


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What is the difference between IT worker and IT engineer? The road to professional improvement is never-ending but what does it mean "to excel" as an engineer? This topic will help to clarify common misconceptions of thinking, provide tips to boost effiency at work and give the vision of an excellent engineer. It deals mainly with attitudes and characters, not specific areas of expertise.

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[DevDay 2017] The guide to excellence for software engineer - Speaker: Vinh Hoang - Training & IT Manager at Passerelles numeriques Vietnam

  1. 1. Author: Nhu Vinh Hoang October - 2016 The Guide to Excellence for Software Engineer
  2. 2. Why this presentation? • The road to professional improvement is never-ending • But what does it mean “to excel” as an engineer? • This is my personal vision of an excellent engineer • But may be it will help some of you to grow • Focused to Software Engineers, but valid in any job! • Because it deals mainly with attitudes and character, not specific areas of expertise 2
  3. 3. HELLO! I am Nhu Vinh Hoang I am here because I love to give presentations 3
  4. 4. About me4
  5. 5. Defining Excellence: Common misconceptions • Commitment ≠ Hard work • Commitment is about doing whatever it takes to reach our goals; it may require hard work or not • Hard work at the wrong time or on the wrong topic is pure waste! • Solving Problems ≠ Fulfilling Tasks • Did your task serve a purpose? If not, why did you do it? • Discipline ≠ Lack of critical spirit • You know your work best; share that knowledge! • But once a decision has been taken, follow it through 4
  6. 6. Defining Excellence: Common misconceptions • Proactive communication ≠ Sending emails • Communication = Providing necessary information when it is needed, irrespective of it having been requested • Information ≠ Data • Data: “ The sun will come out on the East tomorrow” • Information: “ The sun will NOT come out on the East tomorrow” • Providing information is telling me something that I DO NOT know already! • Give it to me, don’t make me dig for the information in the pile of raw data! • Showing initiative ≠ Lack of critical spirit • Initiative = Proposing unrequested actions after careful analysis, that will help solve a problem for you or for your teammates • Initiative often involves some thinking outside the box 5
  7. 7. Defining Excellence: Common misconceptions • Resourcefulness ≠ Not asking for help • Resourcefulness = Being able to find the right information to solve a problem • But never endanger a critical milestone by not asking for help on time • Asking for advice/help ≠ Not looking for a solution yourself • You need to look for ways to solve problem on your own, always • This requires analysis, understanding and creativity • But never endanger a critical milestone by not asking for help on time • Pride ≠ Haughtiness • Professional pride is a powerful motivator to excel • Haughtiness is when you put your personal pride above the success of the project 6
  8. 8. Defining Excellence: Common misconceptions • Efficiency ≠ Effectiveness ≠ Hard work • Hard work: Putting hours in solving a problem (successfully or not) • Effectiveness: Actually solving the problem • Efficiency: Solving the problem with the minimum possible resources 7 The key to success: EFFICIENCY
  9. 9. Efficieny, efficiency, efficiency !!! Efficiency = Analysis + Technical know-how + Automation + Planning + Procedures + Communication + Commitment + Thoroughness Methodology = Technical know-how + Automation + Planning + Procedures 8
  10. 10. Success for the engineer, success for the company • Analysis gives you the key information about the problem • If you don’t analyze, how do you know that you’re solving the right problem in the right way? • NEVER start fixing the problem until you’ve understood !!! • Methodology gives you the tools and the mechanisms to solve the problem • The rest is just work ! 9 The key to efficieny: Analysis and Methodology!
  11. 11. Methodology begins with knowledge • Technical know-how requires UNDERSTANDING • Know the cause behind the symptom and the cure behind the medicine • Learn the fundamentals! • And the apply critical thinking! • How to obtain technical know-how? • Self-study • Training • Practice • And by asking lots of questions! • Bottom line: Don’t follow recipes blindly; learn to cook! An Engineer knows stuff 10
  12. 12. Methodology is for the many • Automation = UNDERSTANDING • By you, and by other people! • Never do anything manually if you can avoid it • Look for general solutions, not to solve particular cases • Script. Parameterize. Everything. Always • But: The perfect is the enemy of the good! • Remember the 80 – 20 rule! Making it easy: Automation 11
  13. 13. Life beyond us • Facilitating your teammates’ work! • Use resources sparingly! • Send reports in a timely manner • Report issues in a timely manner • Assign/delegate tasks in a timely manner • Never send data, send information • Respect standard design procedures • Proactively ask for help • Proactively offer to help/do additional tasks • Bottom line: It’s all about respect and generosity! What is teamwork all about? 12
  14. 14. The road ahead • Know yourself! • Your strengths: Exploit them! • Your weaknesses: Improve them, while replying on those that know better! • And if you want to excel… Follow my Tao of Engineering!  Bottom line: You do good, but you can do much better! 13
  15. 15. 15 THANKS! Any questions? You can contact me at: