As expert for business, economy, management leadership and such, Peter Drucker also shared some interesting thought about the computer. And I believe, these quotes can serve you as a developer well.
With these quote, you might get the right words, that will help you next time, to make and win the argument about a new feature in your software giving great value to you and your organization.
You can be sure, your manager has read some of his books, or at least have read and heard about Peter Drucker's work.
Beginning somewhat provocative:
The computer being a mechanical moron, can handle only quantifiable data. These it can handle with speed, accuracy, and precision. It will, therefore, grind out hitherto unobtainable quantified information in large volume. One can, however, by large quantify only what goes on inside an organization.
Can you feel it? when the software does not do what it should? This quote is about quantifiable information. Stuff that can be counted and measured. But while we can also also count anything we find outside, we will never have the complete picture, because we can never count everything. And when investing the Effort, money and time to analyse the outside, at the time we get the result, it might just be irrelevant.
Going in a similar direction:
Relevant outside events are rarely available in quantifiable form, until much to late to do anything about them. This is not because out information-gathering capability in respect to outside events lags behind the technical abilities of the computer. The problem is rather that the important and relevant outside events are often qualitative and not capable of quantification.
relevant information is qualitative. Informations that we need to develop a sence for, where we need a good intuition. We need experience to make good decisions based on qualitative information.
Very quick, check the next quote
The danger is that executives will become contemptuous of information and stimulus that cannot be reduced to computer logic and computer language.
Do you know that when getting lost in more and more information. When buying a new PC or other gedget, study lots of options, probably way to many, and actually getting distracted from what I actually wanted. While for personal, this can be very joyful, in business however there are usually bigger amounts of data and lots valuable resources at risk. We have to figure out what is the relevant information.
Is about your team.
One should only have on a team the knowledge and skills, that are needed day in and day out for the bulk of the work. Specialists that may be needed once in a while, or that have to be consulted on this or on that, should always remain outside. It is indefinitely cheaper to go to them and consult them against a fee than to have them in the group.
This one is so huge, I see so many decisions made by inexperienced people, including me. We all always strive for the best solution. Sometimes we wish, there is someone with even more experience. This quote tells you, not to do everything on your own. Ask for help, and while it can cost, it will certainly pay off.
Next is about attitude to your colleagues:
The man of knowledge has always been expected to take responsibility for being understood. It is barbarian arrogance to assume that the layman can or should make the effort to understand him, and that it is enough if the man of knowledge talks to a handful of fellow experts who are his peers.
And I said this counts for your direct communication with others as well as making sure your code can be understood by the next engineer. And that one is not necessarily on your team jet, he does not everything about your app jet and probably not even about your problem space and work domain. As, it is not necessary that your grandmother understand your code, a less experienced engineer should.
This is the quote, that made me start writing this article:
The greatest impact of the computer lies in its limitations, which will force us increasingly to make decisions, and above all, forces middle managers to change from operators into executives and decision makers.
This is so powerful. When managing people, it is enough to say "get it done"(probably more friendly and constructive) and later check how it goes. When developing an application however we have to define every little behavior for any possible circumstances. And that means, we have to make the decision upfront, hopefully before the user encounter that case.
I often have this quote in the back of my head, when asking my boss for the next nitpicking detail, that will be encountered by only 0.1% of users.
What are your thoughts? are these thoughts outdated? which one quote is new to you?
These quotes are from the book 'The Effective Executive`.
The title picture for this article is from coWoman.