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Software on the Brain

05-Sep-07 11:16 pm EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

I recently had the good fortune of being sent on a bit of a sabbatical led by a renowned author and team leadership mentor, with specific insight into software development processes.  I’ve never been part of this kind of event before, and – frankly – I’d been skeptical of the value of such things.  But I think I’m becoming sold on the ideas  brought forward by Jim McCarthy.  In part, because of his wealth of personal experience, which includes a good deal of experience working for and with Microsoft (from the early, early days of the company), is just so vast – it’s like the guy has actually been anywhere I’ve been and will likely find myself for at least several years more in my career.

The exercises at the event – referred to as a "bootcamp" – are aimed at helping one work better with one’s own team, and expanding both confidence and the envelope within which the individual finds achievements possible.  They also help establish direction through exploring the ambitions and desires of each team member.

I don’t feel it appropriate to get into too much detail, but there are several books by him that outline the relevant ideas.  But as with any experience – there’s nothing compared to living through it.  Given the choice between reading about these ideas and being apprenticed through them by someone like McCarthy, I’ll take the latter.  But if you don’t have that opportunity, and are involved with software development, you can’t go wrong taking a peak at this book on the subject (also by McCarthy).

On an anecdotal note – this fellow is a living treasure of experience about Microsoft and Bill Gates.  His résumé includes a term as Marketing Manager for Visual Studio 1.0 – a product that would eventually overtake Borland’s environment as the preferred tool for software development on the Windows platform.  (And yet, no Wikipedia entry for this fellow yet….go figure.)

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