Results tagged “Career”

For one month now I'm in charge of a team as a ScrumMaster. To be fair, it's not really a month because in the first week I've just been passively in the new team while we've been still working on our previous projects. My personal conclusion so far for the past 1 1/2 sprints? I think I'm doing a good job as a ScrumMaster. In the first retrospective which in fact was the first real retrospective for this team in a long time. The critic points could obviously be summarized to a lack of Scrum consequence in this team. At the beginning of "my" sprint I immediately began introducing a lot of the things I've been learning, experiencing and using in the last few years in fully integrated Scrum teams.

I did leave out some (admittedly important) aspects at first intentionally because I think I should guide the team back to Scrum step-by-step avoiding a shocking big-bang approach for the team-members. So for example we skipped the estimation meeting because there were no defined userstories yet and we concentrated on the work which had to be done anyway. For the next sprint I already organized a correct estimation and planning. And I think my approach worked out quite well because in our last retrospective almost all of the previous critique points have been resolved. Even better most of them came back as positive responses.

So, what's coming up in the future? Well, the project will be finished in a few weeks. I still have a sort of special position because I'm no exclusive ScrumMaster but also actively developing on the project. Of course it's not easy to keep the balance between ScrumMaster responsibilities and development tasks but for now it's in a green state. I still don't know in which direction I want to continue because I like doing active development but it's also very interesting having Scrum responsibility for a team. I'm also participating in the offered ScrumMaster trainings (upcoming week there'll be a ScrumMaster certification) and it's fun and interesting but I still don't know whats best for me and also my career development. From the feedback I got from my superiors I'm pretty sure they would appreciate it if I keep the ScrumMaster direction. Have to figure that one out, the sooner the better...

On to the personal stuff. This week the 3rd of four semesters of my masters degree started. Some surprises already awaited us, for example some deadlines which were so far completely untold to us. But not a big problem so far. Nevertheless I have still to finish some courses from the last semester and these examinations are already quite near. Some of my former bachelor degree colleagues also started to study on a masters degree. Their and my study situation are a bit different and furthermore I'm a year ahead with the studies but currently we all have the same feeling that our bachelors degree was something special and it seems we're all just comparing our current classes withAn the one from the bachelors degree. Currently the winner is clear (and for me the picture won't change much anymore I guess) but things could still change for my former colleagues when they have had more time in their semesters. Well... good ol' times... And one final thing, yesterday my old car which was still standing around and waiting for someone interested in buying it, found a buyer and was picked up yesterday. No more new memories with this old buddy anymore... farewell.

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It seems now that it's time for me that I switch the sides a bit at work. Two to three weeks ago a certain project came up at work and the Scrum Master of my team made some stretches (thanks for this) to offer me the opportunity to work on this project as a Scrum Master of a new team.

I thought a lot about this opportunity because altough at first this seems as a step up in the company my personal perception is not that clear. A Scrum Master at our company has a certain responsibility for the success of the project its team is working on. But on the other side (our internal setup of) the Scrum Master is not granted the necessary decision power to be able to support this responsibility in an effective way. This has been set up because the "upper levels" sensed a gap in the responsibility chain when something goes wrong. After the Product Owner there is the nebulous "Team" which is responsible for the success. Yet, if there is no success you can't simply blame "the team". So our implementation of Scrum simply lifts the Scrum Master to a team leader role. This has been much-discussed but in the end that was the final decision and so far I think it works in most cases.

Of course it's not all black. There is the opportunity to guide a team, have some insight and influence in project and HR preparations, a better communication channel to the project managers and of course take the time to take care of all this stuff.

A similar offering has been made to me already some years ago but rejected shortly afterwards again because of business reasons. I've been quite disappointed back then (and I'm still a bit because the argumentation was... well... creative) and for a short moment I thought of rejecting myself because of this. Of course I didn't because this would signal a lack of interest which is absolutely not the case. I'm very interested in the opportunity of stepping a bit up from development and some temporarily supporting tasks for organizing stuff and work.

So, today I received the message that starting tomorrow I'll be the Scrum Master of a new team with a new project. The project is still in its preparation stages so I don't know how much of it is already far enough to enter the reach of the team or ready to be worked on. I also don't know exactly who will be on the team itself. Lots of open questions and things to discuss, decide and organize... I take the challenge!

At least one thing is already for sure and out of the question: the final delivery date...

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Yesterday I was one in the department who got the order to get rid of accumulated holiday and compensatory time. The target was set to have at most 10 days combined by the end of this year.

I personally have collected quite a large backlog over the last few years which means now I've got quite a hard time to shrink this pile of time. In fact, I could go on vacation for four months straight.

I'm not very happy with that because I like to work and be productive and tinker with problems and optimize stuff and so on. But I can also understand the position of our company because they have to keep the monetary value of these holidays and overtime hours aside and it builds up quite some weight on the balance sheet.

So, now I'm busy planning how I'm going to distribute that time and thinking about what I'm going to do in that spare time.

If you had four additional (and unexpected) months in your life, how would you spend them?

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Last week another round of the internal reviews started.
The purpose of those reviews is to perform a two-way-feedback on the work performance of the employee. What went right, where are the strengths of the person, what went wrong, where are the weaknesses and what are the possible ways in the future to improve the personal performance.

I've had mine mid last week and there haven't been much surprises. One thing I've already recognized personally is, that I'm not as active in my main project because I'm constantly disturbed by other stuff which arises from old projects where I'm the only one left to do the work.
Also, the project management got the impression, that I'm more "connected" with the older projects than with my main one which is partly true partly false.
True in the case that I'm more confident in the older projects as I'm the impersonated knowledge of almost everything which is necessary for those projects. False in the case because that doesn't mean that I'm not trying to increase my knowledge in the current project. But I could have done better.

Of course there were an equally number of good points but I don't want to elaborate on that because I cannot improve there. My improvement chances lie in the points where I got feedback that it could be better and I'm definitely working on it!

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For quite some time now, my main activity at work has shifted to a different project. Nevertheless I'm still working on the old project for a smaller part of my time in a quite small team.

Some time ago I've been informed that my project manager for this project will leave the company and take on new opportunities. This leaves me as the only person for this project, which has an almost-complete overview of the systems, interfaces, designs and most of the technical aspects of this project.

Of course my manager is currently busy transferring as much of his knowledge to a replacement but it's impossible to "copy" the know-how of a formerly dozens-of-people-sized team within a few weeks. Much of the knowledge we take for granted and forget to transfer to our substitutes falls into that category also with stuff we have in the back of our heads and comes back only in situations when we hit a similar problem or situation. Which means, that I'll be the last person for quite some areas which will be able to manage, overview, design, fix and maintain.

I'm now officially a Single Point of Failure, as well as some other people on the same project but other topics.

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I just recognized that I forgot to mention, that my darling became employed at the same place as I did some weeks ago. And it's great to see how she surprised many people by how fast she got grip and dived into the topics. It's also very good that she has great colleagues around her area and likes her work so far. Only downside is that a few colleagues are currently not available which she depends on getting some of her stuff done and to gather know-how from.

And on the other side my "almost-sister-in-law" recently managed to finish another study and acquire her second title. Congrats, Mrs. MMag.a :)

Third thing is that the brother of mentioned sister-in-law (almost) and his wife now had the church-part of their marriage. Now you're a married couple not only by law but also in front of god :)

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Just got a phonecall.

My sweetheart and I have now been officially accepted as students at the University!

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Yesterdays application-marathon was quite exhausting. Four hours for the test and afterwards 30 minutes for an assessment-style interview with two professors and one psychologist.

I personally think that I did quite well with the written test and also in the interview. They didn't manage to talk me into a stressing or defensive position although they tried.

My darling had difficulties with the technical parts of the written test but I think that this doesn't harm her because she did a very good application letter and performed quite well in the interview too. Both of these are also counted.

And since yesterday fewer people applied in our chosen course than seats were available I can't think of a reason why someone who applied for yesterdays date wouldn't get accepted.

We'll be informed by the final results probably by the end of this week but at latest until May 2nd.

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Tomorrow is the important day. My sweetheart and I have to take the ordering test at the FH Joanneum, an university of applied science.

I've been cool so far but today I feel a bit of uneasiness creeping up. Well, understandable because it's a test which will affect great parts of our future and decides if we're allowed to attend the university for the next five years or not.

Our chosen course, "Software Design", lasts six semesters and equips us with the degree "Bachelor" (BSc) and allows us to complement our education afterwards with the master degree programme "Advanced Security Engineering" which we will finish as "Master of Science" (MSc).

Since these are courses which run independend from our work, we'll have to take them in our personal time. Notably Thursday evenings, Friday afternoon and evenings and Saturday all-day. For the next five years...

So you see, we're trying to load as much stress on our shoulders as we can :)

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Ah, finally. After years of working on the same project with the same customer now, the chances are high that I'll be participating in another project somewhere starting in the next few weeks.

It was quite a long hike but now I can really expect something changing within a month, maybe even faster.

I also had already some introduction-meetings and next Monday will be another one. The new challenges cover new technologies, Java, more database contact and I think I may get in touch with a few other people in the company.

This time it really looks serious. Seems as if my stubbornness and constant talking with people from other projects have finally paid off :)

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