This CEO says her riskiest career move was becoming an engineer

I like this words: “There’s never a perfect time for anything—you just have go for it and keep your eyes on your goal.”

girlswhocodeWritten by Anne Kreamer
August 25, 2015

In the US, where only 11% of working engineers are women and fewer than 5% of the CEOs of the 500 biggest companies are female, Jennifer Van Buskirk, the president of Cricket Wireless, a subsidiary of AT&T, is something of a freak. In a good way.

Van Buskirk, 42, chose a course of study that many thought was then “risky” for a woman—becoming an engineer. In 1991, when she entered Virginia Tech, she says women and minorities comprised only 15% of engineering students (pdf) nationwide and were much less likely than men to be employed in engineering once they did graduate.

“I was definitely not taking the easy route,” Van Buskirk told Quartz. “I was typically one of the only women in my college classes and often had to work harder than my male counterparts to be heard.”

She says she found the experience exhilarating. “I really liked breaking the mold and challenging the stereotypes about women. Probably because I was confident in my analytical skills and my ability to learn and adapt, so no matter what obstacles were thrown my way, I knew I could figure a way around them.”

In her approach to her education and prospective career, Van Buskirk intuitively understood two critical components of successful risk-taking. She embraced what Stanford University psychology professor Carol Dweck calls a “growth” mind-set, which is a belief in one’s ability to learn, change, and handle challenges. The other attribute is what University of Pennsylvania psychologist Angela Duckworth, calls “grit,” which is “the sustained and focused application of talent over time.”

When AT&T acquired Cricket from Leap Wireless in 2013 the company was losing about a million subscribers a year, but under Van Buskirk’s leadership, it now boasts 5 million subscribers. What she considers her greatest risk, taking a job she knew nothing about, has proven to be worth taking.

I asked Van Buskirk about how she’s navigated professional risk and here’s what she said.

Van Buskirk:

“I’ve taken a lot of perceived risks in my career.

In fact, that sense of confidence, which was formed in me at an early age, has been the lynchpin of my career success. It has enabled me to embrace risk and leverage it versus run from it. In 2005, I put that confidence to the test when I responded to a request from Ralph de la Vega, our current head of Mobility & Business Solutions at AT&T. Back then, Ralph wanted me to interview for his chief of staff role. While this probably doesn’t sound like a very risky move—especially when you compare it to starting Aio Wireless or Cricket Wireless–it sure felt like it—for two reasons.

Reason number one: I knew nothing about the job—literally, zero. And reason number two: I was seven months pregnant at the time.

I was pretty certain I could learn the role, but I remember looking at my pregnant belly and saying to myself, ‘I’m never going to get this job – who would hire me like this?’ And even if I did get hired, would it be career-suicide to jump into a demanding, high profile, new role just to step out to give birth, then jump back in? How much pressure would I be putting on my family and myself in order to make all this work?

And, of course, there were the inevitable skeptics who echoed those doubts. But I realized there’s never a perfect time for anything—you just have go for it and keep your eyes on your goal. And my goal was to be a leader and, as such, do something impactful for the company.

I ended up getting the chief of staff job, which led to other roles within AT&T, which, eventually, brought me to where I am today, president of Cricket Wireless. By staying confident and believing in myself and my capabilities; by ensuring that I don’t let others define me; and by embracing change instead of avoiding it, I’ve been able to chart my own course. And that course has included leading Cricket Wireless—one of the most successful consumer brands in the wireless industry.

I’ve taken what many perceive as big risks in my career, but I’ve always viewed them as opportunities. I’ve tackled challenges head-on and I’ve learned to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. I think that’s the key: don’t let perception become reality. If you look for the opportunity, you can always mitigate the risk.”

We welcome your comments at


What Happens to Older Developers?

Found a great post which is about “Old coder(s)”, I’m not that old yet, however, just like the author said, I need to plan it, right now, cause what I am now is right what he was, experienced in manny fields, and a developer like that is the least one the employer wants, according to the author’s expierence.

There’s also a Chinese version of this post, you can visit it here:
Continue reading “What Happens to Older Developers?”

Andrew Mason’s Daily Deal: ‘I Got Fired Today’

Andrew Mason被解雇了,该说点啥呢?不知道!好吧,那听听人家是怎么说的?还有Andrew Mason自己是怎么说的?

I don’t root for failure and don’t believe that dancing on graves is ever the way to go. It’s an especially appropriate personal creed when a good guy who I think overplayed his hand decides to retreat throwing rose petals instead of grenades.

Andrew Mason is out as Groupon’s CEO, the end of a relatively brief ride as the marquee pre-Facebook IPO which never lived up to expectations. At the time Groupon went public I argued that the expectations were absurdly high: Sure, daily deals may be a big business, but was it so big that one company could value itself at $16 billion in an industry shared by Amazon and Google and to which the barrier to entry wasn’t all that high anyway?

Within a month of its November 2011 IPO Groupon was slipping, and then sinking, and through it all the Groupon board stuck with Mason and he didn’t blame anyone for anything.

Now in what appears to be a farewell memo, Mason goes out in style:

(This is for Groupon employees, but I’m posting it publicly since it will leak anyway)

People of Groupon,

After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding – I was fired today. If you’re wondering why… you haven’t been paying attention. From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that’s hovering around one quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable.

You are doing amazing things at Groupon, and you deserve the outside world to give you a second chance. I’m getting in the way of that. A fresh CEO earns you that chance. The board is aligned behind the strategy we’ve shared over the last few months, and I’ve never seen you working together more effectively as a global company – it’s time to give Groupon a relief valve from the public noise.

For those who are concerned about me, please don’t be – I love Groupon, and I’m terribly proud of what we’ve created. I’m OK with having failed at this part of the journey. If Groupon was Battletoads, it would be like I made it all the way to the Terra Tubes without dying on my first ever play through. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to take the company this far with all of you. I’ll now take some time to decompress (FYI I’m looking for a good fat camp to lose my Groupon 40, if anyone has a suggestion), and then maybe I’ll figure out how to channel this experience into something productive.

If there’s one piece of wisdom that this simple pilgrim would like to impart upon you: have the courage to start with the customer. My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what’s best for our customers. This leadership change gives you some breathing room to break bad habits and deliver sustainable customer happiness – don’t waste the opportunity!

I will miss you terribly.



I’m no expert, but that kind of style is in short supply. And it may be one of the common characteristics of the current crop of risk-takers who thrive as members of teams and don’t manage the old-fashioned way — by cutting down anyone who might be a threat.

We don’t know what Mason is really thinking, but we sure know how he’s acting. What do you think? Is Mason the kind of boss you’d be sorry to see go? When you’ve been laid off, did you make it point to burn no bridges — or is “take this job and shove it” sometimes the way to go?

Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images

10 Things Really Amazing Employees Do


Here are ten traits that any great employer should recognize and reward instantly.

Zero Creatives/Getty

As a longtime employer of dozens, I was always grateful to have good employees. It takes a lot to recruit and maintain top talent. Every once in a while special employees come along that just really seem to get it. They drive the entire company forward in ways that were unimaginable. Advancement and reward is never an issue for these rock stars because they understand the power of cause and effect, and only a worthy company can retain them and afford them.

Here are 10 things amazing employees seem to do effortlessly. Here’s how to help your great employees be even more amazing.

1. Enthusiastically Learn All Aspects of Business

They understand they’re part of something bigger and more worthwhile than just their job. They look to learn other areas of the business and be fluent in finance and management so they’ll positively impact multiple areas of the company.

What you can do: Invest in material and seminars on business basics like accounting, marketing, and management so all employees have easy access to learn and grow.

2. Steward the Company

They treat the company as if it were theirs. They look to make prudent decisions about expenses and opportunities with the long-term future of the company in mind. They easily assess risk vs. reward, selflessly when making decisions.

What you can do: Be transparent in your business. The more you share your financials and philosophy, the easier it is for employees to make the right decisions.

3. Generate Viable Opportunities

You don’t have to be in sales or marketing to help a company grow. Strong networkers from all divisions see company growth as a collective effort and constantly keep their eyes open for ways to more than pay for themselves.

What you can do: Make sure all your employees understand your value proposition and can easily identify opportunities. Then reward them openly for their efforts.

4. Resolve Issues Before They Are Issues

My favorite days running companies are when I notice positive change in procedure when I was totally unaware of the need for change. Amazing employees are always looking to improve systems proactively, and they do.

What you can do: Communicate a clear written vision of where the company is going and encourage initiative so people feel safe and empowered to make change.

5. Tell It Like It Is

Amazing employees understand that hiding bad news helps no one. They find kind ways to bring uncomfortable information to the surface, but they DO bring it to the surface. They tell people what’s necessary before major damage is done.

What you can do: Foster an open communication environment where people are not only given permission to tell the truth, but also absolutely required.

6. Demonstrate High Standards, With Low Maintenance

I always feel relaxed when I can trust an employee to perform a task to the same high standards I would expect from myself. Not all can do this without constant attention or difficulty. Amazing employees quietly drive their own high standards.

What you can do: Set the example and the tone for high performance with minimal drama. Publicly reward those who can execute in the same manner.

7. Grow Themselves, and Others

They not only drive their own career but they inspire others to do the same. These employees lead by example in how to advance without creating animosity or resentment. They see and create their perfect future, and also bring others along.

What you can do: Encourage personal development and peer growth through dedicated group time and learning for career advancement.

8. Research, Apply, and Refine

No employer expects people to know everything. In this fast changing world, I choose employees who will learn over those who know. The best employee proactively explores options, takes action and then improves without direction from the top.

What you can do: Invest time in exploration and expansive thinking. Encourage people to explore deep visionary projects with time and reward for the findings.

9. Stimulate Happiness

Amazing employees aren’t always sunshine and roses. They do know how to keep it real. But they understand the dynamics of people, stress, and the blend of work, life and friendship. They are self-aware and able to direct their own path that brings out their best with family, friends and career. They exude positive energy even in stressful times and share it around, making for a happier office.

What you can do: Create an environment where people can openly express themselves. Encourage them to work hard in fulfilling ways and achieve their dreams.

10. Facilitate Amazing Bosses

Amazing employees make me grow as an employer. They self-confidently get their value and help me get mine. They make me want to be worthy of working with somebody of such high caliber, without ever saying it directly of course.

What you can do: Make effort to genuinely show appreciation for any of the behaviors above so people feel their value and will grow to full potential. Then they will do the same for you.

Trust is the greatest of gifts, but it must be earned

这句话来自于Star Wars, The Clone Wars (IV) – Episode 18,很经典,原文是:Trust is the greatest of gifts, but it must be earned,中文被翻译为:信任如至宝,取之须躬行。我也一直拿来作为自己的一句警言来提醒自己。




下午两点多,考虑到园区里大部分的公司都已经没人(提前下班),而且,部门下有的人已经于十多天前就已经请好假,买好回家的车票,甚至所有行李都已经带到 了office就等着下班的情况下。我就未经请示台湾那边的主管,自己擅作主张,并发mail给我台湾那边的主管说:“由于大陆这边马上放假,部分路段车 流限制/管制,故上海这边研发将下午3点半 提前下班(包括我在内的部分同仁因有比较urgent的 assignment,还会在office 正常上班)。若有什么事情,请以电话或mail方式联系。”

事实上整个office,就只有研发部门几个人,再加一个行政主管(她后来在3点多一点就走人,说是请假了),其他人都已经不在了(跟往常一样),但其他 部门怎样怎样,跟我们没有任何关系,所以我也只能写研发部门要提早下班。另外,真正需要提前走的只有两人,而我又不想在mail里指名道姓的写的那么清 楚,以避免影响那两位员工在HQ主管眼中的观感(或者也可以上升一个层次到: Trust)。



三点左右,收到了我的主管的回复:“不宜有此行為.E600 每個人都有未完成的工作 (such as: Maggie CM 必需在 10/31 前完成, Michael 有 GV 及行安, …..).若有不得已, 非早離開不可, 必需請假, 而且必需有把握不 delay 工作.”




我只是简单的想,有的同仁,平时因为工作比较紧,自己工作态度也很认真,基本上每天下班后都还会在office里做上半个钟头到几个钟头的工作,也从来不 算加班。那到了这种“早买好票,必须提前一两个钟头走”情况,也应该让他们提前走。当然,如果换作是我自己,那我肯定会主动的填请假单,哪怕是只有半个钟 头,而且这十几年来一直如此,但我不能这样去要求所有人。

而且,我更加相信的是,许多情况下,一味的要求是没太大的实际用处的,更重要的是每个人自己的主观态度和积极性。有的人每天都会主动多做一些时间的工作, 那这种人通常你都不需要去要求他怎样怎样,如果没事做,他自己就会坐不住,主动要事情来做;有的人则是每天准点上班,准点下班,那你要求也没用,他有他自 己的规律、原则、安排和生物钟,如果他偶尔会努力一下,那我们也要适当的鼓励。

但是,到底我们这些员工哪个人是属于哪一类的?或者说哪个人最近一阵子的表现是什么样的?对不起,只有在这个Office里的人才真正知道。我们的主管 (公司负责产品研发的VP)已经很多很多年没来过上海了,而且由于公司研发管理制度等因素,我作为部门经理又未被赋予这种detail管理上权利和职责 (我自己都每天忙得跟狗一样),而在这么一种情况下,HQ的一堆主管们又怎么知道我们每个人的具体状况呢?更何从谈起Earn trust?对于做研发的人来讲,要考核本来就很难,再加上考核官永远不见被考核者,那要考核起来怎么可能呢?技术上的东西,一个难题可能要耗N久,开窍 了去做可能只要几分钟,那这样的话,如果考核官不在,对于被考核者来说,一天到晚看新闻,也是上一天班;一天到晚干活也是上一天班。



Trust is the greatest of gifts, but it must be earned.在一家公司工作了十多年,却仍然没有Earn到trust,真的是很悲哀的一件事情,而且是在人员没有什么变动的情况下。谨记之。








以前还弄不清,一个程序里的 instance 的存在必要。c++智能指针、泛型编程刚有初步的认识。






对于一个刚参加工作(不久)的人来说,可以说是从一个基本上一无所知的状态(很悲哀,中国的大学里所教的东西很少是你毕业后能真正派上用场的,不管你是专 科毕业,还是本科毕业),突然的发现有一大堆的知识需要学习和了解,这对绝大多数人来说都是一个很大的冲击,甚至打击。


一个月,或者三个月的培训期过了之后,不出意外,你就转正了,这时候先不要急着高兴,这个时候往往是更重要的一段时间,主管会给你分派一些简单但正式的工 作,而这些简单的工作则可能会让你自己独立的去完成,这才是真正考验你的时候,公司会考察你的各方面表现,以决定给你委以什么样的任务和角色。对于一个应 届毕业生来说,没有几个公司会在一年半内对你抱太大的期待,而你的任务就是必须要让公司对你有所期待。
同时,尽可能的多了解一下原理性的一些东西,如:把产品的框架都了解清楚,至少要从理论上知道这个框架有什么好,为什么好;另一方面在业余的时间,争取多 补充一些基础知识,像你这样的可以补补C/C++和Linux/Unix相关的知识,这样也可以解决你“就qdbus的基本使用我现在还是迷迷糊糊”的这 种问题。
中国现在的年轻人基本上都是独生子女,平时习惯了“拿来主义”,许多人都喜欢走“捷径”。而以你的状况,我看应该不是会去跟人“拼爹”的那种,自力更生是 你唯一的选择,而如果你想要的是一条“捷径”,我可以很负责任的告诉你,没有。只有一步一个脚印,才能走得更好、更远,从而走出一条捷径。


  • 初级(通常是前两到三年):好好做好所在公司的工作。努力学习和掌握公司产品相关的技术(越多越好),多看多学多问多试多用,同时多阅读一些基础知识相关的资料,尽可能往“深”的方向走,为自己的将来打好基础。
  • 中级(再两到三年):如果你前面的基础已经掌握,那经过那两三年,你应该已经成长为公司的一位主力(之一),然后,再来考虑把自己的视界扩大,逐步往“广”的方面发展。
  • 高级(在一个领域有 五六年的工作经验,并且涉及范围相对广泛):这个时候,你就应该可以不再需要重点考虑“练级”了,自己来好好考虑“职业生涯”这个名词,相信到这个时候你 自己已经有相当的主见和见解,并且具备足够的经验和智慧来解决你所要面对的这种问题了,不管是要考虑继续深入,还是转型,抑或其他。


1. 如果你真的真的一点也不喜欢自己现在在做的工作,那我劝你就不要做了,先好好的去搞清楚自己想要做什么。
2. 如果你有一天要跳槽,尽量做到每份工作做满两年,这样的经验积累才是真正有意义,否则,现实一点就是浪费时间、浪费自己的生命。也许有些人会说,没事,哥年轻,啥都缺,就不缺时间。
3. 要做好一个程序猿,English是very重要的!



《C++程序设计语言》 ,C++之父的大作。

《泛型编程与STL》 ,STL无论在什么地方,什么操作系统都是非常有用的,主要学习:

a. Container容器:序列容器, 有vector, list, deque, string. 关联容器, 有set, multiset, map, mulmap, hash_set, hash_map, hash_multiset, hash_multimap, 其他,如stack, queue, valarray, bitset

b. Iterator 迭代器:迭代器统一了容器的访问操作,很好的东西。在迭代器的使用中,常常遇到的一个问题就是,在进行数据的插入删除时的失效问题!其实就是指针的问题哈
c. Algorithm 算法:比如比较、查询、数据移动、复制、交换等等。基础算法:min, max, swap, 排序:sort,替换:replace,查找:find
《Think in C++》,地球人都知道。

《C++ Primer》 ,经典。

《Effective C++》《More Effective C++》( )

《设计模式》 程序猿必读。读至少两遍以上,并思考一下这23个模式的应用场景。主要是两点:1)钟爱组合而不是继承,2)钟爱接口而不是实现。同时推荐阅读一下《深入浅出设计模式》

《Unix高级环境编程》 Unix/Linux系 统相关,了解系统层面的东西。从文件系统及其操作开始,到多进程(fork/wait/waitpid)、多线程(pthread)同步或互斥,进程间信 号量通信(signal/kill/raise/alarm/pause/sigprocmask),进程间通信(IPC),网络编程(Socket /select/poll/epoll)等等。当然,还有gcc命令,gdb调试,Makefile。


a.《计算机科学和编程导论》(Introduction to Computer Science and Programming)

b. 《C语言内存管理和面向对象编程》(Introduction to C Memory Management and C++ Object-Oriented Programming)





这篇博文的背景是2010年元旦过后,当时苏大实习生集体离职的事情还未完全结束,然而许多问题都还在持续的发酵中。而事实上这些人离职的一部分原因也是 由于行政上的一些做法让部分人很不爽。对于我个人来说,应该说其实我自己本来是已经“习惯”了,说难听点爱咋地咋地,但对于部门下其他人来说,他们有想 法,我必须要找个理由为他们去争取,但是结果是搞到后来自己也被搞得一团火,而且最后的结果是什么也没争取到,没办法,我也只能对自己说我已经去争取过 了,其余的,你们自己也“爱咋地咋地”吧。
今天中午我有和公司上海的行政主管做了一番非常深刻的沟通,在沟通中,根据她的表述,事实上去年开始严格施行的考勤制度及上周五的年假制度的事情都 是由总部来主持施行的,如果是这样的话,我想我真的有些误会她了,如果是这样的话,我真的需要向她说声不好意思,因为我真的有点误会她了,虽然对于上述事 情我也只是就事论事的在mail里跟她讨论(原本上周五的事,我也想先跟她讨论讨论先,但她最近真的不好找,天天在外面跑,再加上当时真的感到 很%*&5#~!),现在大家都明白事由、缘由了,所以,我也无需再去“OK”“OK” 了,呵呵。这是一番令人开心沟通。


是的!我深深的明白这个道理,并且,事实上,这句话我早在几年前的一次部门周会里也有跟部门内的所有同仁讲过。但是我自己有时候就是想不开。所以我就吃了 点亏,不过,算了,过去让它过去吧。同时,这句话更容易让人理解的“含意”我想也不用我来说了,但到底应该如何来面对这个“含意”?我的想法是:合则聚, 不合则散。

以下是在当年的周会里我跟大家分享的那个童话故事,来自安徒生晚年的一个作品,很短,很现实,完全不同于其早年的那些让人耳熟能详、充满情感、充满幻想、 针对政治/社会/民情的童话,如:《丑小鸭》、《海的女儿》、《皇帝的新装》、《卖火柴的小女孩》等等,这篇童话描述的完全是针对个人的,当然,这跟他年 纪大了我想也有关系,年纪大了,许多事情见得多了,自然就会越来越对“个人”有更多的感触,当然这只是我个人的一点见解,不尽正确,仅供大家参考。


安徒生 小猪储钱罐(又名:钱猪)

那个小玩偶舞台布置得恰恰可以使他一眼就能看到台上的扮演。大家想先演一出喜剧,然后再吃茶和做知识练习。他们立刻就开始了。摇木马谈到训练和纯血统问 题,学步车谈到铁路和蒸汽的力量。这些事情都是他们的本行,所以他们都能谈谈。座钟谈起政治:“滴答——滴答”。它知道它敲的是什么时候,不过,有人说他 走的并不准确。竹手杖直挺挺地站着,骄傲得不可一世,因为它上面包了银头,下面箍了铜环,上上下下都包了东西。沙发上躺着两个绣花垫子,很好看,但是糊 涂。现在戏可以开始了。
那个补了一次的玩偶是那么兴奋,弄得她的补丁都松开了。钱猪也看得兴奋起来,他决心要为演员中的某一位做点事情:他要在遗嘱上写下,到了适当的时候,他要 这位演员跟他一起葬在公墓里。这才是真正的愉快,因此大家就放弃吃茶,继续做知识练习。这就是他们所谓的扮演人类了。这里面并没有什么恶意,因为他们只不 过是扮演罢了,每件东西只想着自己,和猜想钱猪的心事;而这钱猪想得最远,因为他想到了写遗嘱和入葬的事情。这事会在什么时候发生,他总是比别人料想得 早。
这是一起很有风趣的小品,最初发表在1855年哥本哈根出版的《丹麦大众历书》上。“钱 猪”肚子里装满钱,满得连摇动时连响声都不发,是一种大人物沉着庄重的样子。但它跌碎了以后,钱都光了,另一个新“钱猪”来代替它,“它肚皮里还没有装进 钱,因此它也摇不出响声来。”实际既然如此,“它跟别的东西完全没有什么区别,”因此它就谈不上是什么大人物了。世事就是如此。


实习生离职引发的思考:1. 到底该如何的、更好的去凝聚大家的向心力?2. 到底该如何的去协调我的下属和我的上司之间的一些关系?3. 到底是否有必要重新审视对自己工作职责的定位?

这篇文章写于2010年元旦,当时公司与苏州大学研究生院软件学院有人才输出协议,公司每年固定支持一笔费用给学校,然后其软件学院下的软件工程专业的研 究生,在第一年完成理论学习后,会直接到来我公司实习,实习期为2年,公司会负责所有来我公司实习的学习的学费,同时每月支付一笔实习费,实习期满后,有 优先录用这些实习生的权利。

今天看到一篇博文,讲述的实习生的事情,心想在过去两年里前前后后有11位来自苏大的实习生在公司工作和实习,但是到现在真正留下的只有一个人,我 作为研发的主管也真是感到的无比的心痛,无可否认这些人中有表现比较好的,也有表现比较差的,但总的来说绝大多数人都差不多在公司工作了将近两年,对公司 的产品研发相关技术、流程都已经有了相当的了解,但最终的结果实在是一个非常大的遗憾,这中间的因素也真的很多,很复杂。既然他们最终选择离开,那我也只 有祝福他们。同时也一直在思考:

1. 到底该如何的、更好的去凝聚大家的向心力?

2. 到底该如何的去协调我的下属和我的上司之间的一些关系?

3. 到底是否有必要重新审视对自己工作职责的定位?

如果要在这一点上做调整真的很难,但又真的很重要,尤其是现在已经开始着手激励制度的试行,而且以最近发生的几件事情(离职报告、考勤制度等等)来 看,这决非这么简单的事情,我只是尝试着去做一点点的调整,但事实上即使仅仅如此,就已经困难重重,每个公司内部都会有层层的利害关系,说难听点可能都会 有一些比较官僚的制度,尤其是将你所需做的一件事情是需要跨部门的时候,更甚之……





从他那里也了解到,由于GTEC换了新的大老板,Dennis Lam已经去其他地方工作了,大老板正在竭力压缩开支,免费的工作餐取消了,报销车费取消 了,正式员工也是能不雇佣就不雇佣,待遇已经今非昔比。去年我在的DSV组的同事,现在走的走,散的散,重组的重组,还剩下十几个人了。想当时我在那里实 习的时候,鼎盛时期DSV组有三十多个人,是Microsoft GTEC最大的组,没想到仅仅半年时间,现在却“人心惶惶”,真是时过境迁阿。虽然仅仅 实习了八个月,虽然最后没有选择留在微软,但是那毕竟是我的第一个工作的地方,就像一个人的启蒙老师一样,始终都还有一份感情,始终都还想着有朝一日能再 回Microsoft效力。
但是再想想,很多人尤其是vendor从GTEC跳槽也不是偶然的,工作强度高我是深入体会的,虽然理论上每天只需要工作八个小时,但是很多同事都是一天 干一天半的活,晚上加班到十点是正常的。当时凭着自己对Microsoft的激情,倒也干得任劳任怨。可是,仅仅是激情就够了么?激情过后,剩下的是什么 呢?
考虑的再多一点,现在好多的外资IT企业,尤其是一些享有国际声誉的知名大型IT企业,近年来在中国都建立分公司,或者“研发中心”。凭着“还说得过去的 薪水”和企业本身的名声,把大量中国的优秀IT人才揽于麾下,与此同时,具体工作的内容呢?很多都是与公司的核心技术根本不沾边的内容。还有些更直接,做 外包。记得某号称“玻璃巨人”的IT企业中国软件部门领导在同济大学软件学院做报告的时候更是赤裸裸的宣称“在中国这个环境下做软件,只能做外包。”。这 样拿着中国的优秀软件人才当廉价劳动力赚钱的外企,进去了除了能得到个听起来还不错的名声——“世界五百强XX公司员工”——之外,得到的还有什么呢?暑 假的时候我有幸在国内某个做国产系统支持软件的公司实习。实话实说,与那个公司的员工交流的时候,感觉他们的smart程度至少要比 Microsoft Guys低一个档次。国内最一流的软件人才都去了外企,留下了二流三流做中国的核心技术。这或许也是中国软件产业落后的一个原因 吧。。。


一. 关于工作职责,其实本来也可以很简单。
虽然我是公司在大陆地区唯一的一个研发部门经理,但由于我们公司的产品研发制度采取的是一种Matric模式的 管理制度,在这种制度下,从REQUIREMENT管理到SYSTEM ANALYSIS,再生成PRD,然后再到RD来做SD,并完成DEVELOP,然后交给QA,最近Release产品,每个环节都有很明确的分工,本身 来说,这应该是很标准、很完美的一套制度,而在这套“很完美”的制度下,由于,我并不需要处理太多的管理方面的工作,甚至也不需要我做太多的研发文档,所 以,一直以来我对自己的定位是:
1) 作为一个资深研发人员,负责公司核心技术产品的开发。
2) 协助SA & PM完成各种Spec or PRD document的撰写。
3) 对一些研发中的主要技术难点进行攻关。
4) 在协助Team下的员工(新同事或者老同事)完成一些他们无法完成的、或者是无法独立完成的工作。
5) 对Team下的员工做一些简单的激励和鼓励,如:阶段性的和Team下的员工一起打打球、唱唱歌什么的。
二. 在实际工作中碰到了问题
公司的制度是非常完美的,本来按上面讲的那样,我已经决定应该会工作得很快乐,并且绝对不应该产生“情绪”。然 而事实上,这套完美的制度在实际的操作与运营中,却又真的出现了很多不该出现的问题,最大的问题,我想应该跟所有的IT公司一样(或者说是跟所有的软件公 司一样),那就是Schedule的delay,并由此而引发各方面的不满。对于此很难用几句话来说明清楚,我只是想站在一个纯RD的角度来试得解释和说 明一下我的理解,同上配上我的一些不怎么make sense逻辑(由于最近一直很不爽,所以借机发泄一番),我认为导致目前的状况的原因,从简描述的话应该有以下几点:
1) 缺乏沟通;
2) 缺乏激励制度;
3) 产品研发管理中诸多环节无法得到很好的衔接;
4) 缺少起码的人文关怀;
1 缺乏沟通
在这几点问题中,我把缺乏沟通放到了第一位是因为缺乏沟通直接导致了其他很多的问题。单纯的从RD部门来讲,缺 乏与HQ的沟通,缺乏跨部门之间的沟通,导致RD根本无从知道公司的运营状况,而这样的结果就是导致RD对自己的前景无法作出很好的判断(更别说是正确的 判断),在这样的背景下,有一句俗话更容易被放大,这句俗话就是“好事不出门,坏事传千里”,其结果就是直接导致部分“体质”较差的人“生病”。
1.1. 公司层面
不知道自己在做什么东西,因为光从上海来讲,我们投入95% effort在做的东西没看出来有任何意义,相反投入5% effort 做的东西却基本上可以养活上海整个Office。
1.2. RD内部
a. 没有工作统筹说明。
由于有些工作过于细分,大多数情况下RD只需要根据定义好的Spec去做自己的部分功能即可,但如果能在功能启 动开发前就有一些统筹说明,岂不是更好?既有利于每位RD对整个产品的理解,从而更利于RD在实际开发时能更好的对相关功能,甚至Spec发挥、发扬,又 可让整个Spec更趋完善。
b. 不会有任何产品规划说明
c. 其他
当然这些跟前面讲的那些一样,事实上对于普通员工来讲,许多事情告不告知,就此本身来说可能都无可厚非,告知也 行,不告知也没什么不对,但是站在一个普通员工的立场来讲,如果你被告知一些可能本来他不需要知道的事情,无疑会让他对公司的未来更有期盼,更有期待,也 更让他觉得自己是公司的一部分,不夸张的说,就像是家的那种感觉。
1.3. 个人层面
作为RD Manager,本来我应该是充当一个桥梁的角色,来协调大陆RD与HQ的一些关系,但是很不幸,我没有做到这一点,我也曾经做到一些尝试,但结果显然没 有任何作用,而且基本上我除了07年在台湾的时候有幸和我的老板在新竹的会议室讨论过一次问题外,基本上从来没有再直接接受到主管的任何会议要求、管理方 面的询问、哪怕职责上的责骂(而对于这一点,有一位新竹的同事跟我讲他老是被他的老板责问,他觉得不爽,我就直接告诉他,老板会来问你,说明老板重视你, 老板要是不重视你,人家理都懒得来理你),即使有这些需要,那也都是通过一个第三方的人来做这些事情。而这样时间一长了后,我也变得越来越消极,也慢慢的 不再主动的去找我的老板。
再加上公司的Matrix产品研发管理制度,事实上,我也完全可以不必去对手下员工的Schedule等做什么 管理,因为有专门的PM、SA会去对每个RD去盯Schedule,我也只是大致知道下面每个人最近大致在做什么,至于做得怎么样?对不起,你可能需要去 问PM问SA;如果他们有问题,自然会来问我,没问题也不用我去管。
有时候我自己总结也觉得自己需要再更加积极一点,但再想想以目前的管理制度,以实际的状况而言,我更觉得自己像 是一个名义上的Manager。因为没有参与到PM、SA的WBS assignment,更无法对手下的员工的Promotion、薪资等产生任何实际意义的影响,所以我无法也没必要无法对手下的人的工作内容、 Schedule进行管理及追踪。
1.4. 我的一点想法
2 缺乏激励制度
对于激励机制,我想任何一个公司的任何一个人都无法否定它的意义,虽然考虑到其操作方式,可能每个公司都会有所 不同。但是在UniSVR虽然中间有很多的过程,而且从几年前开始到最近,我也有多次正式或非正式的向我的前后两任主管及公司总经理建议,但基本上每次得 到的答复都是标准而统一的:因为无法衡量。
而最近我们的总经理则是比我的两任主管多了一个说法,公司目前正在重新推广RD的执行效率的管理制度,也即 ClearQuest(由IBM Rational所推出的一套Defect & bug track tool),并由此参照每位RD所解决的Bug数目,及Task item的Reject & redo 次数,以评估RD的研发效率,且还有很重要一点是,如果要衡量她希望是不需介入人为的因素,以避免出现“我跟你谈得来,我就给你评价好一些;我跟他谈不 来,就给她评价差一些”等等状况。
ClearQuest的确可以在一定程序上呈现Task owner的工作及工作效率,但是由于我们的Defect & bug是由QA、PM、SA等submit的,而以公司目前对这几个职位的人员配置,
A. 这些人都无法在submit task的时候就能估出该task item的强度(什么是难的?什么是简单的);
B. 更有甚者,其中的许多item都是错误的(如:QA测出一个bug,然后加上他们自己的一些理解submit上去,事实上真正的原因、甚至现象根本不是如此);
C. 经常有许多状况是QA测出一个问题,然后由QA submit出来,然后RD来改,结果这个task item 可能被reject N次,但是无法避免的一个问题是QA在测出这个问题的时候,其实是一个复杂功能的第一步出错了,他还没法测到后面的无数个功能….
所以,我认为要靠类似ClearQuest这种Tool来评定一个Task owner的Performance,基本上其意义非常、非常的有限,它的意义更多的是管理层对公司每个产品线的投入的初略估算,也即类似于Time Card之类功能意义,以确定公司的哪个产品线人力投入与产出比例。
2.1 关于绩效考核机制
2.1.1. ClearQuest为基础
2.1.2. 提升PM & SA submit enhancements的task 强度细分
这一点我觉得可以由两位以上的资深RD一起对此相关在Basic的程度上进行强度划分,有些功能的实现需要的可 能仅仅是时间;有些功能则可能会是一个Technical point;并配备一位(或者两位)具有相当资历的资深RD,以作为所有功能的Task owner,让其带领一个Team对此下的所有功能及Schedule进行负责,也即他(们)追踪RD开发进程及Schedule,并随时跟踪Team下 每个RD的各种状况:遇到问题了,是什么样的问题,如果能协助他们解决就给予一定的协助,如果因Schedule关系需要同时与Task owner并行Research的就并行Research,同时若是间出现状况,随时与PM & SA及其他资深RD进行沟通及必要的探讨。
2.1.3. 在现有的Matrix产品研发管理制度的基本上,引入一些更灵活的做法
其实说到这一点,我也有很多、很多、很多、很多的牢骚,因为这一点已经积累了很多年了,但是由于这套 Matrix管理制度的确也很完美(但事实上就跟《看上去很美》一样),所以,我也实在无法找到一些借口来直接批评这套制度,说起来也只能是不着边际的跟 人说说那套UniSVR到底是一家大公司,还是一家小公司?UniSVR到底是做产品(Product)的,还是做项目(Project)的?。
a)       工单系统
b)      上海电信数字家庭
c)      上海电信97帐务计费接口
d)      移动全球眼3GVAU
这些项目共同的特点是都没有真正实施那套Matrix流程。当然,当我这么说的时候,我们的总经理反驳我说 3GVAU是有的,因为从头到尾她有在追踪这个项目,且有参与PRD的撰写,但事实上我不这么认为,基本上这些项目都是在跟电信谈的时候就直接由RD一边 做Research,一边就直接着手实现的,没有一个真正有经过台湾那边的SA啊、SD啊什么的,而是由我负责,直接在上海成立一个独立的team来专门 负责相关功能的研发,这样的好处是在于:
RD是由于对整个Project or 产品的设计、规划、背景了解有限,无法做到统盘考量,许多功能与功能间的衔接无法兼故与周到;
i.                     由于分工关系,我对部分Spec也不是很清楚
ii.                   我跟其它所有RD一样,同样是许多task的owner,我自己也有很多(更多)事情要做
iii.                  我不是王进喜
2.1.4. 提升QA人员的整体素量
2.2 关于激励制度的尝试