My Job Went to India: And All I Got Was This Lousy Book (Anglais) Broché – 21 octobre 2005
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I would say that most of his advice really falls into one of these categories: constantly improve yourself, constantly seek to improve others, and be knowledgeable of your business and customers.
There are valuable tidbits in here that are common sense to some, but I am amazed with how many people I know that don't follow them. Even if they are all common sense this book helps these ideas crystallize in your psyche. Here are some of my favorites:
#7 Don't base your career on one technology: for example Java, Lotus Notes, etc.
#8 Be the worst. Surrounding yourself with really good people is a lot better way to learn than being the best. I agree with this.
#9 Love it or leave it. The people I like to work with the most are the people with passion for what they do. They are the ones that are constantly seeking to do things the right way. They are the ones who are innovating.
The reason I give this book 4 stars instead of 5 is that towards the end I thought the last several chapters were kind of fluffy and didn't provide any concrete advise. But overall, I think this book is very good.
Written with compassion and empathy for it's intended audience, the book conveys a very important message -- that it's not about Americans beating Indians out of jobs or Indians beating Americans. It's about building things of value and making software developers better.
I believe this book is going to be of as much value to the leaders of organizations that hire software developers across the globe as it will be to the employees of those organizations and will provide benefits to readers in unexpected ways. It provides a blueprint for continuous learning and self- improvement as well as a way to motivate oneself to always aspire to reach higher and achieve more and enjoy the journey along the way!
This is a must-read book that has already found a permanent place on my bookshelf as it will in the bookshelves of all the others whom I plan to gift copies to.
I HIGHLY recommend it.
Fowler offers readers excellent advice on how not to be left behind. Fifty-two ways to save your job, as the title suggests. None of us can afford to be complacent in our current successes, knowledge, or skillsets. Complacency breeds arrogance and laziness. These are very simple truths. The people who take the time to learn new things and adapt to changing business environments more quickly are the ones who are going to come out on top. Right now, we're seeing the tide shift and those diligent people in India are reaping the rewards of their hard work.
Outsourcing or off-shoring...whatever you want to call it, it is not going away. And it is not the dirty word it was a couple of years ago. Outsourcing is old news! The epiphanies of "The World is Flat" is old news! Companies who have not yet shifted some of their operation to India or China or Western Europe are likely feeling a little panicked. And I think they rightfully concerned. As companies continue to expand outsourcing to India (Citrix, IBM, Microsoft, Siebel, et al), for any of us to keep our jobs, we need to continue to find new and BETTER ways to be provide value. For some, it means learning new technical and/or language skills. For others, it means changing careers altogether. Adapt, adapt, adapt.
This book was excellent--it's well written, it's timely, and frankly, I found it very reassuring. I recommend "My Job Went to India" in particular to my fellow American friends and coworkers who run the gamut from being concerned to downright paranoid (whether they'll admit it aloud or not) about the prospect of "**INSERT COUNTRY NAME HERE** (India) taking precious jobs away from **INSERT NATIONALITY HERE** (Americans).
If I can digress for just a moment, I want to tell you how I found this book. I stumbled across it in Barns & Noble--one of those mega stores with the multiple floors and separate coffee and lunch stands. You know, the ones that are the size of a mini mall? I went there to pick up some programming books. I decided I needed to brush up my programming skills and I was trying to determine the best way to get started and what language to focus on first. The store's tech selections were overwhelming. I was in the store for three hours pouring over books. The more I searched and read, the more lost and frustrated I felt. And, if I'm being honest, the more stupid and ill-prepared I felt. I picked up Foweler's book because the title caught my eye just as I was about to leave. I read the cover and laughed (okay, snorted) so loud the person next to me took a couple of steps away from me, out of concern that I was crazy or possessed. Or both. The book struck a chord because the company I had just left has begun recently outsourcing to India and many of the employees I knew are feeling a bit confused, frustrated, and some are outright disgusted. As if the strategy somehow implied the company had sold its soul. Which, of course, simply isn't true.
At any rate, I read the first page and thought, yeah, this looks like it might be an interesting read some day, and I then flipped over to the page where Fowler starts talking about what the experience in India taught him, how the unfamiliar and strange had become totally familiar to him, how he changed his perspective, and how India became his new norm and how his return to the USA was a complete shock to his system.
It was this section that made me sit up and take notice and it's what ultimately sold me on the book. It's like a trusted friend revealing a buried or forgotten truth. Fowler's words rang true to me. I read the whole thing in one sitting.
What I appreciated most about his writing is that it is not radical technobable rantings of a professed expert. The writing is not arrogant and for the most part, it's written in simple terms. I got the sense he's just a guy who wants share his experience and the lessons learned to save us programmers and programmer wannabees (like me) the trouble and offer suggestions that might reassure us of the future. So much of what he says are just simple truths that deep down I already knew were true. And he writes it in such a way that the book could be relevant to all tech workers, not just programmers.
So read it. I tell you, it's freaking brilliant and you will probably feel better about your future. I certainly do.
I love books with short chapters, and this one has fifty-two of them. They read quickly and many end with exercises to apply the practice or skill recently discovered.
Much of what a programmer must do to advance his craft these days is more closely related to business than software. Many programmers, myself included, are somewhat intimidated by the need to learn these skills. Fowler breaks it down and make this subject matter far easier to approach.
The essence of this book is tons and tons of experience distilled into words. Sure, you could learn all of this stuff over a decade in the industry, but you might have some frightening, tight times in between. I feel like My Job Went To India has given me a leg up by focusing the topic of managing a programmer's career into fun-to-read, easily digestible chunks that are all highly actionable.
"Take Charge of Your Career" would have been a better title. This book is for those of us who really want to be in this sector and are looking for what the right moves are. It is too easy to end up working in an IT job that you floated into rather than worked towards or deliberately chose.
The last line of the book says it best:
"Satisfaction, like our career choices, is something that should be sought after and *decided* upon *with intention*.