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Being treated like a twelve year old at work by a Tasmanian-devil-manager and not sure what to do about it? It is simply a well-known fact that no one likes to be micro managed. Not only do they not like to be micro managed, but tend to quit for this very reason. Unfortunately the percentage of people leaving their jobs for this reason is higher that you would imagine. Recently, an employee retention report conducted by TINYpulse, an employee engagement firm, surveyed 400 full-time U.S. employees concluded that, "supervisors can make or break employee retention."

As companies mature, their ability to manage can be significant to their bottom line as employee morale, high staff turnover and the cost of training new employees can easily reduce productivity and consequently client satisfaction.  In many cases, there is a thin line between effective managing and micro managing practices. Most managers avoid micro managing their employees. However, a decent percentage of them have yet to find effective ways to get the most of their co-workers.  They trap themselves by disempowering people's ability to do their work when they hover over them and create an unpleasant working environment. This behavior may come in the form of incessant emailing, everything having to be done a certain way (their way), desk hovering, and a need to control every part of an enterprise, no matter how small.

Superimpose the micro manager into the popular practice of Agile-SCRUM methodology and you can imagine the creative ways they can monitor everything in a team, situation, or place. Although, not always a bad thing, excessive control, can lead to burnout of managers and teams alike.  As predicted, agile project management has become increasingly popular in the last couple of decades in project planning, particularly in software development.  Agile methodology when put into practice, especially in IT, can mean releasing faster functional software than with the traditional development methods. When done right, it enables users to get some of the business benefits of the new software faster as well as enabling the software team to get rapid feedback on the software's scope and direction.

Despite its advantages, most organizations have not been able to go “all agile” at once. Rather, some experiment with their own interpretation of agile when transitioning.  A purist approach for instance, can lead to an unnecessarily high agile project failure, especially for those that rely on tight controls, rigid structures and cost-benefit analysis.  As an example, a premature and rather rapid replacement of traditional development without fully understating the implications of the changeover process or job roles within the project results in failure for many organizations.  

The interpreted programming language Python has surged in popularity in recent years. Long beloved by system administrators and others who had good use for the way it made routine tasks easy to automate, it has gained traction in other sectors as well. In particular, it has become one of the most-used tools in the discipline of numerical computing and analysis. Being put to use for such heavy lifting has endowed the language with a great selection of powerful libraries and other tools that make it even more flexible. One upshot of this development has been that sophisticated business analysts have also come to see the language as a valuable tool for those own data analysis needs.

Greatly appreciated for its simplicity and elegance of syntax, Python makes an excellent first programming language for previously non-technical people. Many business analysts, in fact, have had success growing their skill sets in this way thanks to the language's tractability. Long beloved by specialized data scientists, the iPython interactive computing environment has also attracted great attention within the business analyst’s community. Its instant feedback and visualization options have made it easy for many analysts to become skilled Python programmers while doing valuable work along the way.

Using iPython and appropriate notebooks for it, for example, business analysts can easily make interactive use of such tools as cohort analysis and pivot tables. iPython makes it easy to benefit from real-time, interactive researches which produce immediately visible results, including charts and graphs suitable for use in other contexts. Through becoming familiar with this powerful interactive application, business analysts are also exposing themselves in a natural and productive way to the Python programming language itself.

Gaining proficiency with this language opens up further possibilities. While interactive analytic techniques are of great use to many business analysts, being able to create fully functioning, independent programs is of similar value. Becoming comfortable with Python allows analysts to tackle and plumb even larger data sets than would be possible through an interactive approach, as results can be allowed to accumulate over hours and days of processing time.

This ability can sometime allow business analysts to address the so-called "Big Data" questions that can otherwise seem the sole province of specialized data scientists. More important than this higher level of independence, perhaps, is the fact that this increased facility with data analysis and handling allows analysts to communicate more effectively with such stakeholders. Through learning a programming language which allows them to begin making independent inroads into such areas, business analysts gain a better perspective on these specialized domains, and this allows them to function as even more effective intermediaries.

 

Related:

Who Are the Main Players in Big Data?

In recent decades, companies have become remarkably different than what they were in the past. The formal hierarchies through which support staff rose towards management positions are largely extinct. Offices are flat and open-plan collaborations between individuals with varying talent who may not ever physically occupy a corporate workspace. Many employed by companies today work from laptops nomadically instead. No one could complain that IT innovation hasn’t been profitable. It’s an industry that is forecasted to rake in $351 billion in 2018, according to recent statistics from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). A leadership dilemma for mid-level IT managers in particular, however, has developed. Being in the middle has always been a professional gray area that only the most driven leverage towards successful outcomes for themselves professionally, but mid-level managers in IT need to develop key skills in order to drive the level of growth that the fast paced companies who employ them need. 

What is a middle manager’s role exactly? 

A typical middle manager in the IT industry is usually someone who has risen up the ranks from a technical related position due to their ability to envision a big picture of what’s required to drive projects forward. A successful middle manager is able to create cohesion across different areas of the company so that projects can be successfully completed. They’re also someone with the focus necessary to track the progress of complex processes and drive them forward at a fast pace as well as ensure that outcomes meet or exceed expectations.

What challenges do middle managers face in being successful in the IT industry today? 

While middle managers are responsible for the teams they oversee to reach key milestones in the life cycle of important projects, they struggle to assert their power to influence closure. Navigating the space between higher-ups and atomized work forces is no easy thing, especially now that workforces often consist of freelancers with unprecedented independence. 

What are the skills most needed for an IT manager to be effective? 

Being educated on a steady basis to handle the constant evolution of tech is absolutely essential if a middle manager expects to thrive professionally in a culture so knowledge oriented that evolves at such a rapid pace. A middle manager who doesn't talk the talk of support roles or understand the nuts and bolts of a project they’re in charge of reaching completion will not be able to catch errors or suggest adequate solutions when needed. 

How has the concept of middle management changed? 

Middle managers were basically once perceived of as supervisors who motivated and rewarded staff towards meeting goals. They coached. They toggled back and forth between the teams they watched over and upper management in an effort to keep everyone on the same page. It could be said that many got stuck between the lower and upper tier of their companies in doing so. While companies have always had to be result-oriented to be profitable, there’s a much higher expectation for what that means in the IT industry. Future mid-level managers will have to have the same skills as those whose performance they're tracking so they can determine if projects are being executed effectively. They also need to be able to know what new hires that are being on-boarded should know to get up to speed quickly, and that’s just a thumbnail sketch because IT companies are driven forward by skills that are not easy to master and demand constant rejuvenation in the form of education and training. It’s absolutely necessary for those responsible for teams that bring products and services to market to have similar skills in order to truly determine if they’re being deployed well. There’s a growing call for mid-level managers to receive more comprehensive leadership training as well, however. There’s a perception that upper and lower level managers have traditionally been given more attention than managers in the middle. Some say that better prepped middle managers make more valuable successors to higher management roles. That would be a great happy ending, but a growing number of companies in India’s tech sector complain that mid-level managers have lost their relevance in the scheme of the brave new world of IT and may soon be obsolete.

 

 

 

Although reports made in May 2010 indicate that Android had outsold Apple iPhones, more recent and current reports of the 2nd quarter of 2011 made by National Purchase Diary (NPD) on Mobile Phone Track service, which listed the top five selling smartphones in the United States for the months of April-June of 2011, indicate that Apple's iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS outsold other Android phones on the market in the U. S. for the third calendar quarter of 2011. This was true for the previous quarter of the same year; The iPhone 4 held the top spot.  The fact that the iPhone 4 claimed top spot does not come as a surprise to the analysts; rather, it is a testament to them of how well the iPhone is revered among consumers. The iPhone 3GS, which came out in 2009 outsold newer Android phones with higher screen resolutions and more processing power. The list of the five top selling smartphones is depicted below:

  1. Apple iPhone 4
  2. Apple iPhone 3GS
  3. HTC EVO 4G
  4. Motorola Droid 3
  5. Samsung Intensity II[1]

Apple’s iPhone also outsold Android devices7.8:1 at AT&T’s corporate retail stores in December. A source inside the Apple company told The Mac Observer that those stores sold some 981,000 iPhones between December 1st and December 27th 2011, and that the Apple device accounted for some 66% of all device sales during that period (see the pie figure below) . Android devices, on the other hand, accounted for just 8.5% of sales during the same period.

According to the report, AT&T sold approximately 981,000 iPhones through AT&T corporate stores in the first 27 days of December, 2011 while 126,000 Android devices were sold during the same period. Even the basic flip and slider phones did better than Android, with 128,000 units sold.[2] However, it is important to understand that this is a report for one particular environment at a particular period in time. As the first iPhone carrier in the world, AT&T has been the dominant iPhone carrier in the U.S. since day one, and AT&T has consistently claimed that the iPhone is its best selling device.

Chart courtesy of Mac Observer: http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/iphone_crushes_android_at_att_corporate_stores_in_december/

A more recent report posted in ismashphone.com, dated January 25 2012, indicated that Apple sold 37 million iPhones in Q4 2011.  It appears that the iPhone 4S really helped take Apple’s handset past competing Android phones. According to research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Apple’s U.S. smartphone marketshare has doubled to 44.9 percent.[3] Meanwhile, Android marketshare in the U.S. dropped slightly to 44.8 percent. This report means that the iPhone has edged just a little bit past Android in U.S. marketshare. This is occurred after Apple’s Q1 2012 conference call, which saw themselling 37 million handsets. Meanwhile, it’s reported that marketers of Android devices, such as Motorola Mobility, HTC and Sony Ericsson saw drops this quarter.

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the hartmann software group advantage
A successful career as a software developer or other IT professional requires a solid understanding of software development processes, design patterns, enterprise application architectures, web services, security, networking and much more. The progression from novice to expert can be a daunting endeavor; this is especially true when traversing the learning curve without expert guidance. A common experience is that too much time and money is wasted on a career plan or application due to misinformation.

The Hartmann Software Group understands these issues and addresses them and others during any training engagement. Although no IT educational institution can guarantee career or application development success, HSG can get you closer to your goals at a far faster rate than self paced learning and, arguably, than the competition. Here are the reasons why we are so successful at teaching:

  • Learn from the experts.
    1. We have provided software development and other IT related training to many major corporations in Germany since 2002.
    2. Our educators have years of consulting and training experience; moreover, we require each trainer to have cross-discipline expertise i.e. be Java and .NET experts so that you get a broad understanding of how industry wide experts work and think.
  • Discover tips and tricks about IBM programming
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized IBM experts
  • Get up to speed with vital IBM programming tools
  • Save on travel expenses by learning right from your desk or home office. Enroll in an online instructor led class. Nearly all of our classes are offered in this way.
  • Prepare to hit the ground running for a new job or a new position
  • See the big picture and have the instructor fill in the gaps
  • We teach with sophisticated learning tools and provide excellent supporting course material
  • Books and course material are provided in advance
  • Get a book of your choice from the HSG Store as a gift from us when you register for a class
  • Gain a lot of practical skills in a short amount of time
  • We teach what we know…software
  • We care…
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