Speak up and respect the skills
There are many things that you learn with experience in working life. I would like to share with you some of the key learnings gained during my career.
First, one must speak up, share own opinions and proposals, and promptly clarify misunderstandings. Don’t let someone else do it for you. Our own opinion is valid and useful, it can contribute to the solution of a problem or to expose a hidden one. There’s a common assumption that others know better, or that others will make a better proposal. But it has been my experience that positive opinions and practical proposals are always useful and can positively impact in finding the solution of the problem at hand. You don’t have to wait to have a genius proposal or a perfect opinion in order to share it.
Technology evolves and one must stay up to date with it, develop own skills and learn new concepts. But at the same time, it often happens that new technology is a spinoff of an old and very well proven tool. So, I cherish the core knowledge I got during University times because it is the foundation for all new and revolutionary technology I’ve had to learn in working life. I’m not ashamed of my undying love for relational databases and Yourdon’s modeling techniques. Data lakes and No-SQL databases are the latest fad, but they were built on the back of the 12 relational database principles and on the years of experience applying them and exposing their gaps. It is this core knowledge that allows me to embrace and understand the new.
About technology organizations, I prefer the horizontal organization and self-organizing R&D teams. In a horizontal structure, people are granted freedom of decision-making and of owning the outcome. On the other hand, micromanagement that is characteristic of vertical organizations, is the root of all frustration and waste. So, for people who find themselves in managerial positions, I encourage them to foster trust and collaboration amongst their team members. Managers must participate in, but not micromanage teamwork.
In technology, as in any industry, equal job and equal compensation opportunities, regardless of gender, are very important because they foster a healthy and fair organization. That said, I focus on the skills, not on gender equality targets. I want to be hired and promoted because of my skills and contributions. And I expect the same for my female and male colleagues and bosses. I’ve learned not to pay especial attention to gender, to hierarchy, or years of experience; but I do respect skills.
Full stack developer, Cloud architect, functioning introvert. These are a few words that could describe me. My name is Maria Camacho. I’m a Tribe Architect at Nokia.