Applied psychologist at a modern business
I wouldn't reveal a great secret if I say Russia is behind in programming business not only from the West but also from the East. Talented programmers are surely still found here though more and more rarely; we have good academic schools giving knowledge in programming as a science, a double-edged weapon by the way, when you need just to get a job; but in respect of programming as an industry, we are behind India, and China, and Japan. Very likely we're already behind Indonesia and what ever else…
So what can we do? Escape abroad? And what if I don't want to, what if I'm Russian with all my heart and I want to live well in a Russian way and not in Swiss or Canadian one?
It's been several years since we claimed we want to create a prosperous programming company in Russia, and gather Russians who deliberately don't want going abroad. During this time we've adjusted the execution of contract works - outsourcing. And we have started up the development of our own products, first of them will enter the market this year.
All this means: Russian enterprise can exist. But that's just a first step.
The second one would be the answer to the question: how to lead such business out from the home Russian market to the world market and make it competitive.
Just for this purpose and to answer this question, we've performed our primary research.
As a matter of fact, the question has split into several ones:
1. How to make our products competitive?
2. How to train people able to work on international level, i.e. make such competitive products?
3. What conditions should be set up inside the enterprise for such people could appear?
All these questions are the consecutive steps, though in this introductory article I now omit the links between these steps. I omit them because they are obvious and will be detailed in the forthcoming articles.
In the course of our researches, our ethnopsychologist A. Andreev has written a monograph "Magic and Culture in the Science of Management" dedicated to the Russian national science of management which has been
existing within artel and entrepreneur traditions.
This research allowed us to clarify the conditions an enterprise should meet for creative teams could spring up there. Such teams have composed the main core of WEBaby. There are four of them now - in Yaroslavl, in Ivanovo-Vologda, in Novosibirsk and in Moscow. Each of these branches performs its own project.
Just coming out to a certain level of projects' completeness has let us ask ourselves a question about their quality from the modern soft-market point of view. And that means the question about the quality of the artists creating these projects and the quality of their solutions.
It may seem unexpected, but all complications we've run into were completely psychological ones. That means we have everything for making good things. And we know everything and we can do anything.
But we don't know how to study and don't want to. Russian programmer thinks that the programming rules while the trade is contemptible just as in father-communists' time. That's why they prefer to sell themselves and not their products.
That's surely a heritage of the "sovok" era and that is our culture. But this explanation does not help. The question of how to deal with it and how to turn the brains of Russian programmer stays almost unresolved.
Being an enterprise psychologist for some years (first in outsourcing company and then in a developing one) I constantly study this phenomenon: a Russian programmer psychology.
Many materials that will be published further are chapters of my future book on how to train applied psychologists able to enter the soft-business and help developers to get on the international level.
For the time being I can say just one thing: without changing the psychology of those working in our software enterprises, Russia won't break away from third world countries level.
So the "Research" part will be dedicated to the following topics:
1. Psychology of marketing programming.
2. Theory of management and psychology of management in programming business.
3. Product development from content scenario and pre-design to the product ready for the market.
4. Theory of an interface from the design point of view and the control hidden in it, SIT - Smart Interface Technologies.
5. From friendly interfaces to the artificial
All these topics constitute the nowadays life of our business. In other words we'll publish our internal materials written for ourselves. May be they can help someone.
But the major objective of these publications is to get responses from the people thinking about the same things, to establish creative relations and to find like-minded people to begin the most daring projects. As it turned out the tasks we've stated to ourselves required by no means ordinary employees. And the question is not the professional skills of the programmers coming to us. We've rejected the great number of "cool hackers" or programming gurus with their diplomas and volumes of software books. In all this coolness it occurred to be too much carrion and dullness. The market is too tough for them.
Most of our developers now are young guys able to study and reject the old stuff. There are people able to program in Russia, but not for the Market. And this is just the theme for studying.
As a matter of fact all the articles, which shall be published in the "Research" part, are in a some way tests for the readers' brains. If you're able to understand and accept them, then you don't have sclerosis, senile marasmus or limed vessels. And you are able to open your own business. But if something creak in your head, then it is better to become an employee. There would be no responsibility and no wild creative work. That's unsafe for health. Just imagine an inscription "check yourself" above every article. How do you accept the new? And if you write, "I can accept it" to the most of the items then the answer is "Well, you still can set off to safari on the prairie of true life". A castration and a soft sofa are contra-indicated for you.
That's a joke. But the joke is not from a good life. Our researches indicate: most of programmers are so sure they've cleverer adapted to life than others that they turn to be awful retrogrades and time-servers.
Seek for a human being! And this commodity is of rarity among prosperous philistines. That's why we intend to publish without any hide the materials, which are know-how in a fairly large part. What if!..
With all possible apologies to those whose feelings I've already hurt - Head of Research Department