Carlos Ponce – Nearsoft

May 7th, 2019 / Published in: Blog

Carlos Ponce – NearsoftThe Travel Experience and the Influence It Has on Travel TechTravel Tech in a Shrinking WorldInbound, Outbound…or PeopleboundGood Communication Means Great Software Products4 Ways Software Helps Travel AgenciesTriggers in Software Development OutsourcingA Software Outsourcing Horror StoryThe DojoLIVE! Interviews: What It Has Been Like to Connect with Experts Like YouMy First Six Years at NearsoftGetting Old (and Wising Up) at the Workplace

https://nearsoft.com Thu, 25 Apr 2019 17:58:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 https://nearsoft.com/blog/the-travel-experience-and-the-influence-it-has-on-travel-tech/ https://nearsoft.com/blog/the-travel-experience-and-the-influence-it-has-on-travel-tech/#respond Tue, 20 Mar 2018 20:08:39 +0000

https://seotest.nearsoft.com/?p=11083
Travel experiences are unique for each human being. What’s fun or enjoyable to me, might not be so for you. There is a lot of travel data out there that’s already hard at work. However, there’s a lot more information that tells of the subjective experience of travelers. Unfortunately, much of this is not yet […]

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Travel experiences are unique for each human being. What’s fun or enjoyable to me, might not be so for you.

There is a lot of travel data out there that’s already hard at work. However, there’s a lot more information that tells of the subjective experience of travelers. Unfortunately, much of this is not yet digitally accessible

If you are not figuring out how access to this information, then your product will become become irrelevant.

The Subjective Aspects of Travel

At a recent DojoLive! episode we ended up talking about the subjective aspect of the travel experience. This got my attention.

This came in the context of understanding the value of a travel data with Layton Han, CEO and David Morrow, VP of Global Marketing at Adara.

For example, language barriers, urban surroundings, social interactions, and personal preferences affect the travel experience. Travel tech product companies should realize this.
The question is how to measure these things. How can they be made to yield useful data that would help benefit users?

“If they learn about their customers, they are going to be able to give them better experiences.”
— David Morrow

Unique Experiences

Travel experiences are unique, memorable, and personal. They are multi-sensory, emotional, and transformational. They shape the quality of a great travel experience.

Companies like Airbnb, BestDay, as well as OTAs and chatbots already make travel easier.

Software companies need to move beyond this paradigm. Travel is much more than reporting about the price of hotels and the number of flights between point X and Y. It should also about people and culture. It is also about how travelers see others.

You can see this in travel blogs, videos, and social media posts. These help make travelers and their friends active participants in the experience.

For example, bloggers tell stories that are useful in understanding the subjective dimensions of travel. This is a way of understanding non-visible and rarely stated elements in the travel experience. Travel software companies and their customers will benefit from catching this information.

“Data is not just about learning more about your customer. You’ve got to be able to act on that as well.”

— David Morrow

Subjective Turned Effective

The subjective aspects of the travel experience must become a focal concept in the travel tech world.

Booking a room and finding a plane ticket are only part of the experience.
The deeper, more telling part of it comes from the stories travelers tell as they enrich, evaluate, and reflect upon their experiences.

Yet, a lot of this information remains inaccessible and travel tech companies. They’ve so far failed to take into account travelers’ actions and perceptions of events. This means that they miss out on how these turn into memorable experiences that are personally meaningful.

With Machine Learning these un-measurable information will, hopefully, become more accessible digitally in the near future.

Travelers are not just numbers and stats on a spreadsheet. Tech travel companies must figure out how to incorporate the plethora of stories that travelers leave behind. It won’t be easy, but it’s critically important.

After all, taste buds, quirks, and moods vary in over 6 billion ways.

“It’s really the people factor. Making it work.”
— Layton Han

The post The Travel Experience and the Influence It Has on Travel Tech appeared first on Nearsoft.

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https://nearsoft.com/blog/the-travel-experience-and-the-influence-it-has-on-travel-tech/feed/ 0 https://nearsoft.com/blog/travel-tech-in-a-shrinking-world/ https://nearsoft.com/blog/travel-tech-in-a-shrinking-world/#respond Mon, 07 Aug 2017 22:32:18 +0000

https://seotest.nearsoft.com/?p=10039
Mobile technology and travel software platforms bring people together like never before. They surely make the world seem way smaller and more accessible. These new technologies have indeed reshaped and redefined how we move about. It has affected how the tourism and travel tech industry operate as a whole. VR, AR, Video: the Tip of […]

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Mobile technology and travel software platforms bring people together like never before. They surely make the world seem way smaller and more accessible.

These new technologies have indeed reshaped and redefined how we move about. It has affected how the tourism and travel tech industry operate as a whole.

VR, AR, Video: the Tip of the Travel Iceberg

Some examples of the types of technologies I’ve seen emerge are immersive video and virtual and augmented reality. These technologies are making the travel experience even more exciting. Destinations that were once uncommon, are now much more approachable.

Norway, for instance, had not precisely been always considered as a regular destination for many would-be travelers. Leveraging immersive video this cold and beautiful country is increasingly raising awareness of all that it has to offer. Norway can show potential visitors it is one of the friendliest and most welcoming countries in the world.

Virtual reality (VR) is another breakthrough technology for the travel industry and we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg right now. Through VR experiences, destinations, hotels, and airlines can entice travelers by allowing them to explore what they may experience. VR can ease the fear of the unknown and change perceptions about cities or countries across the globe.

Like VR, augmented reality (AR) is changing the way people travel. AR has the potential to create increased exploration on a micro level.

Pokémon Go, the AR gaming app that swept across the world inspired gamers to go outside and chase down virtual Pokémons. Players go to new places and discover things about their city or neighborhood that may have previously overlooked.

AR is about getting people up off the couch and into new, sometimes odd, places. It can certainly spur activity, motivate discovery, and produce changes in trends and habits.

New Languages

Translation technology is creating new lines of communication and eliminating language barriers. From programs such as Rosetta Stone to the Google Translation app travelers now have the tools to immerse themselves in a culture and interact with locals.

Imagine sitting in a French café with no knowledge of the language and attempting to order dinner. Previously, one would open up a pocket-sized English-French dictionary and flip through pages to try and understand what a Confit de Canard is. Now, travelers can use an app to scan the text on the menu and have it translated in real-time.

Translation technology creates a better understanding and deeper appreciation for new places.

Machine learning algorithms that erase language barriers are empowering travelers to interact with their surroundings. They eliminate one more barrier to visit foreign destinations that were not previously in the consideration set.

Sharing Platforms

The ubiquity of sharing platforms is also fueling travelers’ confidence and allowing them to be more exploratory. With ride-sharing services like Uber a seamless and consistent global experience is accessible to travelers. It takes away the stress of hailing a taxi, trying to provide an address and directions when you don’t speak the language and worrying about being overcharged. Even the need to carry around stacks of local currency is being eroded as mobile payment platforms become more advanced and available.

The Future

All these technologies are transforming the ways we move about our neighborhoods, expanding the destinations we seek to visit, and enhancing the level at which we engage with our surroundings. Technology has made the world more accessible and removed the fear of exploring exotic, far off destinations. It allows travelers to experience the place before they visit and immerse themselves into the culture once they arrive.

This new age of global migration is fueling the next generation of travelers and creating new opportunities to reach and engage with them.

Travel Beyond Tech

There might be even more astonishing technologies in the the future, like hovercrafts, autonomous cars, and the Hyperloop which will forever change how people travel. But what’s more important today, is how technology is changing the way people view and think about travel. So, when these inventions hit the market in a few years, the desire and mindset will already exists to make them mainstream.

If you have any questions, please reach out to me at cponce@nearsoft.com.

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https://nearsoft.com/blog/travel-tech-in-a-shrinking-world/feed/ 0 https://nearsoft.com/blog/inbound-outbound-or-peoplebound/ https://nearsoft.com/blog/inbound-outbound-or-peoplebound/#respond Wed, 12 Jul 2017 23:41:39 +0000

https://seotest.nearsoft.com/?p=10007
In the tech world – and then some – running a successful business is about making things happen in a way that works for both the service provider and the client. You need to get the word out, somehow, though. There are many ways and tools to do this quite inexpensively and effectively. Some say […]

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In the tech world – and then some – running a successful business is about making things happen in a way that works for both the service provider and the client.

You need to get the word out, somehow, though. There are many ways and tools to do this quite inexpensively and effectively.

Some say that Inbound marketing is the way to go. Some others favor Outbound marketing instead. There might be folks who like one a bit more than the other, depending on your marketing team’s traits.

I personally feel better suited for Outbound marketing because it relies more on communication and soft skills. But both are effective and pair up nicely.

There has to a better term to describe reaching out to potential clients that does not rely solely on digital tools, stats, and conversion rates. One that is a bit more comprehensive in every way and includes a shift in mindset.

I believe there is. And it should include the People Factor.

How Is Nearsoft Different?

We are a software engineering firm with quite a unique culture, to say the least. We’re a democratic-style, people-centric organization. At some point during our early stages, we realized that our company’s business model was different.

In the software engineering world, when reaching out to potential clients, lots of folks are still stuck in the outsourcing mindset. So we, as a marketing team, have had to think of ways to convey the notion of why we are different. And that’s basically because of our culture, and the way we self-organize as a flat organization.

In fact, it was not unusual to have several conversations with a prospect before they really got it. Part of this was the lack of an alternative model and part of it is simply a matter of vocabulary, since there was really no specific term to describe how we do what we do.

So we thought of adopting a new term.

Bound Towards You

I believe that our business model as a software company will continue to grow, because the way software is made today varies substantially. The idea of coding software by a captive development team is simply not sustainable and can’t compete in the long term.

Software companies have felt compelled to be all about their product or service when it comes to branding, operations, and their culture. In our case, this was a little bit different.

Or a lot.

So, marketing-wise, I have started to adopt an easy-t0-remember term to differentiate what we do and how we do it. The term is Peoplebound.

Our brand is all about the people who create software. The same goes for operations, communication, recruiting and culture. And – of course, for our clients.

Peoplebound

Inbound and Outbound as marketing strategies are more easily identifiable because both approaches entail well-known digital tools. The Peoplebound approach, however, is more about a specific attitude, a demeanor when using said digital tools that entails soft skills. And not just thorough knowledge of platforms, databases, analytics, and even offline marketing.

Peoplebound is about caring about others, and properly conveying it in a non-invasive manner. It’s about focusing on what matters to the client. It’s easy to get “sucked” into what will generate higher conversion rates and increased traffic, but in the end, what you really want is true, long-term engagement as someone who can be trusted.

Your ideal client is someone who “gets it” and understands your drivers, your culture, your mission and philosophy. Who values more than the cheapest vendor and places value on great solutions and excellent service and common-ground affinity.

Reach the Right People at the Right Moment

Peoplebound is about connecting with the right people at the right moment, and absolutely delighting them with relevant, meaningful, and helpful content.

The real question isn’t “How can we compel, seduce, or trick our clients into engaging with us?” Instead, it’s, “How loyal are we to our customers? Do we truly care about them?” Not just as targets, consumers, or fans. But as people. Human beings.”

Peoplebound is about educating. It’s not about brainwashing with irrelevant, interruptive messages, nor is it just about “going viral” without truly connecting. A Peoplebound strategy is about providing value, not just pushing out information across email, social, and beyond.

Are you constantly sharing links to your articles or are you forging relationships and conversations?

When discussing a marketing strategy—don’t forget the human aspect. Clever ideas, clickable headlines, and trendy topics aren’t going to get you long-lasting, loyal clients who want to come along for the ride.

At Nearsoft, Peoplebound is about what truly matters. We’re bound to you.

For some examples of how Nearsoft creates Peoplebound content check out DojoLive! And the #ILookLikeanEngineer initiative.

If you wish to know more about Nearsoft and what keeps us up at night, reach out to me at cponce@nearsoft.com.

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https://nearsoft.com/blog/inbound-outbound-or-peoplebound/feed/ 0 https://nearsoft.com/blog/good-communication-means-great-software-products/ https://nearsoft.com/blog/good-communication-means-great-software-products/#respond Thu, 18 May 2017 23:49:30 +0000

https://seotest.nearsoft.com/?p=9699
If your U.S.-based software company is looking for a great remote team to work on your product, making sure that everyone speaks English fluently makes perfect sense. You want to make sure that your development team abroad is fully capable of communicating in your own language coherently. Having a good command of the English language […]

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If your U.S.-based software company is looking for a great remote team to work on your product, making sure that everyone speaks English fluently makes perfect sense.

You want to make sure that your development team abroad is fully capable of communicating in your own language coherently.

Having a good command of the English language may not be enough to make you happy. Your development team must avoid sounding as a crockpot full of crickets.

Lack of Practice Makes Rusty

As a software company based in Mexico, we realized since day one the importance of everyone in our development team being bilingual. Over time our thorough English-screening interviews have been enhanced by a new program.

The enhancement began with an internal Hangout. Since some of us had prior experience as ESL instructors, we decided to get together every week to help our fellow teammates practice their English skills at a session which we affectionately called The English Dojo.

This has grown to be a full-fledged Communication Enhancement Program that is now led by a team of 10. It is called the CEP, for short.

The CEP initiative is currently comprised of three components, all of them created by Nearsoftians for Nearsoftians,

  • The 1-on-1 coaching sessions or “dojitos”
  • A self-paced online learning platform, and
  • The weekly Humpday Hangout, which is a 30-minute group check in at a Google Hangout where coaches makes themselves available to answer any of English questions and to help with any other communication needs in a lively, casual conversation.

These tools have proven to be more than effective to make sure that everyone in our client’s team is up to par with their communication requirements.

Going Beyond English

As the company has grown, we have made a few findings in communication matters. We have recognized the value that working out a few key issues brings to the table.

One of these realizations is that great communication entails more than just having a decent command of the English language.

It involves other aspects such as soft skills, cultural awareness and body language, to mention just a few. These aspects are covered thoroughly within the framework of our CEP program.

The CEP motto says it all,

We seek to forge a culture of effective communication and provide added value to our community by making us confident and connected to ourselves and our clients.

What This Means for You, the Client

This initiative helps our teammates in more ways than one.

For example when they,

  • Role play for an upcoming interview
  • Proofread a presentation
  • Practice conversing in English
  • Make sure they are comfortable in a Hangout

But what does it mean for you?

First and foremost, ease of mind.

You can know for a fact that the communication cycle will be complete. You can rest assured that other aspects of your interactions with your team in Mexico will have strong foundations when it comes to delivering specs and even when other more subjective elements enter the equation, such as cultural affinity and awareness, team assertiveness, diplomacy and confidence.

Turnover will be less because of a strong relationship with your team, and in general, your team is better armed to provide an outstanding service. Be it as engineers, scrum masters, QA testers or recruiters.

The Ultimate Goal

There are many things that could be said about why good communication is good for business.

And particularly, for your business.

But this is one of the more relevant ones, in our case,

It helps both parties, you and us as a company, in mutually sharing what’s truly important to achieve a remarkable software product creation experience.

That would be the ultimate goal of great communication.

If you would like to learn more about Nearsoft please send me a message to cponce@nearsoft.com.

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https://nearsoft.com/blog/good-communication-means-great-software-products/feed/ 0 https://nearsoft.com/blog/4-ways-software-helps-travel-agencies/ https://nearsoft.com/blog/4-ways-software-helps-travel-agencies/#respond Wed, 12 Apr 2017 20:13:51 +0000

https://seotest.nearsoft.com/?p=9318
Many travel agencies started a long time ago. The successful ones have gone from paper systems, to today’s Internet. It’s been quite a journey. For travelers, too: from physically going to an agency to easily booking a complex trip right on your phone. My father’s friend’s agency has gone through all it, always facing the […]

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Many travel agencies started a long time ago. The successful ones have gone from paper systems, to today’s Internet. It’s been quite a journey. For travelers, too: from physically going to an agency to easily booking a complex trip right on your phone.

My father’s friend’s agency has gone through all it, always facing the next challenge.

Evolve or perish.

Booking a Seat on Noah’s Ark

When I was a youngster back in the eighties, my father had a friend who owned a travel agency in my hometown. He used to help us with our travel plans and plane tickets. Back then, most transactions were conducted over the phone and by looking at inch-thick reference guides. Computers were clunky. The web as we know it had not even been conceived, let alone travel booking software!

Then, in the mid-nineties, I saw some efforts being made in selling reservations online. But during peak times, servers would crash. Would-be travelers like myself would then have to pay a visit to the airline’s office to make a reservation, or grab the phone and reveal possibly sensitive information to a live agent.

A New Era for Travel Agencies

Eventually, my father’s friend got into the “groove” of the then-new technologies. He was old-school and reluctant, but he did. And his agency and his travelers won.

He is still around, approaching his nineties. When I asked him and his son about the takeaways, he highlighted these lessons.

1. Cuts Waste and Hassle

The travel search-and-book landscape looks very different today than it did back then.

  • Availability check and instant confirmations eliminate email exchanges between guests and reservation agents.
  • Valuable reservation staff time is saved because reservation requests no longer has to be processed.
  • Guests can check availability and book instantly, thus booking a trip without having to wait for a human to confirm.

2. No Third-Party Involvement

“There are other benefits for us, agencies,” he said. Most Online Booking Manager products are “commission free” systems, installed on our own server, the reservations system is under our sole control.

  • Agencies collect all payments directly.
  • They can easily update their own services descriptions, facilities, prices, allocations, etc.

3. Easy to Update

With Online Booking Manager products, agents no longer have to ask a website designer to update tourist services prices on their website. They can now update them themselves.

4. Reliability and Efficiency

Online Booking Manager reservations systems are easy-to-follow, with uncluttered screens and prompts. Administrators have access to a simple online pane.

The staff loves the auto-generated confirmation emails: it saves them so much time!

Evolve or Perish

With the growing trend towards Internet-based bookings across the industry, online bookings from websites are increasing dramatically. With Online Booking Manager products you will be at the forefront of this industry bookings trend.

Just like my father’s friend’s business, which started 40 years ago and it’s now going strong towards the future.

If you would like to learn more about Nearsoft please send me a message to cponce@nearsoft.com.

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https://nearsoft.com/blog/4-ways-software-helps-travel-agencies/feed/ 0 https://nearsoft.com/blog/triggers-in-software-development-outsourcing/ https://nearsoft.com/blog/triggers-in-software-development-outsourcing/#respond Fri, 07 Apr 2017 21:07:52 +0000

https://seotest.nearsoft.com/?p=9289
As a non-engineer, I am always trying to understand what might trigger software companies to consider working with teams beyond their office walls. And I now realize that there is never a single specific reason for this. Here are the basics you need to consider. Not Just a Numbers Game There are several reasons why […]

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As a non-engineer, I am always trying to understand what might trigger software companies to consider working with teams beyond their office walls. And I now realize that there is never a single specific reason for this.

Here are the basics you need to consider.

Not Just a Numbers Game

There are several reasons why a software company may consider a remote development team. Including,

  • Optimizing budgets and costs.
  • Gaining access to expertise.
  • Freeing internal resources.
  • Increasing efficiency for time-consuming tasks.

Beyond the financial benefits, there are many other reasons for working with a remote team. Leading technologies and practices, accelerating time-to-market, and adding the expertise that high-quality development teams bring to the table. And then there’s the quality of the results.

Beware when a company boasts mostly about “the lowest rates in the industry.” That might be true and their main competitive advantage. But how will they perform? Will they deliver the results you need? Will their work hold up in production? How much rework will your local team have to do?

You may have to pay a lot more than originally expected just to clean up the mess.

Everything You Pay For

Total Cost of Engagement (TCE) includes everything you pay for, beyond the hourly rate.

For instance, when a company is hiring its own in-house developers the TCE includes their salary, taxes, retirement, etc.

On the other hand, when you have a remote team your TCE includes visits to your partner offices, usually in a far away place. This includes the cost of traveling, accommodations, and meals for every person who makes the visit: key developers, project managers, etc.

Building the Team

A significant part of your investment goes towards hiring people for your team.

For real savings, make sure that the company you work with does all the heavy lifting of sourcing, interviewing, and finding people with a culture fit to your needs. It’s not easy to do, but it’s ultimately worth it.

You don’t want to end up reading through piles of resumes and doing all the recruiting work yourself. Might as well hire direct in that case.

Instead, make sure that your remote partner understands your company values and the profile of your team. Only then can they save you money, time, and effort when it comes to growing your team.

Experience

“Years of experience” is overrated. A dev with 10 years of experience is not good if he is also a jerk to everybody in the team. A 20-year veteran who grew up with and still loves Waterfall is going to clash with your Agile team no matter how “experienced” he may be.

MONEYBALL: The right mix of “underdogs” can outperform a team of “superstars” any time.

Rather than years of experience, look for fit. Make sure your partner is going to build your team with developers who are going to add value from the get go. And not just on the technology side. The Moneyball approach works for software teams, too.

Companies which can point to happy, long-term customers will more likely make you happy, too. Even more so if they already work with companies like yours or in a similar industry.

Length of Engagement

Are you doing a project or building a product? This is a very important distinction you have to be very clear about.

If you are building a demo or a prototype then you best handle this as a project. There’s no long-term impact and the quality of the code itself is not important.

Even if you are doing some User Experience (UX) research, it can also be handled as a project. The results are important, but you don’t need a permanent team for this.

On the other hand, if you are building a product, then you want a team that’s signed up for the long ride ahead. Everybody must be committed to its long-term success. Don’t make the mistake of doing this as a series of short-term projects. It will cost you more in the end, in more ways than one.

In Summary

When looking to grow your development team, these points in mind,
Clarify your company’s goals and objectives.

Concentrate on your partner’s values and ethics; make sure that these will be aligned with your own.

Be sure to find out what technological innovation and expertise your technological ally can bring to your project.

Make sure that everyone single person involved in the process is truly happy and enjoying the ride.

Most importantly, make sure that you hand-pick a partner that that you can trust and work with for the long term.

Would you hire you?

If you would like to learn more about Nearsoft please send me a message to cponce@nearsoft.com.

The post Triggers in Software Development Outsourcing appeared first on Nearsoft.

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https://nearsoft.com/blog/triggers-in-software-development-outsourcing/feed/ 0 https://nearsoft.com/blog/a-software-outsourcing-horror-story/ https://nearsoft.com/blog/a-software-outsourcing-horror-story/#respond Thu, 09 Mar 2017 03:33:09 +0000

https://seotest.nearsoft.com/?p=9062
If you are easily disturbed by pure technical gore, don’t read this. When it comes to software outsourcing, not everything is milk and honey. It’s only fair to highlight some grim facts, too. Please read on and grab onto your seats. Gloom Across the Pacific I asked a friend of mine who happens to be […]

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If you are easily disturbed by pure technical gore, don’t read this.

When it comes to software outsourcing, not everything is milk and honey. It’s only fair to highlight some grim facts, too.

Please read on and grab onto your seats.

Gloom Across the Pacific

I asked a friend of mine who happens to be a Sr software engineer in London, to elaborate on the most bizarre outsourcing story he’s gone through.

My friend (we’ll call him Pete) was hired by a Fortune 100 company in San Francisco. His job was to develop an API system using Sinatra to integrate with software such as SAP, and Oracle eBiz.

By the time he started, he was the most Sr Ruby dev in the team. His first task was to review the Ruby work of an offshore team in Singapore. They team has been working on the code for three months.

As soon as he looked at the code, Pete told his manager that it wouldn’t work. There was no way on earth that such code could run. It even had basic syntax errors, a non-existent architecture, and bad practices. His manager did not believe him.

Pete rapidly built a server and deployed the code, which quickly crashed and burnt, as he predicted. He was accused of using wrong versions of Linux, Ruby and even Sinatra.

He organized a video conference with the offshore team in Singapore. His plan was to SSH into their server to see if it worked there.

It’s Not You, It’s Me

In the conference, it turned out that the Singapore team did not even have a dev server to deploy code. And here was the kicker: the offshore developers used MS Windows machines to write Ruby code, and they did not even have a Ruby interpreter on their computers!

They used a text editor, write some terrible, pretend-to-be Ruby code, and submit weekly reports. They managed to get paid for three months without delivering anything usable.

Pete didn’t blame the Singapore team whatsoever.

In the end, the fault lied with his employer in San Francisco. They were not even checking in the code to make sure it worked. It was either an excess of trust or just plain stupidity.

Lessons Learned

Stories like this do happen. Software product companies fall into this trap more often than not.

Probably the biggest mistake Pete’s company made was to treat the offshore as “them.” They would have never fallen into this hole if they had integrated everybody as one team.

Quality is a function of personal relationships within the team, your company, and even your customers.

If you would like to learn more about Nearsoft please send me a message to cponce@nearsoft.com.

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https://nearsoft.com/blog/a-software-outsourcing-horror-story/feed/ 0 https://nearsoft.com/blog/the-dojolive-interviews-what-it-has-been-like-to-connect-with-experts-like-you/ https://nearsoft.com/blog/the-dojolive-interviews-what-it-has-been-like-to-connect-with-experts-like-you/#respond Wed, 05 Oct 2016 04:09:25 +0000

https://seotest.nearsoft.com/?p=8031
It’s been a whole year since I started this craziness called DojoLIVE!. Its reach has gone beyond what I had originally expected, and its scope beyond the software development realm. The DojoLIVE! video broadcasts are now viewed by a very broad audience, ranging from interns to executives who want to interact with our sought-after speakers, […]

The post The DojoLIVE! Interviews: What It Has Been Like to Connect with Experts Like You appeared first on Nearsoft.

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It’s been a whole year since I started this craziness called DojoLIVE!. Its reach has gone beyond what I had originally expected, and its scope beyond the software development realm.

The DojoLIVE! video broadcasts are now viewed by a very broad audience, ranging from interns to executives who want to interact with our sought-after speakers, business leaders, and software development celebrities.

Here’s how to become part of the DojoLIVE!

Learn the Language

Firstly, I had to connect with my audience and the speakers. For one thing, since I am not an engineer, I had to learn the lexicon. I have taken courses, read a lot, and talk to a lot of people at work, at Nearsoft.

Learn Who’s Who

I’ve also had to learn a lot about the software engineering industry to learn to identify the “movers and shakers” of this industry.

I rely heavily on personal recommendations by Nearsoftians and acquaintances.

I depend on the Nominate a Guest form on the DojoLIVE!’s website.

Getting to Yes

Once I have some names to go after, I will do some research on them, their work, online presence, and their feats and accomplishments.

I will assess the relevance of their profile to the DojoLIVE! audience.
I will then try to establish contact through every means within my reach to get a response.

And, no, I won’t stalk anyone 🙂

Once I make contact or get some kind of response, I try to build rapport with them, introduce them to DojoLIVE!, and get their feedback.
Finally, I arrange a quick prep chat to discuss the details with them. Topic, format, promotion, as well as a date for the broadcast.

Secret Sauce

To book high-caliber speakers you need the right messaging.

Honest, up front, clear, aligned with their interests and strengths. Most importantly, I point out the great impact that their participation is going to have on our audience, the international software engineers community.

Most of the time, this seems to do the trick.

Addressing the speaker’s ethical values and commitment towards the professional community works quite nicely. It gets them enthused about becoming part of this crazy endeavor.

What’s In It for Me?

During the first year of Season I, it became obvious that DojoLIVE! is a formidable way to network in every direction.

The audience gets the benefit to listen to and interact with very interesting people, with unique points of view, and the wisdom and experience gained from hard-earned lessons.

Speakers enlighten viewers with their experience and knowledge. Viewers respond with relevant questions of interest to the speakers. Speakers also get to promote books, links, and webinars.

What’s In It for You, the Audience

As part of the audience, you can benefit most by doing a bit of work,

Before
Do a bit of research on the speaker. Prepare a few questions.
During
Listen intently. Comment. Ask questions.
After
If you like it, let other people know (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).

What’s In It for Nearsoft?

As our main sponsor, Nearsoft also benefits. Primarily, it gains name recognition with potential clients and future Nearsoftians. It also benefits, albeit indirectly, from a growing software development community.

My Celebrities

During the whole year of the first season, there have been many names that have left an indelible imprint on me.

A good example of this is Susan Bennett, the voice of Siri. It was a rather unique experience for me, as a technology user rather than an engineer, to be able to put a face to the app.

Also, Bob Martin (aka, Uncle Bob) made an impression. His interview has so far drawn in the largest number of viewers. He and Simon Peyton Jones, Molly Holzschlag, and other DojoLIVE! speakers are software celebrities.

And I found Yossi Ghinsberg a very interesting human being with unique view on work and life in general.

Bloopers

Not everything has been milk and honey, though. I have had my share of fails, bloopers, and blunders while broadcasting live.

For example, the interview with Robert Graham was visually, let’s say, uninteresting. Even though I had full control of the Hangout On Air (HOA) admin panel, I never shifted away from his frame. You can hear my voice, but you never see me for the whole interview. Looking back at it, it feels rather awkward to see Robert simply staring at the camera as I speak.

Sorry, Robert, I was a HOA rookie!

Other bloopers have been due to connectivity issues. Like, losing the signal and not realizing that I was off the air. Spilling a cup full of coffee on my desk and ruining pretty much every single paper item on it. I had a hard time hiding my worry and embarrassment.

Fortunately, I was able to rely on my improvisational skills to keep things going. And, all along, it has been fun.

Mission accomplished!

New in Season 2

This new season will bring about several new features,

  • New layout
  • Three channels: Business, Culture, Technology
  • More awesome high caliber speakers
  • New full-time co-host, Kim Lantis
  • New sections: Blog, Toons, Podcasts
  • More promo tools, like the “1-Minute Flashbacks”

What’s Coming in Season II

Our next season will start on October 5th, with the participation of Dawna Jones. She is an expert in Decision Making and Leadership Awareness for Complexity.

The post The DojoLIVE! Interviews: What It Has Been Like to Connect with Experts Like You appeared first on Nearsoft.

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https://seotest.nearsoft.com/?p=7727
September 16th will mark my sixth anniversary at Nearsoft. That’s Mexico’s Independence day. Six years might not seem like a long time, but from my standpoint, it is. I was the type of person who used to think that long-term work commitments was poisonous for personal growth. Boy, was I wrong! I’ve had the opportunity […]

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September 16th will mark my sixth anniversary at Nearsoft. That’s Mexico’s Independence day.

Six years might not seem like a long time, but from my standpoint, it is. I was the type of person who used to think that long-term work commitments was poisonous for personal growth.

Boy, was I wrong!

I’ve had the opportunity to witness a lot of meaningful, fun changes as the company grows. For me, my sixth anniversary at Nearsoft is a milestone which marks a rather unique experience in my life. And not just my professional life.

The Bottomless Cup

When I wrote How a Cup of Coffee Changed My Life, little did I know that that same “cup of coffee” would keep changing my life for the better, time and again. This includes having discovered a non-stop desire to learn, grow, and have fun in everything I do. Whether in sales and marketing, language coaching, hosting the DojoLIVE! Broadcasts, drawing cartoons, and just trying to help out whenever I can.

Black, No Sugar

It’s not been all cream and sugar. I’ve had my share of run-ins with people I disagreed with, but these experiences helped me to learn how to cope with difficult situations and solve them.

We’re all different, and, thankfully, we’re all adults.

Many Hats

Although I was hired to help with Sales, on day two at the company I was asked to help with recruiting instead. I had been a headhunter before, so I had the chops for it.

At the time we thought that this assignment would last “maybe a couple of months, until we find someone else.” However, I did so well that those two months turned into years, until I was able to return officially to my role in Sales and Marketing.

Being flexible and shifting roles taught me that you can always excel at something you might not feel at first well-suited for. This view helped me to eventually carry on with leading other projects, such as English coaching and the DojoLIVE! broadcasts.

Cloudy Days

Today I am quite enthusiastic about the company and my future in it. But truth be told, I had my share of dark days, not necessarily related just to Nearsoft. Rather, it was a combination of circumstances, professional and personal, that at some point got me into the realm of uncertainty.

At some point—particularly during the whole year I spent working entirely at home—I thought I might not have a future at Nearsoft after all.

But I was wrong.

It wasn’t about Nearsoft. It had to do with me. So I sought help.

And after a couple of assessments, and some mental rework, I decided I would turn my life at Nearsoft around. So far, I think I have succeeded and I’m doing quite well.

Brighter Days

So here’s what I’ve learned at Nearsoft during the last six years,

  1. You can always become a better version of yourself. But first you need to become aware that you are not there yet, no matter how young, old, experienced, skilled, or “ninja rockstar” you are.
  2. There are always brighter days ahead. But you’ll need the help of others to realize this.

Chances are you won’t find any other company like Nearsoft. But if you don’t and you struggle to find your place in the Universe, refer to number 1 and start over.

The post My First Six Years at Nearsoft appeared first on Nearsoft.

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https://nearsoft.com/blog/my-first-six-years-at-nearsoft/feed/ 0 https://nearsoft.com/blog/getting-old-and-wising-up-at-the-workplace/ https://nearsoft.com/blog/getting-old-and-wising-up-at-the-workplace/#respond Thu, 21 Apr 2016 22:28:34 +0000

https://seotest.nearsoft.com/?p=7159
Perhaps you’re in your early 20s or 30s and full of energy. That’s wonderful. But with the passing of time, we all face the same thing: aging. This is something we forget when we talk about diversity in the workplace, the mix of people of all ages to create wiser teams. Is your workplace age-friendly? […]

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Perhaps you’re in your early 20s or 30s and full of energy. That’s wonderful. But with the passing of time, we all face the same thing: aging.

This is something we forget when we talk about diversity in the workplace, the mix of people of all ages to create wiser teams.

Is your workplace age-friendly?

Regardless of whether you are a ninja software developer, a top-notch marketer, or even a killer recruiter you will all age. If you’re lucky.

Surviving the 40s

I got to Nearsoft when I was 43. I had just stepped out of a rough period in my life, which included an ugly divorce, and loss of savings, and pretty much an ugly everything. I’ll spare you the details, but it was challenging, to say the least.

However, something good came out of it. I learned that with the passing of time you become resilient and better equipped to work out difficult situations. And you make better decisions.

Granted, it’s not always easy to put up with your own emotional garbage, but at least, you become less reactive and more conciliatory.

Hitting The Big Five-Oh

This year I’ll be 50. Yes, five-zero.

If I am not mistaken this will make me the second oldest person in Nearsoft.

I don’t consider myself a run-down old-timer, but I am not 20 anymore. Now more than ever, I am convinced that becoming aware about the inevitable passing of time is of the utmost importance. Specially in this constantly growing miracle I call Nearsoft, where so many things change so quickly. Technology changes quickly. And people of all shapes and sizes become part of this growing “family.”

Keeping up with all the changes and so many different mindsets, becomes a challenge for me to overcome.

You Will Age Too (if You Are Lucky)!

I do remember that “forever young” feeling. Aging seemed such as
distant concept! But guess what? That’s not what happens.

As you age, you can, however, perceive the passing of time with greater quality and accept the fact that if you are lucky, you’ll get to age. And it will be fun!

Managing the Inevitable

As you age, your mental capabilities change. People who are getting older may not process thoughts as they once did. It may or may not take them longer to learn new skills. And this is completely normal.

There’s something called cognitive functioning, which in a nutshell, tells us how people think and how quickly they do it as they age.
Coming from a previous generation, the way I do things is clearly different.

Being aware of this enables us to understand how you or your teammates can naturally develop different habits to match your learning and working styles with the aging process.

Learning New Tricks

All of us think and learn differently, regardless of our age. Our cognitive functions depend mostly on the experiences we have had during our lifetime.

People who have had a lot of training or who have had to carry out a variety of tasks, are experienced learners. They can learn new skills well and easily improve the ones they have.

Others who might resist learning include those who have little formal training or who have carried out relatively simple or repetitive tasks for many years. They are used to doing the same thing, the same way, and may find it hard to take in new information or ways of doing things.

What is your own learning style?

Group Wisdom

There are many aspects I could talk about aging at the workplace, but the most important would be wising up. This means understanding the term wisdom as a group trait.

At a workplace like Nearsoft different generations come together. This creates the opportunity of achieving extraordinary results by combining their knowledge and experience.

The Age-Friendly Workplace

You don’t need to get old to gain in wisdom. Group wisdom can be accessible to you at age-friendly workplaces.

I’ve learned that teams of people with different ages and backgrounds are able to more quickly develop wisdom than lone wolves.

I believe aging with wisdom at the workplace should include,

  • Thinking diversity and competence
  • Accumulated knowledge and experience
  • Emotional intelligence
  • An ability to get into the best frame of mind
  • Clear focus on an outcome for the collective benefit
  • Strength of character
  • Persistence, objectivity and compassion

What truly matters, though, is the synergy of all of these aspects.

And Finally …

Are you up for the challenge? Don’t take too long to decide, though.
Time does pass by.

The post Getting Old (and Wising Up) at the Workplace appeared first on Nearsoft.

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