A stands for April and A stands for “Appraisal”. Welcome to April, the month that heralds the beginning of the appraisal season in India. This was my 1st appraisal and since I joined in the beginning of Jan, I was exempted from the appraisals this time around.  The appraisals are usually followed by a pay hike. Usually, attrition would be at its lowest before the appraisals and would peak following the pay hike season. Well, I guess disgruntled souls exist everywhere.

This is the 1st part in a 2 series diary notes. In this part, I’d like to introduce you to my 2 friends in our company – “Whom you know” and “What you know”. Both of them joined Ele Info systems 5 years back and following is their journey over the years.

About “Whom you know”

Whom you know joined us 5 years back.  9 of his practices at the work place.

1) Networking – As soon as he started work, he started to know everyone in the system. He started maintaining a little black book on which he maintained detail of every person he came across in the company.

2) Client interaction – Every time the client come on a visit, he used to escort the client all around the place.  He knew who were the decision makers amongst the group of clients that came visiting.

3) Go-to person for team outings – He was the 1st person everyone went to when organizing a team lunch, or a team outing.

4) Buttering up – When the director had a problem with his son’s school admission, when the big managers wanted to sell their cars, they reached out to “Whom you know”.

5) More Buttering – He referred to the vice-president by the 1st name, since he had helped him get tickets for the IPL finals a few years back.

6) More client interaction – The client even sent him a separate set of chocolates and a lot of “Thank you”, “Great job done” emails periodically. He knew when the client planned for a vacation, and almost every month, they exchanged emails like life-long friends.  During every meeting, people always saw them talking like friends who are meeting after a long time.

7) Important dude – Whenever there was a meeting, gathering, he was always seen in the company of the top people of the company. He mixed in these gatherings and knew most of the top people.

8) Timing of resignation – Twice in the last 5 years, he resigned before the appraisal period. He was cajoled into withdrawing his resignation by the bigger bosses with the promise of a better pay and promotion.

9) Big Mouth – He always represented the company at conferences. He and “What you know” always worked on the same team and he always presented talks in world-wide conferences.

About What you know

What you know joined us 5 years back too. 9 of his practices at the workplace.

a) Neighbour who? – He did not know even the name of his cubicle neighbour!

b) Boss who? – He was always so engrossed in his work during office hours, that he never noted who came into his cubicle and who did not. More often than not, his boss felt ignored.

c) Self-taught – He read a lot of testing whitepapers, and always was trying to improve his work at the work place.

d) Loves challenges – He was never a stickler for money, or fame. He was always looking for constant challenges. He loved a challenge more than money.

e) Bug Hunting skills – He has found a defect in the last minute and stopped production. But, he was penalized by his management for not finding the bug on time. Though it was very demotivating, he took it in his stride.

f) Client who? – He never bothered for the client. He even, once suggested to the client that the clients would be better off by finding an alternate solution instead of the solution provided by the project.

g ) Honesty – He was very truthful. He always used to make a list of his problem areas and admit it while filling out his appraisal forms.

h) Fall guy – He never hesitated to take a blame, to save the name of the company during crux situations, or when it mattered most.

i) More Honesty – He once said why the performance environment was not up to mark. He learnt a new test tool every month and was also able to perform automation.

And the bottomline

And today, what you know reports to whom you know. It is very evident that whom you know is more important than what you know. How did that happen? I’ll write that in the concluding part of this series in next the next chapter.

Fake Software TesterA Fake Tester's DiaryFake Tester,Fake Tester's DiaryA stands for April and A stands for “Appraisal”. Welcome to April, the month that heralds the beginning of the appraisal season in India. This was my 1st appraisal and since I joined in the beginning of Jan, I was exempted from the appraisals this time around.  The appraisals...
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Fake Software Tester

What has this author achieved in testing? This author has tested more than a million lines of code and has logged more than a billion defects; He has reviewed other test cases and found at least a trillion missing test cases and has coached his peers to log more than a quadrillion bugs; He has talked more than a Quintillion words while participating in triage meetings and he has been a part of sextillion arguments convincing the developer of the bugs. He has done good researching on septillion testing conferences; every day, he has Octillion thoughts that come to his mind on the problems that plague the world of software testing. He has selected Nonillion testers from his Decillion testing interviews and has unsuccessfully attempted to coach Undecillion testers about testing. His writings are followed by DuoDecillion readers and the comments on his blog are more than Tredecillion; he has answered Quattuordecillion questions on testing in various forums. And by the way, like the monthly columns, the above contains Quindecillion amounts of exaggeration on what I have done so far in my life.

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