I have deliberately chosen the topic for my blog. The reason being I am currently teaching Principles and Practice of Management paper in MCA 1st semester- a technical Post graduate degree course. For the last 3 years or so, I have been invariably inundated by barrage of questions such as “Why a management paper to techies”; “Where are we going to apply these practices in Software Development Process”; “Why there is so much emphasis on developing leadership qualities for techies when leadership is something whose domain is politics” and the list goes on and on…
Well, I have been trying to contemplate as to how to field these genuine enquiries raised by students of pure technical stream. For, the moot question is not to provide them an impromptu answer but to look at a broader vision of inculcating in the minds of these technical students the importance of developing a management oriented approach to developing software or any other supporting group of IT industry such as networking group or database administrator.
Thus, in order to address these conflagrating questions, I have somehow or the other tried to exploit my IT industry experience which will enable me to achieve my long term objective developing a management oriented approach to solving technical problems. For, I am fully aware that I am required to devise innovative and inventive mechanism to float the concept of incorporating a management oriented approach in writing computer programs or algorithms. For, the students actually have a penchant for writing programs or algorithms. For example, I give them a simple problem for which they are required to write a program or develop logic or an algorithm to input three sides of a triangle and to determine whether the triangle is scalene, an isosceles or an equilateral triangle. And, fair enough, the students, riding on confidence, always retort, as if to prove that this is simple and that I being a faculty teaching management subject do not know the power of techies as they have written several complex codes while developing websites. It is at this point of time, that I capitalize on the opportunity which brings me closer to achieving my objective. After having perused some of the scripts written by these techies, I then go on to the discussion of an erroneous approach they had adopted to solve this seemingly innocuous problem. I start off by floating the question, what will happen, if I input one of the sides of a triangle as zero or -1. Or if the three sides of the triangle are 1, 0.5 and 2 cms respectively. This approach directly hits them hard and conveys to them the importance of having management controls in the code they are writing. The impact of this exercise is definitely impressive and conveys to them that management approach is definitely the need of the day for these techies.
Having demonstrated to them the application of management oriented approach into the task which they frequently perform I then go on to emphasize to them that this is the demand of the industry and thus, the education system is witnessing a plethora of emerging degree courses such as Engineering Management which integrates the managerial aspect in the execution of technical tasks.
I do not know how far I will go, but I think I am on the right track.