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Let's build pyramids!

Let's build pyramids!

Building pyramids: a daunting enterprise, made by a huge number of people towards... one goal, really? This is a story about human relationships: let's be serious, there isn't a single goal or a single direction here. Everyone is trying to get his share. But that's OK!

Sylvain Abélard

October 07, 2014
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  1. Let's
    build
    pyramids
    ‣ @abelar_s / maitre-du-monde.fr / @parisrb
    Hi everyone, let's build pyramids together!
    Pyramids are a huge work and some software projects too.

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  2. Leader / boss
    You might have seen this boss/leader picture and that got me thinking.

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  3. Some people added their workplace experience in the chart.

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  4. Some smartasses made their own addition too.

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  5. Perspective
    It's all a matter of perspective so I figured I'd add mine too.

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  6. Perspective
    Obi-wan Kenobi said many things depend on the point of view.

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  7. Perspective
    =
    All of these shapes represent projections of the same object, same reality.

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  8. Plan
    So let's change perspective and see a pyramid-building plan from the top.

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  9. You
    Where are the bosses and leaders?
    Let's assume you have a general direction and you want to help.

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  10. Team - a bit off
    You can't do everything by yourself and you're assigned a team, which may be a bit off.
    Your job is then to correct that offset.

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  11. Leader - retargets
    You can lead by example or blame "like a boss".
    The path is longer but hopefully there's not too much waste of energy.

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  12. Bosses - own pyramids
    So what actually happens in our Giza is that other bosses (the bad kind) just want their
    pyramids done. You want all three so... OK?

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  13. Other teams - mastabas
    Other teams build support structures: tombs, works of art, or workers' villages since the
    effort is to be made in the (very) long run.

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  14. Other bosses - elsewhere
    The problem is, in such a big org there are other leaders that want to build the Sphinx
    (quite related to Giza), Alexandria (OK~ish?) and Karnak (WTF it's 600+km away!).

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  15. Consultants
    Like big corps do, each boss hires a bunch of consultants. Some work on pyramids 1,2,3,
    the Sphinx, and I don't really get why but one is going in the mountains?

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  16. Other consultants
    Consultants get bonuses when they get others hired*. That helps pyramid 1 & 2 but at
    #3 they're spending A LOT of energy going AGAINST the plan.
    * if you don't you're getting ripped off

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  17. Other consultants
    The Sphinx gets some nice help, and the guy in the mountains needed to hire more and
    more mountain experts.
    I still don't get why, honestly.

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  18. Alliances
    It's not necessarily a bad thing. You can use this energy for good by making alliances: a
    general plan emerges, somewhat fitting enough with the original plan.

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  19. Other alliances
    Locally, other alliances emerge. You still get the 3 pyramids, and for some added cost, a
    Sphinx.
    The guys in the mountains are certainly up to something?

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  20. WHAT
    A
    MESS!
    OK. Now's a nice time to stop.
    Step back.
    Breathe.
    Can you even read the schema with all the arrows we added?

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  21. Can you even read it?
    You can only make sense of it if you know what came before.
    Imagine being dropped today in such a mess, that took years to re-arrange itself.
    Illegible.

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  22. Unproductive?
    I think that's why many young rubyists hate big corps. You may feel this is unproductive,
    and some people or teams are, but I prefer "not as efficient as possible".

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  23. Antiproductive?
    You may feel some people do "negative work" and you have to clean up. That's true, but
    that's probably not as f*cked up as you imagine it to be at a first glance.

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  24. Partial, local view
    where nuances are lost
    Also remember this map was laid for you: whatever time you spent or position you're at,
    you only get a local view... or a sky-high big picture with blurred details.

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  25. Partial control
    Also whatever you see and understand, you only have partial control on what happens.
    Phew... harsh, or liberating?

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  26. @abelar_s / maitre-du-monde.fr
    HumanTalks 2013-11-12
    Let's stop again.
    Step back.
    Breathe.
    Listen to the Happiest Man in The World: "don't worry, be happy" :)

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  27. Perspective
    ! ?
    It's probably just a matter of perspective. Don't be sad, angry or doubtful.
    Communication and empathy will help everyone reach some level of understanding.

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  28. Perspective
    = =
    Be kind, patient and don't think people are stupid.*
    They're probably right within their little frame of the picture.
    * first don't tell them. Then don't think it

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  29. Not so bad
    It's not so bad.
    Final plan mostly looks like the original.
    Big bosses are OK, we even added a Sphinx!

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  30. Close to home
    Some people here are just happy with a job that's close to home.
    That's why some "mountain people" perhaps knew their project was useless but kept their
    mouth shut. Convenience, not stupidity.

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  31. Better food / location
    Some other people there are fine with whatever job they can get.
    As long as the offices or the food are nice.

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  32. Your pay / your craft
    And some other just need the money.
    Don't hate them for it, they have kids to feed.
    Perhaps find comforting in honing your craft for the next job?

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  33. More consultants ;)
    And consultants, happy because they called in more consultants ;)
    If they were first on the job they're now managers.
    Or they took their kids on vacation with the bonus. Fine.

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  34. Perhaps YOU were wrong?
    Lastly, before ranting or hating anyone, be humble and remember YOU could be one of
    the guys who got the projects all wrong!

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  35. @abelar_s / maitre-du-monde.fr
    HumanTalks 2013-11-12
    Stop again.
    Step back.
    Breathe.
    What can we do about that?

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  36. Obvious friends
    All of these guys need a cheap, fast, reliable access to limestone blocks.
    You can set up a project with them.

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  37. Less obvious friends
    They can teach you things: either their craft, or to make sense of this map.
    They might want to join your team (esp. if theirs is going nowhere).

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  38. Non-obvious friends
    Perhaps they have a different metric for success.
    Find out which one and which boss can change it.
    If someone's paid to change things, things will change, even for worse.

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  39. @abelar_s / maitre-du-monde.fr
    HumanTalks 2013-11-12
    Love, respect, modesty
    compassion, forgiveness
    So let's call in Matthieu Ricard again:
    love people, respect them, be humble, compassionate and forgiving.
    Your life will be better for it!

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  40. You're building pyramids!
    Building pyramids!
    And hey: we're building pyramids!
    Be proud to be a part in that huge project that change people's life and hopefully stands and
    fascinate for millenia! (*cough "COBOL" cough*)

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  41. You're building pyramids!
    Questions?
    Manuel de survie en entreprise
    http://vimeo.com/72344243
    Simon Guimezanes
    @abelar_s / maitre-du-monde.fr
    If you understand french you should watch Simon Guimezanes' video about surviving corporate
    politics.
    Rubyists are often lone wolves, and somehow haters/ranters.
    Join real life, understand people.

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