Software Engineering Economics

--Originally published at Project Evaluation and Management Blog

Engineers not knowing how to manage the economics of a company or a project it’s practically a cliché, it doesn’t matter how genius an idea is, it needs an economy plan. That’s why all companies rely on a team where everyone does their part where they are good at.

But when a group of engineers start a small project with no one to take care of the numbers, that often ends in disaster, and it doesn’t mean you always need a business manager, it just means that knowing the basics of economics can be the difference between success and failure, this understanding can help you manage a project properly when is needed, but more importantly it helps you communicate effectively with business managers and it helps understand the concerns that they look at.

Chapters 1 & 2 reflection

--Originally published at Project Evaluation and Management

The Deadline: A Novel About Project Management

Chapter 1

The first chapter is named Opportunity Knocking.

In this chapter the novel present Mrs. T to us, he is the ReSOE (Released to Seek Opportunities Elserwhere) of the Big Telephone and Telecommunications Company´s.

Mrs. T was a manager and the spy from Morovia was talking with him and she ask this:

“Let me answer that question with a question. What’s the hardest job in management?”
“People,” Tompkins replied automatically. He knew exactly where he stood on this subject. “Getting the right people for the right job. That’s what makes the difference between a good manager and a drone.”

I think that this was the most important part in the lecture because she was giving an opportunity to him and they start to talk about management. I think that the opportunities only present at once’s, Ann you have to make a good decision for that opportunity, not all the time opportunities arise in your life, so you have to take advantage of when you have one in your way.

They talk about “What’s the hardest job in management?”, He replied with people. This is the first time we see the word manager. I think the same, the people are the hardest job in management, because you have to choose the correct person. because people are the ones who do the work and if they are not happy or bring problems to work a heavy work environment is created

Chapter 2

The second chapter is named Standing Up to Kalbfuss.

In this second chapter they are like in a plane and Mrs. T dreams for a moment some things. Once you wake up. he starts talking to others and Kalbfuss tells him to teach them the hard science of management.

Continue reading "Chapters 1 & 2 reflection"

The Deadline Chapters 1&2

--Originally published at Project Evaluation and Management Blog

So far this book has had a really effective way to keep me reading and learning by making things a little dramatic and awkward from time to time, for example what is the spy doing with a refrigerator bag with sodas in the middle of an auditorium.

But between the dramatic moments and all conversations the author casually drops bits of interesting information as quick lessons here and there.

For example, Mr. T claims that the most important thing in project management is people, and the 4 most important subjects are:

  • People selection
  • Task matching
  • Motivation
  • Team formation

And between all that he gets kidnapped by a spy and dreams he is in an infinite loop. So far, it’s great.

So, Software Eng. has Economics?

--Originally published at TI2011 – Alex’s Barn

As Engineers we create products, develop solutions. These projects not only (could) have a potential benefit for the society development and wellness of the people who would use our products.

From this idea, we could endorse an utopical image of the world, where our services are offered as a gift to the world, because, Who wouldn’t love being part of the progress of this society, impacting lots of lifes over decades or, even more, over centuries?

The world without money. Src: Imgflip

This sounds great, but it would be way better if we are paid for this.

The cruel reality is, we all need money. We all want money. People or enterprises, everyone is looking for money, making more and more profits. In this course we have to attach to this point of view. An Engineer’s work has value, it could be represented as a factual payment, each company deserves profits for their services. This thinking is healthy, because we deserve that paid for our services. This self-valuing thinking is responsible of all our Economy, for several centuries.

Settled our basis, let’s dive in Engineer Econ.

Source: giphy

A brief definition of Eng. Econ.

A whole definition I found about EE. Engineering economics quantifies the benefits and costs associating with engineering projects to determine if they save enough money to warrant their capital investments. Engineering economics requires the application of engineering design and analysis principles to provide goods and services that satisfy the consumer at an affordable cost.

Engineering economics involves the systematic evaluation of the economic benefits of proposed solutions to engineering problems. The engineering economics involves technical analysing with emphasis on the economic aspects and has the objective of assisting decisions.

Engineering economics is closely aligned with Conventional Micro-Economics. It is devoted to problem solving and

Continue reading "So, Software Eng. has Economics?"

Economics of Software Engineering

--Originally published at TI2011 – The Broken Wallflower

In this post we are going to talk about the origins of economics in software engineering, fist of all economic is a science that studies the resources needed to fulfill the human needs, this also includes the human behaviour, and engineering is the science that involves techonologies in the proffesional area. Saying this, economics in software engineering is a field who involves the basis of economics into technology systems.

This is a gif of a bar graph – giphy

At a first look it could seem that a software system may not require any economics knowledge, but that is not true, nowadays every system that is in the market requires a full in depht investigation about the market itself, one big example could be Uber, this system is similar to a taxi system, the only differences are that Uber provides a higher quality service, you get to choose the type of car that you’d like to ride in, and a few extra details that make your ride a lot better than riding a cab.

This is a gif of the Uber app- giphy

Lets analyze how Uber did to make it to a top system

First, the idea of making this system a real thing was to give users a better experience when trying to get to any places, provide a cheaper service and a safer service among the ones that already existed.

Second, establishing the market, unfortunately Uber is not made for everyone, eventhough everyone can hop into a Uber car, not everyone is allowed to use the system, there is an age restriction to use the system.

Third, places where the system would be more required.

Fourth, once competition starts showing up, what will they do to keep being number one worldwide

These are some of the thigns

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Deadline Reflection Ch1-2

--Originally published at TI2011 – DVant Blog

I never expected to read a novel about project management. My first impression of it was that it has a creative approach to introducing important concepts of this topic in a smooth and intelligent way. The story in this first two chapters introduces two characters with very peculiar personalities and great perspective of the situation.... Continue Reading →

Economic engineering

--Originally published at Erick learning experience

Economic engineering is knowledge that help a manager to be effective and make easier the decision making. Normally an engineer would say that the only thing he has to know is how to program or how to solve a problem specialized in their field, but that is not true.

When the engineer starts making decisions on how and what is necessary to solve the problem it involve money and knowing some basics of economics are needed to take decisions based on the benefits, inflation, risks and costs and with all that information decide if the project is viable or not.

Some concepts that I consider important are:

Initial cost: The cost that is expected to get the project started.

Maintenance cost: The cost that is needed to update the product.

Interest Rate: The rate received from an investment.

Finance: allocation, management, acquisition and investment of resources in other words risks, time, taxes,

Accounting: The ability of someone to know the results of their investment, like profit expected or looses.

Cash flow: the movement of money into or out the business or project, this concept is important to take decisions because without it the business can’t have a clear vision of how much money they have to spend and how much money they are receiving.

Inflation: The same things costs more than before.

Taxation: Money request by the government called income taxes, this is important to consider because it can lead to problems of thinking that a project can be very profitable but at the end it was not because the high income taxes that the business has to pay.

In my opinion all these concepts of economy are important to know as a engineer to make some decisions about a project and minimize risks and be more immerse with the Continue reading "Economic engineering"

Deadline part 1 & 2

--Originally published at TI2011 – The Broken Wallflower

This is a picture of the cover of the book- Amazon

For those who doesn’t know what The deadline is, the deadline is a novel by Tom DeMarco published in 1997, this is one risky project because it tries to teach how does the software project management works using a novel as it’s conductor, the story is about a man who is kidnapped by an organization who is trying to reclute the best talents in order to become one big organization capable of developing world leadership systems.

During these posts we are going to disccus about the adventures that the main character faces during the book, and give our point of view about the novel chapters, with no further to say lets analyse chapters 1 and 2.

Part 1

For the fist part of the book the novel introduce us to an auditorium, where apparently there is a program that will teach the audience how to take advantage of the upcoming oportunities, and notice when an oportunity is given to them. The main character, Mr Tompkins, seems like he does not what to be there because as soon as the novel starts it tell us that Tompkins has ben asleep in the back seats of the auditorium for around an hour, where of couse he has been no been paying attention to the event, as soon as he wakes up the noticed that a well loking woman is sitting right next to him.

Mr Topkins starts asking the woman about the conference that is being given but seems like she does not what to talk about it, little did Mr Topkins know that this woman is sitting next to him for a reason, they are sitting so far behind that they are able to talk without interrupting the event, so

Continue reading "Deadline part 1 & 2"

Review on Chapter 1 & 2 of “The Deadline: A Novel about Project Management”

--Originally published at Project Evaluation and Management Reflections

The first two chapters serve as an introduction into the story. The story starts right away with a description of Mr. Tompkins, a systems manager, and his status as an ReSOE – an employee „Released to Seek Opportunities Elsewhere.“ Along with thousands of other employees of the telephone and communciations company, he is attending a program that includes presentations and trainings for ReSOEs. His boredom and ironic reflections on the program clearly demonstrate that, in fact, the program is only superficial to keep employees who are not needed anymore entertained.
After falling asleep, he meets Lahska Hoolihan, an industrial spy and agent from the fictional country Morovia. As she tells him that her job is to kidnap other people, their conversation turns into a conversation about managing people, the most important task of managers. Tompkins states that „getting the right people for the right job. That´s what makes the difference between a good manager and a drone.“
During the second chapter, he recalls a conversation during a corporate project management training class with the instructur Edgar Kalbfuss. The memory is a practical example for many people who immediately think of GANNT charts, project milestones and so on when talking about project management.
Tompkins on the contrary sees the focus on managing people, which includes mainly the following four essential ingredients of management:
1. Hiring
2. Matching people to jobs
3. Motivating
4. Team building

This point of view of Mr. Tompkins is probably the reason why Lahska Hoolihan is kidnapping him to help Morovia build a new software factory as their manager.

For more information on the book discussed, see: „The Deadline: A Novel about Project Management (Enlaces a un sitio externo.)“ by Tom DeMarco

Chapter 1

--Originally published at Erick learning experience

One of my first impressions while I was reading this chapter was that this book is going to be just theory and that stuff but when I start reading more the chapter was kind of funny, the most interesting was when Tompkins start talking with Lahksa Hoolihan about who was she and start talking about the importance of knowing who to kidnap, when she start talking like about that I start thinking about what I was reading and in my opinion if someone tell me that is kidnapper I would not accept a drink of that person but in the shoes of Tompkins it was a good idea because it was Dr. Pepper and most important it was a diet Dr. Pepper so why not?

Talking about more serious thing about the first chapter I agree in the part that one of the most important thing about a company is to get the right people but is one of the most complicated thing because get those persons is not cheap but is a crucial part to make a company a success.

Chapter 2

I start this second chapter hoping to know what happen to Mr. Tompkins and I agree with Tompkins that this chapter it’s like to be on drugs, becuase in my opinion they are explaining some important stuff in the manner of Project Management in a very strange but interesting way, the things that I keep as the most important of this chapter is the importance of bring attention to the people, teach them how to make teams, make them feel as part of the team, make sure they stay healthy, the importance of letting express themselves.