Offshore Developer’s Roadmap to US Projects – Part 2

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Yinso:
I mean earlier when we were talking about this as well, we were talking about basically, what does it mean to be a senior person, a senior Developer, a senior Project Manager, whatever. And that is when you can hold your commitment. When you know how to make commitment, when you know how to negotiate commitment, and you know how to adjust as you go forward.

These are the type of things that you can only really practice it when you are actually on the project and you really are trying to do it, basically.

Because if you just listen to it, it kind of makes sense in an abstract fashion. But when the client’s in front of you and says, “I need this done by tomorrow. Can you do it?” Then what is the sentence that’s going to come out of your mouth at that time? What are you going to say? And what are you going to say is kind of depending on different things.

One, how much do you already know about the work? How comfortable you are with accomplishing by that time. As well as say, how comfortable you are with the customer. With a client. You might not be that comfortable with the client at all. And when you are not comfortable, you’re going to feel like that you want to protect yourself more.

Then, if you’re already comfortable with the client, then you will feel like, “okay, even if I make a mistake here the client is not going to scream at me, yell at me, or in the worst case situation, fire me.” Right? So, how do you get there? How do you make sure that you say the right thing? Those are professional communication skills that you’re just not going to learn outside of a project setting. You can have your language change all day all you want You’re just not going to learn that skill. As a matter of fact, I will even argue this. I will even argue that for… I’m not going to say for most, but I will say that for quite a bit of people, probably more than that, it should. Is that even in their own native languages… Even in a setting, like say native English speaker, native English speaking developer in English projects and native Chinese speaker in a Chinese project. Native Portuguese speaker in a Portuguese project. A lot of them also do not know how to do what I’m talking about here.

Even in our native setting. Right? In a setting where there is a foreign language it can seem like that the language is the reason why that you don’t know how to do something like this. Just because you feel like you don’t know how to convey what you want. Yeah, it makes it harder. But it’s the same. I promise you that the same person will also have difficulty in their own native environment.

Mikhail:
It’s not about language at all, I would say. It’s about the whole approach to it. Whether you speak that language or not you could struggle a lot, even in your native language. You might not even be able to do that, to communicate. So, there are many, many things here.

Yinso:
Exactly. Yeah. Communication skill is really a two way street. Like I said, if you’re not comfortable with the customer, with a client, then you’re going to be more cautious when you say things. But do you know how to be cautious, but yet try to open the door? Because your goal is to eventually become comfortable with the customer. Unless you don’t want to work with a customer. Then in that case, you might as well just wrap up now instead of trying to suffer and go through the process, right?

But if you want to continue to work with the customer then you got to find a way to make that comfort level go higher. So that way you can become more open and free to be more open than you had to try to reach out. You had to take that first step. And the customers, hopefully, will be asking you for commitments. For many times. The more times they ask you for commitments, the more they will be paying for you basically, Right? And then for every commitment that they ask from you that you don’t find a way to deliver against that and you don’t find a way to ensure that if you cannot meet it, negotiate it, make it so that way it’s deliverable. The more you are able to do that then the more likely they are going to continue to come back and ask you. And then the more you fail at doing that, the less likely that they’re going to come back to you for more work, basically.

Mikhail:
I can even add… Well, I can add a lot of examples from my own experience. But just let me… I’m thinking about just one. Lots of people are asking me, “how can I improve my email writing? I need to improve my writing skills” and they’re asking us, “how do I do that?” And I have a very simple answer to this question. I just say “how did I do that?” I can respond to any email. I can write an email myself. Maybe. I wouldn’t say I’m the best email writer in the world but I can write an email anytime to anyone. But the thing is, I never spent one hour or maybe even 10 minutes on actually formally learning how to write emails. All I did, basically, was just reading other people’s emails every day, basically. In context and responding to them and maybe my first response was horrible and then people couldn’t even understand anything. It was broken English. But I never actually… I mean email writing is the one clear example for me but I never actually learned it. I just learned that through doing it for context through basically using… writing my own emails and it’s almost intuitive. I mean I… Without making any effort at all, I was able to get used to it in a more natural way.
Now when Speaking, of course it’s a little bit more challenging because when speaking you have to sort of… Ideally you should be in speaking environment every day, all the time. But then here comes perhaps the challenge of like, I have to work on projects and I have to practice before I work on projects. But there is no other way for me than to actually practice in the context of those projects. So how can I join the project without being a confident speaker? So if I’m not a confident speaker, so how can I join the project?

Yinso:
Yeah. I mean it’s tough for sure but somebody had to… has to take that first step, right? So, let’s say that… Let’s just say that there’s a project going on right now. Let’s say that… I mean we know right now… We know as [inaudible] there’s a project going on, our project, right? So from the ground up policy, this kind of… Don’t cut that… This acronym almost… It makes me feel like that it’s a bad word or something.

Mikhail:
I think it’s all right.

Yinso:
I don’t know, we’ll stay with it. But, this project exists. There’s Mihhaul, you’re working on it. There’s me, that’s working on it. Daron joined as well. And then Robson, now, has also joined. So now we have four people that’s working on this. Obviously, that we are working on it as much as we could and hopefully it has been fun for everybody so far.

You and I participate in most just because we’re in the beginning of the project still. But now that Daronn has started to learn about C-sharp and Robson is working now on stuff that you previously haven’t done before, which is a video development.
So he finds it very… pretty interesting. So, let’s even keep it up. Now, here’s the interesting thing. There’s millions of developers out there… And [inaudible] about people that fits our profile. Non-English speaker and a developing country… And people who wants to look for English based projects… For improvement. Right? So, that way their career prospects can go higher. Right? And those are just not doing kind of same stuff that I do every day. Something new. Something hopefully interesting. Whether it’s interesting or not, we have no idea. Because not everybody’s going to find our project interesting.

Now, how will they know who we are? And how do we know who they are? This is the tough problem here. Right? And there might be other projects out there that’s also doing the same thing. And see… Now, for the developers…I mean let’s put it this way, you can reach out to the developers that you know and some of them will be interested in joining us. But what can not happen is that we can drag them to work with us. It has to be a voluntary effort on their part.
Just because there’s no way for us to go and physically bring them in to working on their stuff. As a matter of fact, on our project, if anybody wants to stop working on our stuff, there’s nothing that we can do to stop them from doing so anyway. So it’s all voluntary.

So what does that mean? It really means this… It really means hat the developer needs to take that first step. They have to be willing to open themselves up, willing to let go of their inhibitions worry… let go of worrying about that is this going to be a good environment or not? We can advertise that we’re a good environment. But anybody can do that. And maybe that our advertisement doesn’t meet the standards that they need. It’s like as much as we want to provide a supportive environment… You know, for learning to… learning English and professional skills, whatever.
It might not be supportive enough for everyone.

Mikhail:
Of course.

Yinso:
Right? It’s like someone might be just so… Just doesn’t gel. They might not like me, they might not like you, they might just dislike the project. They might just dislike the stuff that they’re working on. Right?

So a lot of things can go wrong and there’s no way for us to make that guarantee to anyone out there. So they had to try. They have to be willing to give it a shot. They have to be willing to say “let’s try this for a little bit. See if we like it and then if we like it we’ll continue and if we don’t then trying it a little bit, it doesn’t harm.” And that’s the same with anything though. I mean, honestly, a person, a developer or anybody who’s willing to reach out and to try to take that first step. Same as English learner. It’s like you can practice all you want in a school setting. But you got to walk out there and actually find a native speaker to talk to.

Mikhail:
It’s a totally different experience.

Yinso:
Right. But the learner has to take that first step. It’s kind of like a child riding a bicycle. That eventually, the people who’s holding the bicycle to keep it upright has to let go and that the child has to keep on pedaling. Right?

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