for me, so I left. But it is for other people. So if that doesn't bother you, that's okay. But if it does bother you, then you have to figure out "how do I realign what my company says they want me to do in the job description, versus what they actually want me to do in person, on the job every day?"
Carol: That's got to be a challenge, particularly if you're in a position where you see things that have to be done differently, or you can see an easier way or you can see a better way… I think what you're saying is that that's not always appreciated.
Johanna: Well, it's not always appreciated. And that's not to say that your company, if they don't appreciate you doing potentially things that would improve things, that they're bad people and that they're a bad company. Maybe they're so caught up in the day to day existence of "how do we increase our revenue, how do we make more sales, how do we service our current customers," that they really can't think, they just don't have any more brain waves left to be thinking about something else. That's a possibility. There are other possibilities that aren't nearly as generous. And you have to decide if that's what's happening. Are these people just jerks that you don't want to work with? Or is there something in between, where maybe you're working for someone who is so focused on the bottom line, but their supervisors are not necessarily focused on the bottom line? I see that happening a lot to developers and testers. People doing technical work, specifically technical work, who think that they could improve things if they just had an extra five minutes, or an extra day here or there. And their management says, "No, we're not going to do it that way." What do you do then? And I think then you sit down and have a talk with your manager and say, "I can see that there are other things we could do here. There are other things we can improve. If we did inspections and reviews, we could do this thing. If we tested a little differently, we could do that thing. What do you say? Can we do a little experiment to find out?" So if you give your manager options, he or she is much more likely to consider it than if you say, "Well, I'm the tester here" or "I'm the developer here. I know what's best." Once you've put yourself in the only position of knowing what's best, you tend to increase resistance to your ideas from other people. And that doesn't help you get anything done.
Carol: Now, it really sound like you're talking about communication, and effective dialogue. That you have to have a dialogue set up. But I can just kind of hear some of our audience saying, "Well, I'm in a position that I don't really like," or "I'm doing my job the best way that I know, or have been trained to do. And we've got layoffs, and I don't want to make the wrong step by going and talking to my manager." What kind of advice would you give somebody like that?
Johanna: Well, if it's not the right time, then don't do it. You have to be confident in where you are, in your position in your company. If your company's going through layoffs, the last thing they're going to think about is huge process improvement. Now, if you had a specific idea, something small