This has been a tough week for many in tech. Mass layoffs announced by Google, Facebook and Microsoft total over 30,000. Many commentators seem to think that Elon Musk’s approach to his takeover has given carte blanche to tech leaders to swing the axe with the year-end review process. Also, there is evidence further down the food chain, in smaller companies where a similar approach is being tried. Check out Gergely Orosz‘s commentary for details.
While incredibly hard for those individuals involved, it’s undoubtedly long overdue and long expected, seeing as a lot of venture capital money has dried up over the last 18 months and given the current economic outlook.
This is a nervous world. Companies will be looking to cut further in the coming recession, and undoubtedly those left behind in these companies will come under more pressure. Therefore there has never been a better time to look beyond your current skill set and to see how you can fit into this new world.
I’ve certainly spent some time soul-searching this week. I had an interview for a role that (on paper) looked perfect for me. However, personalities win out when it comes to hiring and I often disagree with the way that so-called DevOps or Cloud transformations are carried out. I’ve seen first-hand how hiring DevOps, and Agile coaches is a great way to burn money without significantly moving the needle in either the cloud or “DevOps” journey. Nothing against those fine individuals who try, however, I believe the whole approach needs rethinking.
Why? Because you need to change your business model – not just apply bandaids.
Instead, read a book like The Unicorn Project or listen to Dave Snowden talk about organisational transformation or read The Goal and then tell me that hiring and coaching your way out of trouble will help you.
In this new world, you’ll need to be smarter than that. You need to be more empathic than that. You need to be more emphatic than that. You need to listen to what your customers want as well as what your engineers are telling you.