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Geeks Versus Jocks: CIOs, Beware Your Culture
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progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Moderator
6/6/2014 | 4:15:45 PM
Re: Monoculture
I thought we were past the era of companies wanting employees centrally located.  I'm also curious as to where you have seen differently lately.  I was actually starting to wonder if some companies were rushing too fast to utilizing a remote workforce.
sferguson10001
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sferguson10001,
User Rank: Moderator
6/5/2014 | 5:35:57 PM
Re: Identity Crises
@DavidWagner: What I think is most interesting here, and especially with the Google example you used to illustrate the point, is how hard it is for companies to create the kind of ideal culture you want. After all, if Google admits that its corporate makeup is not where it should be, how can other companies achieve what one of the world's best run businesses cannot? In the end, maybe the decisions are driven by expediency and need and not by strategic thinking. Thoughts?
Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
6/5/2014 | 4:50:07 PM
Re: Monoculture
@David Wagner: Not too Zen at all. That's an apt description of harmony.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/5/2014 | 4:00:39 PM
Re: Identity Crises
@TerryB- I think you can claim multiple memberships. More importantly, well-rounded folks are the best to find for a department. The only "problem" with being a geek or a jock or anything else is if it prevents you from doing your job. And the only reason have too many of any of them is a problem is if it creates a problem in your department.

In terms of geeks, I'm like king of the athletes, too, so i totally get what you're saying. But i happily hold a dual passport. :)
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
6/5/2014 | 3:54:24 PM
Re: Monoculture
I completelly agree that it all depends on the team.  If the members of the team fit together and can cooperate.  This can make a great difference in the output of the team's results.   
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/5/2014 | 3:14:44 PM
Re: Monoculture
@jagibbons: I've worked in both situations, as a telecommuter with a dispersed team and in an office where all my team mates were there alongside me. My takeaway from these experiences is that it all depends 100% on the personalities involved. Given the right mix of people, either can be equally effective. The wrong mix of people can make either option a disaster. The dynamic, in my experience, depends much more on the culture and personality of the team members than it does on where they are based.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/5/2014 | 3:09:11 PM
Re: Monoculture
@jastro: I wish that were true of ALL teams. I'm not convinced it can even be stated across the board as regards to virtual teams, at least based on what I've heard from some women developers who work on remote teams. In fact, I know one who just had to leave such a position because the culture became too unpleasant for her. She's as Geek as they come, and so were her colleagues. It would be oversimplifying it to say she was in a boys' club culture there, though I do think that was part of it. It was the kind of place where she was always the one asked to keep the meeting notes because she was always the only woman at the meeting.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/5/2014 | 3:05:17 PM
Re: Identity Crises
@TerryB: You're the reason I hate putting labels on people. Most of us are complex and nuanced in our likes and dislikes, how we choose to spend our personal time versus what our work interests are. To answer your primary question, I'd label you a Jeek or a Gok.

:)
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
6/5/2014 | 1:25:54 PM
Identity Crises
Gee, this article makes me wonder if people like me exist anymore. I'm a jock by most anyone's definition, all I ever wanted to be was a professional baseball pitcher. But I blew my arm out at 18 and that was end of that. So I went to college (1978) not really sure what I wanted to do, just knew I enjoyed solving problems. Used to love the old Encyclopedia Brown books, stuff like that. When I got to school, I saw people with 2.0 GPA's were getting jobs like crazy in Computer Science field. Being lazy at the time, that sounded good to me. The rest is history, almost 30 years as a development guy now.

But I'm still a jock at heart. If I have choice of watching a ballgame or Discovery Channel, it isn't even a choice. Even after all these years, I have no real interest in tech after leaving work. I rarely use computer at home, except to get tickets to game or concert from StubHub. I have no interest in Facebook, Twitter or any of that crap. Now, I do keep up on technology thru reading, I've gone from coding in COBOL/CICS on mainframes to now writing Sencha Ext JS apps.

So what the heck am I, a jock or a geek? :-)
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
6/5/2014 | 1:16:05 PM
Re: Monoculture
People tend to assemble virtual teams based on skills and need within the budget, rather than "like hires like" for on-site teams.

>>  I'd like to think that's true of ALL teams. Do you think it isn't? And if so, why?

An old friend with a prominent position in financial services IT once said to me "like hires like." In the world of financial services IT, he was right. For virtual teams, perhaps they are less constricted by older patterns just because of their nature.
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