KPI driven bot — Part 3: The Mixer Media Corp.

Representational image only (From motion picture Goodfellas)

This is the third part in a fictional series based on my experience working as a web software developer in the Information Technology industry and the day to day impact on various walks of life. KPI driven bot is a series that explores how bots (a pun for people) are driven by “key performance indicators” (or better known as KPI) in the industry.

“The Mixer” Media Corp is a typical digital media company with the largest media market share in the Country. This time, Cucumber bot begins work as a senior software developer in the digital publishing side of “The Mixer” Media Corp. This will be the first time Cucumber forays in to a Service Company where technology is considered as a levering tool that would help expand “The Mixer” Media Corp’s digital presence and help address fading subscriptions and Ad revenues from the print media side of the business.

Cucumber bot reports to Potato bot, who apparently has less software development experience and sees itself more of a line manager than a technical manager. Cucumber bot finds working for Media Corp a welcome change from its Grinder Corp days. Media Corp is more understanding of work-life balance and is supportive of bots with families. They believe it is essential for the well being of their bots and in a longer working relationship. The digital delivery culture is a mix of old school and new school. Pockets in the digital delivery are fast paced with their agile scrum methodology and some pockets still follow the waterfall methodology to accomplish things. It is fair to say the cross-team culture is like clash of civilisation.

Cucumber bot who has been raised in a no nonsense and risk taking culture takes time to adjust to the Media Corp’s risk-averse culture and finds itself bogged down by red tapes and indecision of non-technical line managers. At times, Cucumber bot feels that there are too many line managers than implementers. After initial few meetings with its line manager, the Potato bot, and raising concerns over lack of coordination with cross-teams, Cucumber understands the bitter truth that complaining doesn’t take it anywhere.

Cucumber begins to soak in to the passive culture and starts to focus on its family life. This gives ample time for Cucumber to spend time with Cherry bot and thereby relieving some daily load off Onion. Meanwhile, Onion bot begins to feel the urge of getting back into the work force. It has been almost couple of years since Onion did some active coding. Onion feels like she should take some less intensive coding job and probably switch over to automation testing or a business analyst role.

As Onion tries applying for business analyst role, it goes through the bitter reality of being not considered for business analyst role due to lack of experience. Onion believes it has the ability to perform well in a business analyst role due to its prior experience of interacting with business analysts while working as a software developer. It believes it can be a good middleman between business stakeholders and the development team. Unfortunately, the recruitment bots have a different idea. The only way forward for Onion bot is either to catch up on a programming language and augment its previous software development background or join a degree program that would help transitioning over to a different role altogether. Either way it isn’t a job guarantee for Onion bot.

Few months into the role, Cucumber bot gets a picture of how digital delivery works in “The Mixer” Media Corp. There is a lot of internal politics (mates looking after mates and it isn’t about “what you know” it is about “who you know” sort of culture). Cucumber begins to slowly realise that life has something interesting to offer and dishes out surprises at the right moment. Whenever Cucumber undergoes such contradicting moments, it finds solace with some meta-physical conversation with Pineapple bot, an industry veteran and still a senior platforms Engineer.

Pineapple bot can completely empathise with Cucumber bot as it has gone through similar situations in life. Pineapple bot is one of those that had voluntarily preferred to be a technology person rather than taking the administrative path. It understands that it is easy to program the non-living things than play the politics of bots. To put it simple, Pineapple bot eschews the Managerial appetite.

Meanwhile, Onion bot lands a role of technical analyst (more of a business analyst) at an University information services department. Onion bot considers it as a welcome change and signs up for the job. Meanwhile, Cherry bot had started to walk and run around the home. She is turning out to be a loveable naughty bot. It is time for both mum and dad bot to put Cherry at a day care or leave her with Onion’s parents at their hometown.

A new chapter begins for both Onion and Cucumber…

The Japanese kid adopted by Namibian Parents