Quality and the Software Developer MBA

MBA for Software Developers. Sounds like an oxymoron. Most software developers would probably consider a MBA only if they are in or moving to a management role, changing careers, or starting up their own business.

Why this topic? No, I’m not taking a MBA (yet?) It’s because I’m studying Software Quality as part of my job in a software development shop. I read discussion on Lean Software Development, based on Lean Manufacturing and Kaizen (Continuous Improvement). Even if this method is not in use, the principles still apply.

Quality code comes from quality people, the proper application of their skills, with quality tools and processes. People need to be hired and trained. Tools may need to be bought. Processes learned and trained – how are these paid for? From the increased profits of a quality product delivered on schedule and ahead of the competition.

Of course, Leadership is necessary for the developer. Both people leadership and thought leadership. An MBA is not required for this.

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8 Responses

  1. You know, I hold on to the belief now that MBA’s are really just to network with people. It is also a title to add to the resume (and increase salary). If you’re really good at something, you don’t need an MBA. E ikaw pa!

  2. hi migs,

    i think the mindset of we don’t need an MBA or higher education or certification for that matter is a big disadvantage to us pinoys in a global context. i actually wrote a long blog about this but somehow the treo rebooted when i pressed the send button. πŸ™‚

    no doubt we can compete skill for skill out there. we even have the exposure. but reality sets in that big guns actually look for something nice on paper. its more often than not the first step/entry pass into the door actually. look at china, producing more PHD’s perhaps than the our current birthrate. if you are the employer or the investor, which side will you bet your eggs on?

    i have no MBA on my belt tho, but i think one should see past the “its really just to network with people”. because even that, networking with people is vital in competing in the flat world.

    so i think, its about time we should have more MBA or PHD developers. the major factor of course is the cost of such things from reputable institutions. i wish there is a way to make those things affordable. or at the very least, some of those modules in the MBA courses makes its way to the college curriculum.

    cheers!

    nox

  3. Thanks for the comments. I’m thinking about studying management because I’m now seeing the impact on software development speed and quality on a business’ bottom line, as well as the factors that go into it.

    I may be skilled in software development and other tech things, but I feel that the way to improve is in guiding a team along these skills and participating in a business’ management. The Ph.D is for someone going into the academe/research first, then the commercial world (e.g. Google hitech stuff) later.

    Since I’m thinking along these lines, I have more thoughts that need to be formed into blog entries. Stay tuned (or subscribed)!

  4. @Migs- I think getting an MBA is important (well depends on your career objectives). It helps you see things in a bigger picture and not just within your realm and it helps as well in getting in international companies πŸ˜‰

    @Ely- Yup, you get to network, but unfortunately you don’t really get to know much about your classmates except when you’re working on your paper and I’ve lost touch with them since I graduated πŸ™‚

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