How the book began…

After spending more than 12 years in the IT space, one begins to wonder what next. A sense of ennui; a sense of boredom begins to seep in. I was already playing roles of a program manager and a delivery manager. As I looked ahead, I did not find the conventional career path particularly fascinating. The road ahead seemed more of the same. If you were handling a 100 member team, tomorrow you would lead a 200 or perhaps a 500 member team. That did not sound so interesting. It got me thinking on what to do next.

For long, I had wanted to write. I satiated some of that desire by writing blogs. And then we had this big program that was ramping down at ThoughtWorks. My client CIO suggested that we (as in ThoughtWorks) could build expertise in this area of transition. The idea of building it as a centre of excellence appealed to me. I tried to rally the leadership team around the idea. But knowledge transition itself is a boring subject. It’s not really going to resonate with a lot of people. And of course it takes others a lot more time to warm up to an idea that you are passionate about. I got some responses in fits and starts. I began to maintain a diary which I published every 2 weeks to one month in our internal portals.

After the program was completed, I got some time to reflect on what to do next. I felt if I need to try something, it has to be now. I sent across the transition diary to some of the luminaries in ThoughtWorks and enquired if it can be made a book. I got interesting responses. Everyone concurred that there is no literature on the topic and hence it is useful to put it out there. At the same time, many felt there is not enough substance to write a book on it. Around the same time, I met with one of our prolific authors in the Pune office. He told me, that I am the subject matter expert and while everyone would give opinions (including luminaries), at the end of the day they are just that – opinions. It’s up to me on how to proceed. He also put me in touch with the editor at Pearson.

In the meanwhile, I had written up a couple of chapters with the thought that even if it does not get published, it would be a good blog. And then there is always the option to self-publish. I wrote up one more chapter, the most difficult yet for me – chapter on “Ownership Transfer – Bringing Home a Child”. In this chapter I try to draw parallels between taking over an application and bringing home a newborn. Somewhere I felt, it has come out quite well. I sent this chapter out to the editor with a quick prayer. Imagine my surprise when he came back saying he went over it and felt it was what they call in their circles as a “Good Read”. He sent across the template to put together a proposal. I was massively excited and anxious. But there was no going back now!

….. more on my writing experience in the next blog.

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