[ Content | View menu ]

Understand Business Basics

Mark Mzyk | October 9, 2008

Recently I picked up Chad Fowler’s book My Job Went To India.  Lousy title, sure, but the content of the book is good.  Whereas The Pragmatic Programmer is good, general technical advice, My Job Went To India is good, general career advice.  I’m about half way through it so far and recommend it.

Lesson 11 in the book (there are 52 in all) is titled “Understand Business Basics”.  The point of the chapter is that to fully contribute value to a company as an employee, you have to understand the business that underlies the company.

I fully agree with this sentiment and with that lesson in mind I’d like to point out that Obie Fernandez has started a series of blog posts on what makes up a Master Service Agreement (Part 1, Part 2, more to come).  If you’re like me, you’ve never heard of an MSA before, but it is just a type of contract.  I personally have very little idea what goes into most contracts, so Obie’s posts have been tremendously helpful in expanding my knowledge.

Too often business details are kept shrouded in secrecy and then when you or I find ourselves involved in a business deal we have no previous experience or knowledge to turn to, so we flounder like fish.  So read Obie’s posts.  It will teach you about the finer points of business, so you can add value to your current company.  Or it can be knowledge that will serve you in the future when you start your own company.  If you happen to already be running your own company, it will provide you insight into how someone else is running theirs.  There’s something in the posts for everyone.

You never know, it might just be the information that saves your job from being shipped to India, especially given the current times.