Thursday, 9 April 2020

Aaaaah... *Me*

G'day
OK to continue this occasional series of commenting on ppl who have impacted my tenure at work, as they leave. Time to do another one.

Adam Cameron.

What a prick. Always nagging about doing TDD, always being pedantic about code reviews. Banging on about clean code. Asking for stuff to be refactored and simplified. Being stroppy. Then being even more stroppy.

So it's a bloody relief that after 10 years he's finally leaving, and getting out of everyone's hair.

Cameron is reluctantly leaving behind a whole bunch of people who have helped him grow as a professional (one way or another), enriched his work experience and who he genuinely admires. Both professionally and personally. He'll probably stay in touch with a bunch of them. And knowing him he'll be showing up in Porto to have beers with his squad as soon as he can.

He's been in a coupla good squads in his time, but this one that he's been leading for the last year is the best. He was lucky to get that lot as his first team as "Tech Lead". I doubt he'd've turned out reasonably OK at that role if it wasn't for them. The good thing is they hardly need leading, so will continue to do their excellent work even without him around.

10 years. Fuck me.

See ya.

--
Adam

Friday, 3 April 2020

Brian

G'day:
So this really sux.

For the bulk of the last decade I've been working alongside Brian Sadler. We first worked with each other when he joined hostelbookers.com when I'd been there for a coupla years, back in fuck-knows-when. I can recall thinking "shit... someone as old as I am, this should be interesting", in a room of devs (and managers) who were between 5-15 years younger than the both of us. Not that chronological experience necessarily means anything in any way that talent can be measured, but I had been used to being the oldest and most experienced geezer in the teams I'd been involved in. I've always been old, basically. So this new "Brian" guy seemed an interesting colleague to acquire.

My instinct was right.

[I've typed-in a paragraph of over-written shite four times now, and deleted the lot. I need to get to the point]

I have been a reasonably good programmer, technically. I'm OK with saying that.

What I've learned from Brian is that is only a small part of being a good team operative. I've always known and respected that programming is an act of communicating with humans, not the computer, but Brian really drove this home to me.

He introduced me to the concept of Clean Code.

He introduced me to the concept of TDD.

He schooled me in various concepts of refactoring, in that latter stage of Red Green Refactor. I'm still reading Martin Fowler's "Refactoring" as a result.

Every time I am looking at a code problem and I know I am not quite getting it, I hit him up and say "right, come on then... what am I missing...?" and he'll pull out a design pattern, or some OOP concept I'd forgotten about, or just has the ability to "see" what I can't in a code conundrum, and explain it to me.

Every time I ask "how can we make this code easier for our team to work with in future?", Brian's had the answer.

For a few years Brian's has been our Agile advocate, and listening to him and following his guidance has been an immeasurable benefit to my capabilities and my work focus.

I've also seen Brian help everyone else in my immediate team; other teams; and our leaders.

He's probably the most significant force for good I have had in my career.

He's also a really fuckin' good mate, for a lot of reasons that are not relevant for this sort of environment.

For reasons that are also irrelevant to this blog, today was the last day for the time being that Brian and I will be working with each other, and I am genuinely sad about that.

Genuinely sad.

Thanks bro.

--
Adam