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