Friday 15 November 2013

Simon Baynes

Just very quickly. My mate / colleague Simon finished at today, and moved on to a new position. It's not for me to share the details, but it sounds like a really good gig, and Simon's a good fit for it.

Simon was the Technical Architect at, and was responsible for hiring me. I did not report to him directly, but we worked reasonably closely on various projects over the last almost four years.

When I joined HB I was already a good CFML developer, having been doing it for ten years already. But I was very much self-taught, and very focused on just the CFML side of being a developer / programmer. A lot of this was down to working mostly by myself four the preceding few years, and before that always being one of the "Senior Developers" in any given role. I had peers, but never a mentor.

Simon was the first CF developer I've worked with that I consider to be demonstrably better at it than I am, and I've found that very helpful. Simon knows an awful lot about CFML and the inner workings of ColdFusion (ie: the JRun and Tomcat side of things: both of which always leave me a bit cold), but has a very broad knowledge and experience pool beyond that. And some - but perhaps not as much as I'd like - of that has rubbed off on me.

Since working with Simon I've written my first unit test (and here we are finishing this week in which I've done little other than writing unit tests!); I've honed my understanding of OO (both as out related to CFML, and in general) an awful lot; and he was the first person to encourage me to take a look at other languages beyond CFML. I had done a bit of Java before being at HB, but one of Simon's projects was to get our .Net team off the ground, and in talking with him about this, I developed my interest in C#. That said, I've not done much with that in the last year or so, but it's been good experimentation, and good for my skills as a CFMLer to investigate other languages. He also encouraged me to take JavaScript more seriously than I had been. I'm definitely a better dev today than I was four years ago, and Simon claim responsibility for a chunk of that.

Beyond code type stuff, Simon knows his movies and I always trust his recommendations and analysis. He also likes his beer - both as far as trying different brews, as well as being good to have a pint with. Simon and the rest of the team are having leaving drinks for him now, and it's a shame in a way I'm sitting at LHR awaiting a flight to Ireland, and missing the farewell (and making sure he leaves... ;-). We'll catch up for a pint soon enough. We're always talking cricket with the other cricket-followers in the department, but sadly Simon's one of those soccer (chuckle) fans, and only has a passing understanding of rugby. Try as I might, I could not fix that.

Oh yeah... and he was also a catalyst - albeit an indirect one - for me starting this blog. Just to bring all this waffle on-topic.

Righto. Well best of luck to Baynezy in his new job, and we better have some beers in a week or two when you settle in mate.