My new role

iunie 26, 2014

„If the opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

For some time I wanted to put in practice this quote I found on someone’s desk where I worked before. I think that time has come.

Yesterday I sat down with a colleague trying to solve a problem together. The problem was my team’s problem for he has only been asked to help us meet a deadline. The fact that the task was directly assigned to him it made it… his problem.

I was there to only provide him some background information about the work needed to be done and point him in the right direction. As I sat on the desk at his right observing the work he was doing, moving the mouse and typing the code, thinking what goes where and how, I had a revelation: seeing others doin’ it, ain’t that bad. Felt good not having to write code myself. Good to be able to tell others what to do and then wait for it to get done. It would be great if I could do this on a daily basis. I could save my eyesight.

I left the building thrilled by the possibility of putting in practice my minutes old reverie. This sort of excitement I’d never experienced at 5 pm on a working day.

I spent the evening thinking about the whole new world opening up in my mind. How can I make it reality. Would they agree with what I want to do?

What is it that you want to do?

From now on I will be the person in charge with doing what the developers don’t have time doing. Things like: reviewing the code, re-factoring code, improving communication between developers and between developers and the rest of the world, giving developers a second opinion on a problem or idea, listening to developer’s issues and frustration and funnel them to the right ears. I could be their counselor, I could even wear a red nose in certain days to ensure a smooth running of operatives and generally spreading good karma among developers. I could even do some actual work, programming I mean, when I feel is necessary or I have the desire to do so. Because I know the team very well, being one of them, I could advise the Project Manager what skill set a particular task requires and to whom it should be allocated for a good result. I could also facilitate the communication between the Business Analyst and the Developer. Basically, no more quantifiable work for me. No more tasks!

I want to be able to have the ability to delegate tasks but generally speaking no development task should be assigned to me. I voluntarily assign myself tasks to help the team in critical situations.

I could also run routine checks on the application to make sure no new bugs have cropped up.

I could also create and maintain a Developers Wiki to help communicate good coding standards and provide easily accessible information.

Since developers never have time to maintain the version of the software and manage the repository, I could also do that.

See? There is a myriad of things which do not get done because the developers never have time to do it.

Will you let me do it?



Capoeira singers in Brussels (IMG_6210)

Capoeira singers. Brussels

Capoeria man vs. woman in Brussels (IMG_6220)

Capoeira demonstration near Royal Palace, Brussels

Capoeira man jumps (IMG_6254)

‘Viva Brasil’ 2014

Capoeria man upside down standing on his hands (IMG_6322)

Capoeira man jumps standing upside down on his hands. (IMG_6276)   Capoeira man on a demo fight on the streets of Brussels (IMG_6273)   Promoting Brazil on the streets of Brussels (IMG_6329)   Spectacular jump of this capoeira fighter (IMG_6337)   Capoeira singing partenrs in Brussels (IMG_6210)

There are people you simply feel comfortable working with. My manager is one of them. The sort of freedom I have from him suits the way I want to work. But not just that. There is a lean exchange of information and frustration is virtually non-existing. In 4+ years not a conflict. Occasional disagreements yes but those were elegantly solved. Initially I treated the absence of professional tension, usually displayed in private sector, as a missing ingredient to achieve success. Quite wrong. Some people need to feel the omnipresence of a strong leader. I don’t. I’m actually quite refractory to authority. I work a lot better when my leader allows me to manage myself. So, we talk trust here. I met a couple of managers in my working life who were like that. I was lucky I guess.

His blue blood family hit by misfortune, left him with no choice but to work for a living. I don’t care if this is true or not, at least fulfils my needs for stories.

With the whole Agile thing going on at work and the stolen project (this is personal (isn’t everything personal?)) we both face one more challenge. How will we resolve it so I do have a job and he remains as composed and detached as ever.

Vineri 13

iunie 13, 2014

Vineri 13 reprezentat de acest cauciuc ingropat in nispiul de la malul marii

Jastarnia, Marea Baltică – Polonia


iunie 9, 2014


Two nuns resting at Pl. Poelaert, BrusselsPlace Poelaert, Brussels