People I’ve met

I know that this post is a little bit late, but it is worth talking about it. I attended QCON SP this year and also manned the Thoughtworks stand. I won’t talk about the talks in this event. Most of them were awesome. My goal in this post is to talk about people. The people behind the event, behind the talks and behind the knowledge. I was able to meet awesome people like Paulo and Guilherme Silveira (owners of Caelum), Tom Soderstrom (CTO from NASA), John Esser (Agile Director at Ancestry.com), Zach Holman (Developer at Github) and Martin Fowler (Chief Scientist from Thoughtworks). I’ll talk a little bit about them and what I’ve learned from them.

Paulo and Guilherme Silveira are owners of Caelum. Caleum is a Brazilian company whose main goal is to develop and improve the Agile community in Brazil. They have many good courses and they are always engaged with events about Agile and Software Development in Brazil. Caelum and InfoQ are the companies behind QCon and the organizers of the event. I was able to meet with Paulo and Guilherme and I can say that they were helpful and courteous. Even with the amount of work to organize an event, they tried to help everyone the best they could. I can say the same from everyone that works for Caelum. Furthermore both of them are awesome developers. The day after the event, I went to Caelum’s office and talked to Guilherme about machine learning and about other technical stuff. He knows a lot! I was impressed by how much he knew about programming. It was a very good conversation and it is good to see how humble they are and how much they know.

Tom Soderstrom is a CTO at NASA. His talk in QCon was about Cloud Computing and also about how NASA believes that it would be the future of software development. I have to admit, those guys have vision. They don’t imagine the future, they build it. I met Tom at a samba place in São Paulo after the last day of the event. Tom was very helpful and friendly, talking to everyone about the future of software development and also about the Curiosity Rover launch. He is very kind, gentle and friendly. It was an honor and pleasure to talk to him.

John Esser is a guy who gets stuff done. His story is about work for companies who don’t know about Agile Methodologies or don’t have any process for software delivery. His work is about changing these companies and improving their process so they can start to deliver value more often. He did this several times and his talk was about his work at Ancestry.com. He arrived there 3 years ago when they didn’t have any methodology and it was very difficult to deliver value. Step by step he was able change the company by implementing Continuos Delivery and now they can go to production twice a day. It was a HUGE transformation. Unfortunately, I couldn’t talk to him that much, it was only 5 minutes.

Zach Holman is a young and funny developer at GitHub. His talks have good slides, funny moments and useful information. He is also very friendly and he invited everyone in the event to get some drinks. I had the chance to drink a beer or two with him.  He had to answer the same question many times. For instance, how is it to work at GitHub? Is it hard to get hired? Is it true that nobody has ever quit from GitHub? He is always glad to answer everyone. It was good see how happy he was to talk to other people.

Martin Fowler was surprised me. I thought that he liked to talk to at events and answer people. Actually he is shy and is not in his nature to talk to many people. But he does that because he knows that is good for him, for Thoughtworks and for other developers. Martin opened the event with his talk and after that he made himself available for everyone at the event. He sat at the TW stand and passed the whole day answering questions from the people that attended QCon. This is hard work. I mean, to be amiable and sympathetic with everyone even when you are tired is not easy at all.

I was wondering about what these guys have in common? All of them are well known. All of them have are renowned in their area of expertise. Also, all of them are kind, friendly and trying to help people in their particular way. This made me think. I never liked to work with people who are rude or arrogant even when these people were very experienced guys. I always believed that a good team-player was much more useful than a developer who doesn’t like to work with other people. Today we don’t need developers who work alone, code everything by themselves and only do that. Today we need people that are good team-players. People that know how to share their knowledge and people who are open-minded and can wear different hats. I always believed that and after meeting the guys I mentioned above, I am sure that people who can work together have a greeter chance to be successful as a developer and as a human being.

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