Archive for February, 2011


Passionate Writer?!?

Joining the ranks of bloggers was not part of my plan. My sister blogs and my brother blogs and it just didn’t interest me. I didn’t think I had enough to say to start a blog. My siblings use blogging because they are passionate about what they do and blogging is part of that passion. Then one day, I realized I am just as passionate about what I do, and I would like to share that passion. Doh! I need to start a blog.

For a long time I didn’t feel that I was passionate about anything. I was happy and I didn’t see in myself the passion that so many people around had for their jobs, or their hobbies. I think perhaps I was simply a bit slow. The first passion I recognized in myself was cooking, and food in general. I love great food, and I love preparing food though the prep leads to eating so it is probably all about the eating. All that great food started to pack on the pounds which lead to discover of my second passion, running. I love running. I ran cross-country in grade 8, very poorly, and rediscovered this great thing when I was 38 as I quit smoking. I think I traded one addiction for another and I think it was a good trade-off.

I have always enjoyed my job. I am a good programmer, and these days I am a half-decent manager. I have always enjoyed parts of my job but I wouldn’t say I was passionate about it. That is, until the company started to transition to agile practices. I was always looking for ways of doing a better, faster job. I am inherently lazy so I like to do a job right the first time with the least amount of effort. I first discovered agile around 2001 while reading an article somewhere. It lead me to purchasing a book on Dynamic Systems Development Method by Jennifer Stapleton and Peter Constable. I thought it had some great ideas we should try but I wasn’t able to get any of my coworkers to read the book. Fast forward nearly a decade.

I manage a bunch of people across two timezones and our business unit adopted Scrum a couple of years ago. I follow a lot of people on Twitter, my Google Reader page has a couple of dozen feeds, and on-line book stores give me access to a huge number of books. I spend a lot of time reading about innovation, management, agile practices, and whatever else seems interesting. I then test the things I learn on the job.

The one thing I find missing is dialog. I am situated in a small office in Toronto while the majority of our business unit is located on the west coast in either Irvine or Vancouver. Unfortunately there is no one in my office with the same interests. To debate the things I am learning means waiting for a quarterly meeting, or scheduling a call with someone. I don’t have the opportunity to run into like-minded people at the coffee machine, or head out to lunch with. So that leads me to blogging.

Rather than waiting for the opportunity to talk with like-minded people, I am going to blog my thoughts. I hope that readers will point out the flaws in my reasoning, or point me in directions that I had not considered. So…welcome to my blog.

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