Yesterday evening I had a wonderful IM conversation with a previous team member. He moved on from Canonical to new challenges last year and he was just getting in touch to let me know that I had been a significant positive influence in his professional development. This gave me nice warm fuzzies, but also made me think of those that had helped me over the years. This post is dedicated to those people, who I am going to attempt to recall in roughly historical order. I am however going to try to keep this limited to significant remembered events otherwise this list may get too huge (it may well anyway).
Firstly I'd like to thank Jason Butler. You taught me an important lesson very early on. Jason and I worked together as interns (as close a term as I can work out) while at university. Jason taught me me this:
Just because someone talks slowly, doesn't mean that they think slowly.
I'd like to thank Jason Ngaio for my first real exposure to C++. Jason was the instructor of the C++ course that my first employers sent me on. This was my first real job, and the first time that I think I really got object oriented programming.
I'd like to thank Derrick and Pam Finlayson, Arran Finlayson, Blair Crookston, Jenny Cohen, Mathew Downes and Rachel Saunders. You guys helped me develop personally. The confidence and people skills that I learnt while around you has undoubtedly helped me in my professional career in software development.
David Cittadini from the then Sapphire Technology company based in Wellington really expanded my vision and understanding of developing complex systems. David also got me back into reading around the programming topic. My technical library started there. Working with Chris Double helped me understand what it is like to work with someone else in synergy. Our joint output I'm sure was a lot more than what we would have both produced independently added together.
David Ewing made a significant impression on me around knowing my worth and helped in contract negotiations. David has a wonderful way of dealing with people.
Moving over to London gave me the opportunity to meet up with some truly awesome people. Getting involved with ACCU was great for me. I worked briefly with Allan Kelly at Reuters, but learned a lot in a brief time. I also had the opportunity to work with Giovanni Asproni and Alan Griffiths at Barclays Capital. Working with you two really helped me understand the power that the developers hold when talking to the business. A few other people I'd like to make a personal note of from this time in the UK are Kevlin Henney, Roger Orr and Pete Goodliffe.
From my early time at Canonical, I'd like to personally thank Jonathan Lange, Robert Collins and Michael Hudson-Doyle. You guys really helped me understand the importance of writing good tests, and test driven development. Also the hammering in the code reviews teaching me how to write those tests well.
There are so many other people that I have had great connections with over my professional career and I'd like to thank you all. Work is more than just what you produce, but the friendships and connections you make with the people you are creating things with.