Who is Dusan Kocurek (@didierkoc) ?

Dusan was suggested by Nicole. Here is what she has to say about Dusan.

When I think of Dusan, the first words that come up in my mind are: Agilist, and gentleman.

I first met him in Chicago, at the headquarters of the company we were both helping to do a worldwide Agile adoption. Quiet, smiling, not wanting to interfere nor impose himself. This modest man in the back of the room turned out to be one of the Agile thought leaders in Eastern Europe. One who truly understands and lives up to the spirit of Agile. Working with Dusan was a great experience. During our calls, our travels… I learned a lot from him about the Eastern European culture. I enjoyed his stories about his childhood in a communist country. I liked the Slovak sweets he thoughtfully brought to our meetings. And I’ll never forget how he carried my suitcase all over Frankfurt, because a gentleman won’t let a lady do it herself!

Yves: I recognizes Dusan in what Nicole writes. He was a wonderful supporter of lots of the innitiatives I started. Not only was he one of the first to join the Retroflection team, he even proposed to [create t-shirts about them to distributed at ALE2011.


What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are?

In my opinion I am very influenced by Gemini constellation I was born at. People born in this constellation are known as people who like to start new things with great challenge to finish previous one. Even I try to improve my habits, I am still good example of that.

I studied and designed electronics for six years, but then I switched to software development. By that I mean coding in hexadecimal code I started with. Not the assembler, coding in 21h 03h 13h.

The real challenge was to learn objective C++ as the next language. I felt absolutely lost. I wanted to use hexadecimal codes as I was much more effective using them. At that time I did not realize how often I will see this pattern of feelings later in my life. Well, official name is Satir change model.

Five years ago the book Scrum and XP from Trenches has landed on my desk. That changed my life for the next five years. It is unbelievable how much such short book can change. A life of developer has changed to a life of product owner, entrepreneur, trainer and agile coach.

If you would not have been in IT, what would have become of you?

Maybe I would be aquarium shop owner. Because of beauty and emotions you can create, because of a fish tank environment that is silent and bubbling at the same time. It is the environment that allows people to rest. And because it attracts people who create a community excited to share a knowledge and experience. Most of that is what I miss in IT.

What is your biggest challenge and why is it a good thing for you?

I had great opportunity to work with engaged people who loved to create products and were keen to get any feedback for their work.

But in last few years of coaching I work with people who see just problems around them so they are not very interested in creativity. Maybe you know that sentence: “I am developer. Why should I care about XYZ”.

The good thing is I saw the both riversides. So I try to build a bridge every day. Piece by piece. In a peace.

What drives you?

Aha moment. The moment in which new things are discovered. Sometimes it is my moment, but I like more to see this moment on faces of people I work with.

In personal life, I am driven by my wife and two daughters. I need them to forget about work. And I am thankful for that.

What is your biggest achievement?

It is hard to mention just one if your work stands on four legs.

It is the solution I develop with my team. It exists in highly competitive area for fifth year. The biggest achievement is a knowledge I gained because of that.

Also, I am very proud we were able to engage agile community here in Slovakia. Because we see it as possibility how software will be developed here.

What is the last book you have read?

The last was about Steve Jobs. But mentioning it might sounds like a cliché.

So I would like to mention a book “Canada without maple sugar” written by one lady with origins in Slovakia. She moved to Canada with her family. It is about the life of people who emigrated from socialist Czechoslovakia to absolutely different continent, a different way of life, language, culture and economic reality. It is hard to imagine such a change.

What question do you think I should also ask and what is the answer?

“Where does your energy come from?”

This is the question many people ask me. I gain the energy from moving to the next crossroad. Maybe it is because of Gemini constellation I mentioned before.

Who do you think I should ask next?

I would be interested to read about

Tim Yevgrashyn and Paul Klipp.

  • Tim is an agile coach and an author of very interesting blog. He provides a lot to agile community.
  • And why Paul? I met him twice in AgileEE. He is a man with insights about running an agile company. Paul moved from America to Krakow in Poland. It is pity I live so close (200 kilometers) to Krakow, but without a chance to talk to him again.