I met Paweł in Kiev at the first Agileee conference.
And he helped me to get to Accde10.
I still remember that when he picked me up at the airport, I hoped (wondered) whether we would have enough to talk about before we arrived. Oh yes, we actually stopped just before arriving to have a meal together and have some extra time to talk. It was the best way to start an unconference.
What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are?
I think the thing that has triggered a change in my attitude to software development was a project I was writing some 7-8 years ago. It was supposed to be an agile project, because the company I was working for claimed to be using Feature-Driven Development. But nobody really knew what that was supposed to mean. We (a 2-person team) had a fixed time (one month), fixed initial scope (getting bigger and bigger at every review meeting), and we were supposed to write a system critical for our customer. So to make it in time, we were working 12-14 hours a day, including weekends, sacrificing code quality just to make the thing work. In the end the software kind of worked (yeah, it took weeks afterwards to make it stable…) I then had a short vacation and the project was passed to a regular team. The new developers “liked” my 2500-line class called ‘BusinessProcess’ so much that when I got back from my vacation the source code printouts were pinned to the walls of their cubicles. You can imagine how I felt, so promised myself I’d never ever be ashamed of my code. So that’s how I got interested in agile practices, and started trying out XP. This is how my journey with agile began.
If you would not have been in IT, what would have become of you?
I like linguist, so perhaps a language scientist. Making google translate less funny and more useful for slavic languages could be fun 😉
What is your biggest challenge and why is it a good thing for you?
Harmonising managing my company, doing real work (training, coaching, coding), spending time with my kids, doing typical chores and still being able to find some time just for myself. And it is good for me – I’ve never been particularly good at managing my time and tasks, and with so many things to do every day, I’m just forced to have everything scheduled. Because of that I’m now much more organized than I used to be.
What drives you ?
Seeing and working with people who care. Here at Pragmatists we managed to build a work-, learning- and self-improving-oriented culture, so it’s relatively easy for me to have a good drive.
What is your biggest achievement?
Certainly my company and how it works. Looking at my colleagues: their enthusiasm, willingness to take responsibility, coming up with improvement ideas. Pragmatists is for me a living proof that agile mindset not only helps create great products, but also generates a great environment to spend time in.
What is the last book you have read?
Just finished The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. A great and inspiring read. Even though my company is not a startup, a lot of the ideas can be directly used or adapted.
What question do you think I should also ask and what is the answer?
Why did it take you over a week to come back with the answers?
Hm, apparently there’s still a long way before me until I really learn how to self-organize and get everything done…
Who do you think I should ask next?
Portia Tung – I met her some 5 years ago and I really liked her approach to teams and work. She was infecting with “do the things you love” idea. I would really like to read her answers.