“Always be the worst guy in every band you’re in. – so you can learn. The people around you affect your performance. Choose your crowd wisely.”
― Chad Fowler, The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development
I came to Enspiral in March this year. When I first met JV I told him that I wanted to come to an environment where I could sharpen up my programming skills and learn from people better than me.
It did not take long. Pretty soon Joshua, Allan, Will and I conducted our own kind of ‘Skunk Works’. It went like this: We travelled to a secluded kiwi bach in the Nelson Lakes for 2 weeks and we laid the foundations of Bucky Box on our laptops and external monitors around a fireplace. It was almost nerd-mas but colder. (Almost) every morning we would get up and drag our pasty white (and brown) legs on an idyllic lakeside run. We spent the rest of the time scheming, coding and photoshopping interrupted by cooking, eating and sleeping.
Joshua schooled me with a seasoned introduction to Rails and RSpec. Allan, our host, jockeyed Will’s impassioned designs into HAML and CSS in between his smoking cigarettes, drinking whiskey and talking about MacVIM. I think you call that Agile.
After Skunkworks I spent 6 or so weeks working on another Rails project for Wellington web design company Passionfruit. Ezra did the overall design, articulated it to me, and I built the backend and basic view templates for him to style. That was fun because by this stage I felt like I knew my software stack inside out. I was now flying in Rails and BDD.
This week I’ve been sharing what I’ve learned. Enspiral has been meeting with some friends of mine involved in Occupy Wellington. We’ve working together to build a decision making tool that can meet the needs of both of our groups. It’s going to be called Tautoko, and we’re using the development of it as an opportunity to share development practices.
We’ve gone for the name ‘The Dungeon Sessions’- Julian, Alex, Jon and I sat in the back server room with the lights off because they were flickering. I setup screen sharing and Skype so that Allan, another Alex and Chris could join us from around the country. In just under 2 hours I rushed through our setup and almost completed the first ticket. I really enjoyed it, and we have another Dungeon Session planned for next week.
There’s lots more to talk about but I’m tired, and I need to get back to ranting about John Key on Facebook.
Thanks for reading!
P.s. I’m told Allan is now 3 weeks smoke free, making him Goalpost’s first successful beta tester. Yay!