Seren yr Wythnos #8
Language learning is my thing - I never expected to have anything to do with any kind of software development.
So when Ifan decided bravely to come on board with us because it had turned out that the only way to build the kind of courses I wanted us to build was to develop our own piece of software, we had an interesting combination.
Ifan had never worked as a frontline developer before - he'd been a sysadmin who loved coding - and I had never tried to manage a software project.
Two things saved us from the inevitable 'Oh-my-God-it's-all-going-up-in-flames' scenario...
One was the fact that Ifan and I were friends who both cared hugely about making SSiW a success.
The other was Kev.
Kev, you see, is an actual software manager - a coder used to managing other coders - and from the very beginning he could see that Ifan and I were going to have a struggle on our plates to make the project work.
So he basically started coaching me - spending serious time in our Slack chat channel and telling me stuff about software development. You know, the kind of career development stuff that would usually cost tens of thousands of pounds... He's also been a brilliant sounding board any time we've needed to talk through technical decisions - and he's ridden to the rescue in very practical terms on a number of occasions when the website has decided to explode while Ifan is asleep/in a different timezone/both of the above...
I can't really begin to tell you how much I've learnt from Kev. I'm far, far better now at knowing what is most difficult for coders, what helps them, what hinders them (and I hope Ifan has seen the difference in our work!).
I'll never forget Kev telling me at one point, in his inimitably dry way, that it might be helpful for me to understand that I was essentially asking Ifan to do something that was somewhere between phenomenally difficult and straightforwardly impossible...
Oh, and in the meantime, Kev's turned himself into a Welsh speaker, survived two Bootcamps with his catchphrase 'But I can't speak Welsh' (in Welsh, of course), been an incredibly caring and supportive and thoughtful moderator of the forum, and (perhaps most lovely of all) introduced us to Cath...
Ladies and gentlemen, please doff your hats in the general direction of Kev - without whom there is a very real chance the SSiBorg would have died in infancy.
Diolch o galon i ti, Kev!
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Seren yr Wythnos #8