Friday, June 22, 2018

My friend David

Have you ever wondered how we make friends in life?
And have you noticed most of your friends have something common with you whether its music, sports, sports teams, movies etc. But strangely I have a friend who probably had nothing common between us apart from our bald heads. But well  how common can that be?

David Novick joined our team as a Scrum Master, and due to my past experiences with that particular creed of Agilists (not a Pugilist) and a whole lot of ignorance from me I never really understood Scrum or Scrum
Master(s). The cynic in me thought its the same old Project Manager with a different colored hat & feather. The PMP's in the email footers started vanishing and CSM etc started appearing was my defense for that. And eventually it was the same old micro managing demon eyed monster whom developers like me detest to the core. And to add fuel to my prejudices Voila!! in the first few meetings David was never shy in expressing the fact that we as a team never understood Agile or Scrum. Well we understood it as far as to quote Schwaber and bend them according to our needs but honestly we were deep in our development silo's that we wanted to keep heads down and code. Code for what?? He would ask and we would look at a mundane JIRA board with some tricky texts and numbers.

I was not the one to give up easily, so I would try to debate him with my limited programming and technology background. If you have seen the movie Kungfu Panda, imagine me as this giant lazy panda and David as Shifu the little mouse kicking my ass in every debate. As days went by David started encouraging me to reason with him than emoting my plain hatred for Scrum. And as always
he never ever was shy to express his honest opinion about it. As an ego-maniacal bastard it pushed me to read more and more about Agile. Every coffee break became this tete-a-tete about inner workings of Agile and Scrum. I even started feeling guilty about some of my actions in my previous jobs and how tough it is to become a Scrum Master. Well at least I started realizing how tough it is to become a true Scrum Master. And as Cliched it sounds I started respecting this old man and look forwarded to absorb as much knowledge as I could from him.

Where I come from we say leaders are of 2 kinds "Vaada Nethaavu" and "Podaa Nethaavu". Vaada Nethaavu always leads from the front showing their followers on how to get things done. Kind of the warrior mentality where they are ready to take the bullet on the chest standing in the front of an army. Podaa Nethaavu are leaders who can evoke response from his followers and push them forward. Like the tactical General in a war who plans each and every move ahead and rallies the troops to conquer the enemy. The romantic in me always
looked upto "Vaada Nethaavu" in the world and at work as well. I always worked well with leaders who were ready to fold their sleeves and immersed to get their hands dirty. But the more and more I understand David's wisdom and passion for Agile it made me clear that there needs to be a right mix of Vaada's and Podaa's in a leader. If you only like 1 style of leadership you are misisng a whole another brand of truth. And that is what we all like about in David. He leads from the front teaching us nuances of Scrum, at the same time on occasions stands back and watch us achieve greater heights of collaboration.

What David has done to me personally is beyond my abilities to pen down in a blog. He has influenced me to read more and enjoy work more. Most importantly he has coached me to use my skills in a better way. But at the same time he has shown me how important it is to enjoy life outside work and the need to follow your inner passions. And the best part in all this is that he has influenced a new winning mentality in our group.

From Deepthi, Aarush and our team in 2 Logan we would like to wish David a great sabbatical in
Columbia. Enjoy your break and I won't be surprised to see a video of you doing stand-up with the Medellin Drug Cartel in your dapper suits.

Thank you for your friendship, Sir.
Adios Viejo !!!

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