July 15, 2008

...Learn TDD with Codemanship

Au Revoir, BBC. It's Been Great.

So today is my final regular day working with the good folk of BBC Worldwide, and as well as tying up a few loose ends - I find it's always a good idea to keep the final day or two of a gig free for loose ends - I'm also turning my mind to the dark road ahead and what the future might hold.

I have some outstanding client commitments to take care of this summer, and then - well, who knows? (I'm available for consulting and coaching, by the way - as well as weddings and Barmitzvahs.)

The 10 months I've spent at the BBC have been the most rewarding of my career. I'm probably as much transformed - especially in my values and my outlook - as they appear to be by the whole experience. I've always cared about software development, but now I think I care even more. And I especially care about helping people enter this great profession, and in encouraging those already in it to care as much as I do and to get actively involved in the wider software development community.

Whichever beach I wash up on next - and let's hope no well-meaning Greenpeace types try to drag me back out to sea - I know my focus will be on the underlying culture and on the people who do the actual work and the managers who support them. As a well-known war criminal once promised us: Education. Education. Education. But it's a different kind of education, and for that I have BBC Worldwide to thank.

I finally understand now that I'm not here to teach anybody anything. I'm hear to encourage them to learn and to share their knowledge. Lasting change comes from within, and as external consultants we must realise that no amount of training, coaching, bullying or pandering will ultimately lead to lasting progress. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink...

Maybe I'm being naive. Maybe my judgement is clouded by the fact that I like these folks so much. But I'm quietly confident about the future of software development at Worldwide. I think if it's going to happen anywhere, it's going to happen here.

Hopefully our relationship will continue in the background. There are some shared goals and some ongoing activities I'm sure we'll collaborate on. And I hope I'll get the chance to pop in and do a bit of rabble rousing from time to time, too. Whatever happens, I'll be keeping a very close eye on how things develop.

That said, it only remains for me to publicly thank everybody at BBC Worldwide for a fantastic 10 months. It would be wrong to try to name everybody, as I'm bound to accidentally leave people out. But I would like to especially thank Peter Camfield - my alter ego at Worldwide - and Gareth Charles, the guv'nor in development, for having a great vision and the nerve to support what we've been doing, even when I was really pissing him off. I'd also like to thank Kerry Jones for helping to bridge the gap between the developer communities in Worldwide and in BBC corporate. I hope that spirit of sharing and collaboration will grow. Certainly, there's much to offer from both sides.

I'd also like to thank Tamsyn Courtenay, without whom a whole bunch of stuff wouldn't have actually physically happened. It makes a massive difference when you have someone to find rooms, book refreshments, sort out projectors and do all that sort of stuff that - trivial as it may seem - can tie even the most organised consultants up for days at a time!

As for the rest of them - well, they know I love them all. Even the project managers! (But don't tell them I said that...)

Onwards and upwards!

Posted 9 years, 11 months ago on July 15, 2008