Profiles in software: Better than I dreamed
A quick thank you to the group of folks that helped me with this little project
When I created this newsletter I fully intended for it to be an outlet for writing about software development, the complexities we face, the toll it sometimes takes on each of us, and most importantly how things can be improved. This newsletter is an additonal place to talk about healthy software development, and my coaching service for developers. But then, I went through old drafts of blog posts I had and found one that described a passion project: Interview software developers in the same way Rolling Stone interviews musicians.
I challenged myself to add this old blog post to my newsletter and give it a shot. I imagined nothing would come from it, because let’s be honest, I’m just another newsletter in a massive galaxy of social media stars. No followers or subscribers yet, but what could it hurt? I believed I could find just one person a month to let me write about them.
It worked! I created a list of people that I wanted to do profiles on and simply asked them if they’d be interested. I imagined no one would be, but amazingly I was wrong!
For their part, I admit I’m surprised. I was rejected by hundreds of people. In fact the first month I nearly gave up on the idea because I didn’t believe I’d get anyone to give me the time. I know who I am, and I don’t know how I would respond to a request for an interview from yet another random white guy on the internet. But this group of people gave me a chance and for that I’m deeply grateful.
To say that I’m humbled is an understatement. And in so many ways I want to improve my writing (it’s only after you hit publish you realize how much). So I don’t consider this a victory lap, rather it’s an excellent first mile.
I want to thank Charity Majors, Kelsey Hightower, Tim Jarratt, Tim Banks, and Brian LeRoux. These people gave me an hour of their time, in what must have appeared to them as this weird thing named Attainable. Obviously these profiles were wonderful stories for me to write, but to them it must have felt a little awkward. Let alone their time, they trusted me with my writing. Thank you all for giving me a chance!
Charity is a person I follow because I find her ideas and philosophies valuable. Her thoughts resonates with me, and she’s given me tons to think about. She occaisionaly writes on her own blog, and I’ve found really great thoughts there.
Kelsey is the best of all worlds. He is a massive talent and widely respected, and yet he holds such grace for others and makes us feel as though we all could be as good as he is.
Tim is a friend of mine, and while I wanted to do profiles on people outside of my own circle, he was on the list from the beginning. He is one of the best people I’ve worked with that is unbounded technically, and equally skilled in the arts of empathy and honesty. Truly inspiring.
This profile was intimidating! I follow Tim on Twitter and in all the best ways he seemed to me to be strong, forthright, and not-to-be-fucked-with. And none of that had to do with he being a champion Jiu-Jitsu practicioner! I really enjoyed talking with Tim and found a person that I would love to have as a coach myself!
Fun fact: Brian and I met IRL once, so while we’re not in-person friends, he says we’re “twitter friends!” I’ve always wanted to talk to Brian and this was a treat. This profile was the first that made me consider doing series on individuals, because Brian’s history with PhoneGap is a story I would love to hear.
I’m not done!
I don’t have anyone lined up for November or December, however, I’m not stopping. While I have yet to get the credibility that makes it easier for people to participate, I do want to keep going and one day do this full-time.
This project has reinvigorated an old desire of mine to be a writer. In full transparency, I have so much to improve on technically. But I’m also terribly proud of what I’ve done. I stayed consistent, challenged my fears and kept typing.
I’m going to start the new year fresh and continue asking folks in the industry that have a story to tell, and that are inspiring to the rest of us, and most importantly have experience and advice that we should all read about.
A deep heartfelt thank you to these folks for allowing me to profile them. These are treasures to me, and I hope I get the chance to do more.