Thursday, June 13, 2024
HomeSoftware DevelopmentFarewell John Kordyback

Farewell John Kordyback


John Kordyback, a treasured colleague and pal, died final week, aged
64.

As soon as the bus from Denver airport had pulled into the Colorado ski
resort, and I might deposited my luggage in my room, I got down to start the
weekend. It was June, so there was no snow on the slopes, however I wasn’t
right here for the mountains, regardless that I like to hike in them. My consideration
as an alternative was to my colleagues, a pair hundred of which had been there with me
for a North America “awayday” – a weekend gathering of staff of
Thoughtworks. Strolling alongside I used to be quickly hailed by a welcome face in a flat
cap, sitting exterior with a glass of beer as work-in-progress.

I might first met John Kordyback ten years previous to this. I used to be visiting
our new workplace in Calgary and one among my co-worker pals stated “you’re
actually going to love this new rent” and was shortly confirmed appropriate. Whereas
the elders within the firm had been folks simply into their 30’s, John was my
age. Fortunately I found that he additionally shared my humorousness, and
took enjoyment of pleasant banter. Of extra skilled significance, he discovered a lot
that appealed in our embrace of agile software program improvement.

The world of agile software program was very completely different within the early 2000s.
These had been the times when agile concepts about embracing change had been
thought-about irresponsible, when no person thought that actual programmers ought to
be testing their very own software program, and deployment into manufacturing solely finished
a few times a yr (not counting bug-fix emergencies).

After I sat down with my very own glass of beer, agile had grown into
desirability, and many consumers wished of us like John to guide their very own
journey into this fashion of software program improvement. However John had discovered a
notably difficult route, making use of agile methods to legacy
methods, particularly: Mainframes.

Most of my colleagues had been cautious of working in legacy methods. They had been
often pissed off by poor modularity, few automated assessments, and fiddly
deployments. However John acknowledged that these had been known as legacies as a result of
they had been invaluable to their recipients. Daily we carried out
interactions with software program that led, in the end, to transactions on
mainframes. I wished to listen to what he’d discovered and the way he coped with the
challenges.

John was nicely suited to this work as a result of he understood the core
ideas of agile considering, ones that had been usually misplaced in a world of
two-day Scrum masters. He was conscious that the journey from Mainframes to
Steady Supply was one among a thousand small steps. (The title of one among his few convention
talks.) To hold these out he’d discovered a very powerful factor was
to introduce thorough testing, and regularly simplify the trail to
manufacturing.

However a very powerful core precept of agile that John understood was
that agile habits had been based upon people working collectively. When John
went into the mainframe world, he listened to these already there. There
had been a number of of us in mainframe improvement who had been eager to attempt higher
methods, however wanted somebody who, whereas they understood newer methods,
would not inform them easy methods to do issues that would not work, however as an alternative would
would mix with their expertise to find easy methods to enhance mainframe
improvement

John naturally labored this manner as a result of above all issues, he cared
deeply concerning the folks he labored with. When the subject of John has come
up, the factor that all the time dominates our recollections is his kindness. His
humor was infectious, however not merciless. When he confronted opposition, he tried to
perceive the place it got here from, understanding that always folks do unhealthy
issues as a result of they’ve been taught to undergo such conduct the onerous means.
His objective was a lot larger than agile, it was to convey decency and
happiness to folks’s working lives. To create an atmosphere that will
allow to better of us to thrive and multiply these environments.

I have not seen John for a lot too lengthy. Throughout his sickness we frequently
talked on zoom. Simply as he was together with his work issues, he confronted the demon of
most cancers with a optimistic air, even when the information was grim. He had hoped for
a better battle, one that will permit him to work with me to jot down down
his discoveries whereas he was quickly away from his shoppers. Sadly it did not prove
that means, and I am going to now not be capable of search him out
at a gathering. However the reminiscence of his smile and banter won’t ever go away.
That a part of him will stay in our recollections for a few years but.

Martin Fowler : 26 March 2024

John has impressed and influenced many individuals in his profession. Right here a couple of
of them add their ideas on his skilled life.

Joanne Molesky

co-author of “Lean Enterprise”, John’s spouse

My first profession was in well being care. I left that discipline within the early 1990’s as a result of stress of continually working in underfunded situations (to not point out diminishing alternative for work). As I looked for a brand new profession, John inspired me to discover ways to use e mail and train others easy methods to use it. From there, he continuously inspired me to maintain going and decide myself up and transfer on once I stumbled and had doubts that I used to be sensible sufficient and ok to work within the Tech trade. He caught his neck out many occasions by vouching for me in stretch roles that turned obtainable. I’d by no means have been thought-about for them if he hadn’t finished that. He informed me as soon as it wasn’t as a result of we had been married, it was as a result of he knew I might do a extremely good job and I’d not fail. He has a beautiful reward to assist folks see the brighter aspect of life and provides us hope that we will do a very good job regardless of the quite a few limitations that have to be overcome.

Like many people of a sure age who’ve labored in tech, John by no means obtained a proper coaching in software program improvement or administration. His diploma is in Philosophy. He took some stats programs at college. He taught himself easy methods to code, check and perceive methods. Earlier than John began working in Tech, he labored with disabled individuals in group properties. He has quite a lot of compassion for the much less lucky on the earth and would stand as much as bullies when he noticed them behaving badly in the direction of the weak. He talked about that quite than confront and punish, he would use optimistic reinforcement behavioural coaching methods with downside folks at work so they may turn into a productive a part of the group. I feel these years working with disabled folks (significantly underrated and underpaid work) paid off in spades later in his profession.

Ian Robinson

co-author of REST in Observe

Jim Webber and I labored so much with John, in Calgary, over 2007 and 2008. We went from a one-week troubleshooting gig to a big change programme virtually in a single day. I feel John had a tolerant skepticism in the direction of our large concept and broad-strokes consultancy: whereas many people misplaced ourselves for some time in an abstracted, considerably confused, big-picture tackle proceedings, John sought to offer a gentle counterweight, working in his affected person, humble strategy to set up belief and credibility by educating and inspiring good practices within the engineering groups on the bottom.

John understood that software program is a social exercise, and that change is commonly greatest rooted in day-to-day actions and habits, in belief, and will be most enduring when it emerges from the bottom up. He led by doing, by being candid about experiments and errors, by creating house for younger, upstart concepts and enthusiasms, and by having enjoyable.

When it comes to impression on my profession, I feel there was a sensible impression then, and an affect now, as I proceed to work out how I’d stay a major skilled life. Someday within the early 2010s, I assumed I wished a “identify” for myself in our trade. Someday later, I noticed I didn’t. I’d had mayfly ambitions: John’s lengthy profession confirms for me now {that a} important skilled life just isn’t a once-and-done affair. Each engagement is at first an engagement with a recent group of distinctive individuals. Success, belief and respect don’t simply roll over from one engagement to a different – each interplay begins afresh to construct at this time’s means of working collectively. There must be a powerful core of compassion and openness, of here-and-nowness, for somebody to keep up that capability to construct group foundations time and again, over a few years – and John had that core.

In addition to our software program pursuits, we shared a variety of touchpoints round British comedy and science fiction, and we laughed so much – principally at ourselves, which I feel is the kindest laughter. I feel that characterises John’s skilled life: an effortlessly inclusive interaction of concepts and actions carried out with a light-weight contact of endurance and humor – he was a humble however vastly influential instructor, chief and pal.

Sharlene McKinnon

This memorial was each simple and onerous to jot down. It’s simple as a result of John had such an enduring impression on my profession, and it’s simple to tease that impression out of all of the silliness that we cope with as consultants. It’s onerous as a result of it feels so mistaken to be saying goodbye. It’s far too quickly.

John is a storyteller, and he has a means of utilizing tales to attach and convey out the most effective in folks. I bear in mind assembly him in 2008. I went to a consumer web site on my first day at Thoughtworks, and I used to be so inexperienced. I apprehensive that I’d mess up as a result of I didn’t know “Agile.”

I ended up on his group and the very first thing he stated is, “Don’t fear about that stuff. A very powerful factor is to get folks speaking to one another.” And, that’s what we did. We spent months simply specializing in strengthening the human connections whereas adjustments in know-how swirled round us at a blistering tempo.

What strikes me is that I bear in mind the human parts from that point—the laughter, John’s tales, his knowledge and real need to assist. And I’ve forgotten the tech and venture particulars, as a result of they weren’t that essential. Know-how is fleeting and like a high-speed prepare that strikes at an unmanageable tempo. It was the conversations and connections that we had on that prepare that glued us collectively and made the journey memorable.

One of many issues that John used to say to me was, “That particular person is caught within the weeds. Go assist them see the forest.” I’ve constructed a profession out of serving to folks get out of the weeds. This was one thing that John acknowledged and fostered in me in these early years (I didn’t see it). I really feel blessed to have identified him.

picture: Suzi Edwards-Alexander

Steven Deobald

It’s been over a decade since I labored with John, and I don’t have any particular anecdotes to share. Nevertheless, I did need to describe the best way wherein he dealt with a (typically troublesome) group. He was not the type of one who would both dominate conversations and current himself because the authoritative chief of the group, nor was he the type of one who would sneakily “seek the advice of” his strategy to the best conclusion.

As an alternative, John simply spoke clearly and actually. A standup with John was all the time a type of palate cleanser, irrespective of how troublesome yesterday had been. His sense of humour was usually the key sauce that helped a group gel.

He was a really pure mentor and chief, in that he would largely stand apart and let folks develop on their very own. As an alternative of pushing or pulling, he would calmly step in — like an skilled gardener — to information and shield the youngest amongst us as we discovered what the heck it was we had been actually doing. Generally this steering was technical and inner, typically it was political and client-facing. Generally it was only a hug when somebody clearly wanted one.

On a for much longer timescale, John’s mentorship meant educating others to be mentors. Not by teaching or operating seminars, however by his personal instance. Sadly, a big a part of what I loved a lot about working with John is ineffable. However everybody who had the privilege of working with him has absolutely felt it.

Mike Jones

My very first introduction to “QB” (a nick-name for John) was previous to my TW employment. I used to be an integration developer co-located with a TW group. At one level throughout my very first day on the venture, QB jumped out of his chair, yelled ‘Dopio’ and walked out of the room. I had no concept what was occurring however then all the TW group additionally popped up and walked out of the room. I used to be caught off guard however they motioned to me to hitch them and I shortly found that ‘Dopio’ (double espresso) was QB’s favourite drink at Starbucks. Proclaiming ‘Dopio’ was QB’s cryptic means of claiming ‘Come on group, let’s go for espresso’. That could be a very fond reminiscence of mine.

James Pickett

John and I labored carefully collectively in 2018 by means of early 2020. Throughout that point, I feel John and I had extra meals collectively than I did with my household! After I joined Thoughtworks in 2017, I used to be each a lateral rent and an individual with abilities/expertise that had been “non-core” to Tw on the time. I rely John as one among a handful of Thoughtworkers that actually helped me discover a strategy to have an effect for our shoppers and the corporate. We additionally had so many conversations about so many subjects past Thoughworks (household, youngsters, tech trade, and all issues Canada!). Relaxation in peace John. We’ll miss you, and we’re all higher for figuring out you!

Evan Bottcher

John was a presence in Thoughtworks from the time I joined in 2006, a kind of voices within the noise inside our mailing listing, who when he spoke up you listened to what he needed to say, as you could possibly inform it was reasoning from a large expertise base and a excessive mind. I inherited him as one of many “elders” one among whom I felt that I turned later in my time at Thoughtworks.

I feel the factor I’d spotlight was his expertise in working with groups making use of agile strategies to mainframe improvement, together with check pushed improvement. I do know for a number of years afterwards I’d join John with Thoughtworks groups all around the world after they would stumble upon this bizarre world of mainframe and wanted somebody to assist in giving them the ‘Rosetta stone’ to have good conversations and affect with them. John would graciously take the calls and supply that bridge to a special period of improvement.

Aleksandar Serafimoski

John was a tremendous pal, mentor and a tremendous human being. He all the time cared about folks, and means out of his strategy to really feel folks heard, acknowledged and really feel as a part of the group. His information and expertise with legacy modernization and testing has been invaluable. He was all the time keen to share his perspective and to assist folks after they had been struggling. I’ll undoubtedly miss him at TW and in life! Relaxation in peace John.

picture: Kelly Cronin

Angela Ferguson

I had absolutely the privilege of counting John and Joanne pals since they had been right here on project in Melbourne. One of many issues that actually stands out to me about John is his capability to actually really feel the enjoyment in (virtually) any state of affairs and to need to share that pleasure with others, whereas concurrently not hesitating on calling bullshit when it must be known as. His need to take colleagues alongside on his skilled journey, to champion for them and to assist them to additionally see the enjoyment in working with nice folks was sensible. Though I’ve solely seen him sporadically prior to now years – and I really feel very fortunate to have been capable of see him this previous September – I, like many others, will miss having him right here.

Brandon Byars

writer of Testing Microservices with Mountebank

All people wants a mentor after they transfer right into a stretch function. The primary time I took on a management place at scale, I used to be lucky to have John Kordyback mentor me. He taught me to “lean in” to issues quite than run or cover from them. He taught me the significance of strolling the halls and speaking to folks, as a result of working at scale meant constructing and relying in your community to get issues finished. He taught me to snort on the day by day tribulations quite than turn into burdened by them. He helped me assume not nearly know-how, however easy methods to implement know-how by means of folks, and easy methods to keep resilient when the challenges felt overwhelming. John did excess of assist me turn into a greater technologist and a greater chief; he helped me turn into a greater particular person.

Stefania Stefansdottir

I had the fortune to very briefly meet and work with John in 2020 at
Thoughtworks. John was an individual that by some means managed to go away such a
optimistic impression on the folks round him. How he approached
structure and software program supply tied to legacy methods was by some means
so tied to empathy for the folks working with it and understanding
the worth of the system that it nonetheless stays with me 4 years later and
has influenced how I work together and work each with legacy methods and
shoppers.

Martin Andersen

After I met John I used to be working within the Calgary workplace, which on the time was the epitome of TW’s “like school however with cash” slogan – we had been all younger, it was considerably unhinged, and it was a variety of enjoyable. At some point I heard there was some pleasure that we’d managed to rent this senior man from TransCanada, older and extra skilled. I might see the worth in that, however to be sincere I actually wasn’t wanting ahead to it. I felt just like the temper would shift, get extra critical and boring. In fact as soon as he arrived it didn’t take lengthy to appreciate this wasn’t the case. John was all the time an extremely youthful particular person. He was enthusiastic and curious and all the time stuffed with vitality. And he beloved each the issues most crucial to make this trade work its greatest: know-how and folks.

I used to be all the time impressed by his capability to stay fascinated by and focussed on detailed technical issues. Lots of people age out of this as they shift or drift extra into management and administration, however John all the time wished to be near the metallic. And whereas it’s not unusual for folks to need to stay concerned, in an trade all the time altering as quick as this has, so many don’t sustain. However John did. He by no means uninterested in studying, and you could possibly all the time see clearly his pleasure about no matter it was he was pursuing.

I used to be extra impressed, although, together with his curiosity in and give attention to others. If you had been with John he was with you. He was and engaged. He had a wry, playful sense of humour. May very well be critical as wanted, however would all the time quite be smiling, which he often was. In every single place he went he made pals and put folks comfortable. He’d land at a consumer web site and have all of it mapped out earlier than you knew it, joking round with VPs and junior devs alike. Some folks make forging these enterprise relationships seem to be work, transactional, however I by no means bought that sense with John. It felt like he actually did simply get pleasure from making connections. Actually, he had the identical enthusiasm and curiousity concerning the folks he labored with as he did concerning the issues he labored on. He made all of it appear enjoyable. Greater than that, he made it really enjoyable. It nonetheless makes me snort that I ever thought he could be some gray stultifying presence. I’m glad I had the possibility to spend as a few years round him as I did. I’ll miss him.

Ranbir Chawla

SVP Engineering, RB World

I met John throughout a Undertaking Discovery whereas I used to be working at Thoughtworks, and I used to be instantly impressed together with his capability to take heed to the shoppers, ask perceptive questions and attain a fast understanding of the deeper below-the-surface points at hand. John all the time displayed a deep empathy for folks, and on the identical time a really sensible mindset that helped us all see how we might break down a big downside, perceive the human features and the way they intertwined with know-how issues. He was a incredible communicator, capable of break down a fancy resolution into one thing very comprehensible by the viewers he was with. He and I used to joke that one of the simplest ways to be sure you understood an issue was to clarify it to your mom first, and if she get’s it, nicely then you have to perceive it as nicely; so now you might be outfitted to assist take your shoppers on a journey to their finish targets with out dropping them in some deeply technical presentation or planning cycle.

With that stage of practicality and communication John and I had been capable of companion with our consumer leaders to point out the worth of small-batch work, frequent deliveries of software program to their product groups (weekly vs. quarterly to start out) and in the long run modified throughout the group how software program was delivered, dragging their different consulting companies into the method. All of the whereas John stored smiling, joking, and taking folks on that journey in his personal particular means.

Most of all, John made that fixed on the highway time away from house enjoyable and cozy. I’ll treasure the easy dinners on the native Indian restaurant in Spring Texas, or burgers on the native bar and grill he beloved that we named The Kordy Shack. His humour, empathy, and talent to climate no matter storm hit us left an timeless impression in my soul. As an older man solely 3 years youthful than John, I nonetheless would inform him “Sometime I’ll develop as much as be identical to you sir 😊”.

picture: Aleksandar Serafimoski

Vanessa Towers

I first labored on the identical account as John in 2013 after which afterward in 2020. John was a standout in each situations, shortly incomes a powerful fame as a technical chief, modernization guru and all-round type hearted human. John’s humor bought everybody by means of probably the most difficult occasions throughout bold consumer engagements. John’s dedication to our shoppers was second to none, engaged on a distributed account at scale from the US West Coast meant John and I’d usually begin our working day at 5am, with John sometimes taking cost of driving essential conferences and dealing classes presently, with a number of cups of espresso wanted to maintain us going by means of the early hours. John’s dedication to rising the subsequent technology of Thoughtworks leaders was an unbelievable reward to these round him. John was an inspiring colleague, pal, gardener, cook dinner, father and devoted husband to Joanne. He might be significantly missed by his pals and colleagues at Thoughtworks.

Miguel Enriquez

Principal Software program Engineer at Subsequent Knowledge

Like many others, I met John at work throughout very troublesome occasions each private
and professionally. Like many technologists I knew from that point, I used to be very
obsessed with a number of subjects however John all the time had these pearls of knowledge to
share with me concerning know-how, management and, extra importantly, private
relationships.

I all the time puzzled why he all the time would transfer between conferences with executives to
our little struggle room downstairs with a smile that was contagious. Everybody was
virtually smiling and laughing every time we noticed him stroll the hallways. I slowly
realized, by means of conversations that I bear in mind fondly, that he was a superb
human being and he cemented this with nice talks about tech, clever banter, nice
e-book suggestions, a shared love for cats, and particularly a contagious sense
of humor. I’m at a lack of phrases about all good the issues he was and I’ll
bear in mind him fondly, smiling all the best way, as a mentor and fellow technologist.

Patrick Kua

Founding father of the Tech Lead Academy

John confirmed me early in my profession what on a regular basis management appeared like. I first noticed his identify on inner mailing lists. His contributions all the time felt well-balanced and considerate, contrasting with a few of the heated debates on a software program improvement listing. When he posted, his phrases appeared to maneuver folks, and folks actually listened to him.

I understood this extra whereas engaged on an project in Canada. We labored on the identical consumer, albeit on completely different initiatives, so I lastly bought to place a face to the identify. Though we labored on completely different initiatives, we sat in the identical cubicle space. I bear in mind he would all the time greet me on arrival, say goodbye earlier than leaving, and, regardless of his difficult venture, all the time had a smile or a joke to share. Extra importantly, I found I might all the time flip round and ask for enter when not sure about something. He all the time made time to rigorously pay attention and noticeably pause and assume earlier than responding.

In management circles, you usually hear the saying, “On the finish of the day, folks received’t bear in mind what you stated or did; they are going to bear in mind the way you made them really feel.” John made everybody really feel listened to. Since you felt listened to, you additionally listened to John when he stated one thing. Though my venture solely lasted a couple of months, his role-modelling underscored how everybody can present management with out being a proper chief.

Amit Uttam

Earlier than becoming a member of Thoughtworks full-time, I had the great fortune of being a part of a group that had introduced in Thoughtworks for what was speculated to be a short “consulting and technical” steering engagement. Simply prior, I bear in mind feeling quite drained from continuously being pulled into non-technical areas of group and enterprise administration, whereas nonetheless attempting to maintain my ever-fading technical embers alive and stoked.

It was in that transient engagement that I met John Kordyback, and he confirmed me that it was alright to be wizened, quirky, politely irreverent and unapologetically technical. I finally turned John’s colleague and teammate at Thoughtworks Calgary, and I can say with full confidence that a few of my most essential profession selections and trajectory forks are laced with a little bit of his particular salt.

I’m a greater particular person for having identified John, my pal.

Chirag Lakhani

I contemplate myself extremely lucky to have had the chance to collaborate and work carefully with John on current venture collectively. Our in-person interactions throughout a current venture had been invaluable, as John proved to be not solely an distinctive group member but in addition a mentor and coach to me. His steering on main classes and public talking was notably enlightening. John’s insights remodeled how we approached consumer issues, urging us to assume exterior the field and embrace risk-taking and speedy iteration. Outdoors of labor, our conversations over dinners supplied glimpses into his passions and his love for his household. He was eagerly awaiting the arrival of his long-awaited bike, ordered amidst the challenges of the Covid period. He wished to get pleasure from his bike rides throughout his sabbatical. Even throughout his sickness, John’s resilience shone by means of. Our Zoom conversations had been all the time crammed together with his unwavering positivity, and he took delight within the medical care he obtained. Regardless of dealing with powerful days, he made time for us. We performed New York occasions puzzles (Wordle & Connections) on a regular basis and his aggressive spirit thrived. We beloved sharing scores day-after-day with one another on our non-public Wordle channel. The current absence of his scores in our Wordle channel serves as a poignant reminder that issues won’t ever be fairly the identical with out him.

Relaxation in peace, John. Your presence is sorely missed.

Blanca Lopez

I bought the chance to collaborate with John after I got here again from maternity go away. I used to be overwhelmed by this new stage in my life as I used to be looking for stability between skilled life and my new function as a mother. Kordyback was not solely a terrific colleague who helped me discover my means again to work, he was a tremendous human being who additionally shared parental ideas, beer and meals suggestions.

He was a pure chief with excessive values, a form smile, dad jokes in his pocket and an ideal strategy to discover alternatives to share his admiration for Joanne.

Kelly Cronin

I solely labored on one venture with John, about 3 years into my tenure at TW, however he and the actual foxhole we had been in there left an enduring impression on me. My first assembly with him was, delightfully, within the bar colloquially identified account-wide because the Kordy Shack, the place he grinned a welcome at me, handed over a menu he didn’t want, and made a couple of suggestions, ones which I used to be silly sufficient to not take.

Over the subsequent few months, as a “pre-technical” addition to a really technical technique group, I made an insane pest of myself badgering everybody for particulars on the whys, to be able to perceive, and assist inform the story of, what we had been doing there. Anybody coming into our communal convention room in between grueling consumer conferences was instantly waylaid and set to narrating my more and more unreadable whiteboard diagrams. However John had a present for rationalization, even when explaining to somebody as hard-headed and pre-technical as me; a present he’d honed through lengthy years of seeing round corners for his shoppers when all they may see was a legacy spaghetti diagram; for serving to them discover a aspect door out of the technical corners they’d painted themselves into.

He had unbelievable endurance for that type of dialog. He gave me diagrams explaining some primary information precepts and defined a few of the steps the consumer was going to need to take alongside the best way to the transformation they wished; then gave me the fact of what they had been more likely to do after they ran out of time and money, and the place that will seemingly land them. He helped me fill in a giant hole in my understanding of knowledge platforms broadly. I won’t ever discover ways to pay attention like John, however I definitely discovered I ought to pay attention to him. I won’t have had the abilities to acknowledge how deeply his information really rooted, however even I might inform the person was seeing the forests, the timber, and all of the leaves and bugs and sub-bark phloem and xylem that stored the entire rattling factor alive.

That is to say nothing of his dry Canadian wit, his willingness to be foolish, his abiding love of an absurd headline or a very good dad joke, and his utter graciousness within the face of this unfair, infuriating analysis and sickness. To have such a person be lower brief is definitely tragic; for him to be praising his success on the best way out, for the therapy he obtained and the assist of his household and pals, and the care of his medical group, and the life he bought to guide up till…. that’s to his core the person that he was: following hope the place it led down an arduous path, then gracefully bidding hope adieu to stroll the remainder of the best way with realism and peace. We who knew him had been fortunate; and we might be fortunate to face what he did as he did, with vulnerability, equanimity, and look after these he left behind. It was one more hole in my information that he crammed for me, and I really like him for it.

Michelle D’Souza

John and I labored collectively in 2008 for plenty of years on my very first account at Thoughtworks. It was a big and nebulous account and more often than not I felt I didn’t know what I used to be doing. However John, together with his large and reassuring smile (the factor I’ll miss probably the most about him), made me really feel like I used to be able to something.

He was a powerful believer in recognizing an individual’s strengths and amplifying these. He was one of many first few folks to point out me the significance of the human aspect of know-how. Regardless of how busy he was, he incessantly popped by our cubicles to share a random bicycling story or to speak about consumer technique or the brand new hotness in tech.

He was a mentor not simply to me however to anybody who was keen to pay attention. He might be dearly missed…..

Nick Thorpe

The primary time I met John Kordyback, he swept right into a consumer we had been working at. It was my first job, and I used to be nervy. I requested him what he was doing there. He pointed on the sky, and stated “Air Cowl”. I had no concept what he meant, however as we turned pals, I got here to grasp it meant “influencing folks many ranges up from what you see out of your vantage level”.

John was all the time involved about folks, however he by no means purchased into bullshit. Afterward, we had been speaking about how a few of our colleagues had been deriding the venture as “waterfall”. I had no concept what to say to that, as a result of it was true! He put his hand on his mouth in mock horror, after which got here that wolfish Kordyback grin. “Inform ‘em to recover from it”. He stated.

Christopher Hastings

I met John on one among my earliest TW initiatives. He was type and heat, but in addition had a tremendous perspective on what was essential. As a current rent, I used to be nonetheless attempting to kind by means of easy methods to strategy working with shoppers, and John was all the time a gentle hand to give attention to what was essential. He was type to swap tales of carpentry and different initiatives, as nicely. He’s already missed.

Lejo Varughese

John was a guiding gentle in my private {and professional} journey. As a mentor, he performed the function of the clever ‘grownup’ throughout essential phases of my profession, providing steering, and a gentle hand by means of life’s ups and downs. His kindness, knowledge, and dedication will proceed to encourage and information me as I navigate the trail forward. Relaxation in peace, pricey pal and mentor.

Jez Humble

co-author, Steady Supply, Lean Enterprise, The DevOps Handbook, Speed up

John was an exceptionally skilled and skillful chief and problem-solver who efficiently guided groups and initiatives to success in probably the most advanced and ambiguous conditions. I bought to know him due to his work serving to a group at a big insurance coverage firm implement steady supply practices on mainframes. You possibly can see the superb discuss he gave on this subject at a convention I organized in 2013. I should have proven excerpts from this discuss over 100 occasions through the years.

What actually made John a particular particular person for me was not simply what he did, however how he did it. He mixed being tremendously laid again with caring a terrific deal for the folks round him. He would all the time lead with a giant hug and checking in on everybody, and softly throw in some zingers to spice issues up. He made everybody round him really feel like their perspective had been invaluable, and that they had been cared for. His deep apply of empathy and loving-kindness was no less than as essential as his technical ability in making the folks he labored with profitable, and I discovered a terrific deal from his instance. I’ll miss him very a lot.

David Robinson

I had the privilege to work with John Kordyback on 3 events throughout my tenure at Thoughtworks. I’m a greater human and a greater guide due to him. I aspire to be the type of Thoughtworkers he was. His humility and kindness made a optimistic impression on his colleagues, pals, and shoppers. I actually appreciated his relaxed perspective, even when issues bought “fascinating”. I’ll miss him

Tom Clement Oketch

I had the wonderful privilege of working with John extensively at a consumer in Houston from 2018 to 2019. His information of enterprise structure, testing in all its types, mainframes, and legacy modernization was unmatched. His capability to command respect and restore calm to chaos in a room stuffed with executives was magical. Nevertheless maybe my favourite trait of his was the endurance and empathy with which he handled everybody round him.

It’s not usually that somebody as sensible and excellent as him can be keen to put apart their lofty accomplishments to have deeply impacting conversations about the whole lot from work and profession, to household and the goofiness of American versus Canadian tradition, to random conversations concerning the wonderful photographs he had taken of his cat. I learnt so much from John, and for that I’m deeply grateful.

Relaxation in peace, type pal.

Ben Escudero

I’ve nothing however fond recollections of John’s prolonged tour of Australia that go nicely past studying about how watching ice hockey will be thought-about a marital exercise in Canada. All the time keen to inject his rascally humour and a depraved smile into an interplay, John introduced a deep sense of humanity and social connection to all of his technical engagements.

If John was on the group, you all the time knew that each single member of that group would have him searching for them, supporting them, encouraging them to think about a special perspective to the state of affairs at hand. This went means past being beneficiant together with his time, John merely embraced the concept that offering pastoral care was in step with the years of expertise that he introduced to each interplay.

Listening to John specific his timeless love for his gal, often within the presence of stated gal, was a lesson within the energy of vulnerability, of the enjoyment of being in love, and the significance of expressing gratitude for all that life has to supply. John helped form and information many technologists who had been lucky sufficient to have had his assist on the powerful issues that wanted to be solved. His considerate, loving care for everybody inside his orbit stays with me even after a decade of our final venture collectively, and by gosh I really like that fella for it.

Jonathan Kohl

I met John over twenty years in the past once I was in my first company IT atmosphere as a software program tester. John had been requested to check out my work, and supply steering and suggestions as wanted. I used to be a child operating with scissors writing Ruby scripts for check automation, and management felt that it would assist to have an grownup within the room. I used to be nervous once I confirmed John what I had been engaged on. My code solved the issues I wanted it to unravel, however it was easy. I used to be additionally utilizing a precursor to what turned the Watir automation device, and he was enthusiastic when he noticed what I used to be doing. Not solely did he praise my work and stated type issues concerning the code I felt so self-conscious about, he had all types of nice concepts for enchancment. He helped me promote my concepts to the remainder of the group, and was so optimistic about nicely, nearly the whole lot.

At some point, I used to be upset and John got here by to see how I used to be doing. I had been requested to digitize an data radiator that I’d created, however the stipulation was that I needed to create it in Excel. After I fumed to John that it was not possible to create the reporting dashboard we required in Excel, he stated: “You are able to do something with Excel for those who actually need to.” He was proper, and he taught me easy methods to make API calls and soar by means of all types of hoops and awkwardness in Excel to unravel the issue. It labored, and the managers I labored with had been happy. Through the years, he would convey it up, grinning, with a gleam in his eye. “I informed you, you can also make Excel do something, even for those who shouldn’t.”

John felt that there was extra to discover than having a sober second have a look at my automation work, so as an alternative of him reviewing and advising, we began to actively work collectively. We began pairing to see how testers and builders might collaborate on Take a look at Pushed Growth for software program initiatives. We discovered the most effective areas for a software program tester to contribute, and we additionally discovered a variety of practicalities about having two folks with completely different ability units pair programming collectively. That wasn’t sufficient although, John wished me to study and personal TDD myself, so from then on, we might pair and I discovered easy methods to write check instruments utilizing TDD, one check at a time. After I moved on to turn into an impartial guide, these hours spent with John actually paid off. I had important expertise, a greater command of vital instruments, and the affect of his optimistic perspective and unflappable presence, irrespective of how chaotic the atmosphere was. I used to be additionally capable of write articles and converse at conferences on subjects we had skilled collectively, all as a result of a form and beneficiant man noticed one thing in a brash child, and frolicked educating and inspiring me.

Except for the technical aspect of his affect, what I’ll bear in mind probably the most is John the particular person. After I moved on and we didn’t work collectively anymore, we nonetheless stayed in contact. He was a incredible particular person to bounce concepts off of, or to ask recommendation once I skilled troublesome conditions as a guide. If my concept was half baked, he’d let me know, however it was all the time a optimistic expertise. John would additionally problem my concepts, and information me in the direction of different views, all with out me feeling challenged or interfered with. Later, once I was on the highway myself, I appeared ahead to our paths crossing if we occurred to be in the identical place on the identical time. Assembly John like this meant I used to be in for a night of fine meals, nice dialog, sharing struggle tales, heaps and plenty of laughter, and luxury.

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