Over the past year or two – through attending local user groups, regional conferences, and starting to use Twitter – I have enjoyed increasing my social network and expanding the IT community in my world. I’ve met some amasingly smart and fun people that I’m glad to know. And Twitter helps me keep in touch with these folks in ways never possible before.
It’s time to give a little bit back to the community. Inspired by Jeff Blankenburg’s blog post: Celebrate Contribupendence Day! encouraging people to write recommendations for 5 people. So that’s what I’ve done. I’ve been pretty busy with the new job, summer & life in general, so I’m getting this out there a couple months later than anticipated. But better late than never!
Here’s the collection of my 5 Linked-In recommendations:
Even though Mike was a fairly recent college graduate when I worked with him, he far exceeds the technical competence I would expect from other developers at his level of experience. He not only does well at his work, he also takes the time to help out others with, and learn things within his areas of expertise. Mike does a good job understanding and following the methodologies used by the team, and stepped up when asked to lead the team through a weekly code-review walkthrough on at least one occasion. I enjoyed my time working with Mike.
As a project architect, Brian does an excellent job of balancing his focus between technology, business, and the needs of his team members. He is able to switch gears between talking about the details of the project, and talking about the big picture more effiently than most people I know.
Brian does a lot to help a team be successful. He is willing to make decisions he feels are best for keeping the team moving forward, and stand by them even if the decision is not a popular one. Brian has an acute understanding of the struggles and concerns of his team and works to improve upon these issues whenever possible, even in the face of opposition or, worse yet, indifference.
Brian is also an exemplary teacher, exhibiting patience and enjoyment in the process of helping people learn, regardless of their skill level. He has the ability to easily recognize the level of assistance that an individual requires for a particular task, and is able to adjust the level of help he provides accordingly. He is able to recognize team members’ strengths and weaknesses and to help people use their strengths while improving upon their weaknesses. He goes beyond just being approachable by making a point to ask people periodically “Is there anything I can help with?”
I worked on a project with Kevin where he was the tech lead on the project. He is very intelligent, learns new things very quickly, and frequently shares his extensive knowledge with others around him. This coupled with his ability to retain detailed knowledge about his past experiences make him an invaluable and highly competent tech lead. His ability to think outside the realm of the way things have always been done in order to try a new approach is a major asset to the team. He is easily approached and always willing to take the time to help people accomplish tasks and work with them to weigh options and figure out the best solutions to problems. Kevin does a wonderful job making decisions on core best-practices that the team should follow to provide a high quality product.
Dean is the type of software developer who is able to both focus on the details of what he’s working on, as well as step back and see the big picture of the problem when necessary. He is constantly keeping his eyes open for new technologies, ideas and tools that will help do things better or more efficiently than before. He takes time to try out lots of different things in this quest, and is happy to share what he’s learned with others.
Dean is very approachable when co-workers or other peers have questions, and he is patient and clear when helping others learn. He is good at brainstorming and thinking of new things to do, or different ways to approach a problem if something isn’t working. I would not hesitate to work with Dean again on future endeavors.
Ed Vaflor is one of the best managers I have worked with so far in my career. He is able to relate well to the people he manages. He is able to see beyond politics into the reality of a situation, and come up with action plans and help others forumulate plans to move forward based on that reality.
Ed communicates openly and freely about what he observes, thus promoting trust and openness from those around him. It is my feeling that those around him want to work hard for him because of the rapport he creates.