Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Off to new horizons

April 30th was a weird day. It started like a normal day and ended in me being fired out of blue 20 minutes before I had to leave to pickup my kids from childcare. The reason I was told was that I don't fit into the company's culture, which is kind of weird after 2.5years of hard working making customers happy and having a proven track record of outstanding results.

What happened?

Well, I don't know, but I can only speculate. With the last project I was involved in, the company tried to enter the market of software vendors. The company itself has a long history of being successful in consulting, but had no experience so far in producing software themselves. We adopted Scrum as method and I had the role of Solution Architect or Architecture Owner (you name it) and Scrum Master. We made good progress having to tackle lots of obstacles especially as the stack we used was new to us, same as the persistence layer.

My personal goals as scrum master were to pave the way for bringing the product to it's first go-live, second aiming for high quality as a small company cannot afford producing crappy software and third, increase transparency of the project's progress as a lot of the stakeholders were working at customers and were not located in the office. I also stood up for protecting the team from unnecessary overtime as the effect on declining quality is well known. And I tried to mitigate unrealistic expectations from wishful thinking to what's realizable, always embracing challenges. I really took my job seriously and diligently. But I assume it was too much for a company that not fully embraced the agile idea. I guess in the end it was a personal conflict that grew on one end, totally hidden from me, and no one ever made attempts to solve it in a professional way. Stories about scrum master's being fired for taking their job seriously are not unknown, and now it was my turn. Bad luck I'd say.

My advice for other scrum masters, if your stakeholder are not available physically most of the time find ways for effective communication rather sooner than later. And if your stakeholders are detached, try to re-connect them with the project and what's actually going on. Though that might just reduce but not remove the risk.

Anyway, so now it's official, I'm looking for a new Job!
So if you have or hear of an open position as Scrum Master, Software Engineer or Architect, drop me a message.

And while I'm on job search, I'll spent some time on my new pet project, a microservice framework named Inkstand! If you're interested, I'll invite you come around, have look, drop a comment or join!
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