The joy of watching skilled professionals December 20, 2011
When the whole software craftsmanship thing started a few years ago, I kinda poo-pooed the idea of developers as crafts-people. I rather thought of software engineers as, well, engineers. But over the years, I've come to embrace the idea of craftsmanship as a broader concept... one of caring, diligence, maybe a hint of passion, but most of all of pride in the hard work that leads to a job well done.
I am not overly tolerant of folks who don't work hard or do a good job. Those who have worked for me are chuckling right now, "Not overly tolerant"... bwa hah hah... like "The Arctic is not overly warm." But I do really enjoy seeing people do an excellent job... a job worthy of a craftsman... I love watching skilled professionals do their thing.
Over the past few months, I've been removed from my comfortable high technology world and thrust into the world of construction. Sometime during our month-long trip to Europe this summer, the sewer in our house backed up into the ground-floor in-law unit. We had a house-sitter (thus the sewage), but he did not go into the in-law unit, so the sewage sat there for many weeks. The mitigation firm removed the sewage from the unit along with most of the carpet and some of the dry-wall... leaving us with concrete and studs in the unit. We embarked on a project to restore the unit as well as making it accessible so that my father-in-law could move in.
For the past few months, I've been dealing with contractors and other kinds of folks in the non-high-tech industry. It's been a learning experience... and most of what I have learned so far is that construction and building web applications is no different. But I digress.
One of the "surprises" that our construction folks foisted on us two days before the construction was supposed to begin was that we had to remove all items from the unit rather than their earlier indication that we could use one of the rooms as temporary storage until the work in the garage was complete and then move the items from the temporary storage room into the garage. We need to trench the garage in order to replace the plumbing so that we never have another sewage backup. So, the initial idea of music chairs with the stuff we needed to store vanished in a black, greasy puff of "miscommunication."
So, with about 40 hours, we needed to move about 1,000 cu/ft of stuff from the unit into storage. We needed help. And, being the Internet research godess that she is, @divaesq found us help.
We contacted Andrei Movers, some guys we found in the Internet, to help box, haul, and pack into storage the pile of stuff we needed to move. Andrei and his crew were amazingly skilled professionals. They did an amazing job and it was a joy for me to work with them.
Imagine the grumpiness and grouchiness that hung like a cloud over the 4 tons of stuff we needed to move in 40 hours. Imagine my crankiness at the construction folks who foisted this fire-drill onto me. Yeah, it was non-trivial.
Andrei showed up and his crew had a tremendously positive attitude. "We'll make it happen," he said... and he and his team did. Any boxing the needed to be done, Andrei and his crew did it efficiently and carefully. They loaded a U-Haul truck with tons of stuff in such a well planned way that not a single box moved in the truck on the 7 mile drive to the storage locker. They unloaded the truck into the storage locker with grace and precision. Yes, there was some back-and-forth about the optimal way to stack the boxes so there would be a strong structure. It's the same kind of back-and-forth that I hear from excellent developers all the time.
At the end of the night, Andrei made our insurmountable problem just plain go away. And watching Andrei and interacting with him, I was energized... he made me believe that we could solve the problem and together we did.
I'm writing this post because I always love to see skilled professionals do their thing and watching Andrei and his crew do their thing brought the same kind of joy to me that watching a team of excellent software guys does. And I wanted to share.
I am also writing this post as a way of letting folks in the Bay Area know about an excellent team and as a way to drive business to a team that can get it done and get it done right. So, next time you need some moving or hauling or other stuff like that, please call Andrei Movers at 510-750-9255. And I hope you get the same pleasure at seeing these skilled professionals do their job as I did.