On being the worst

Over the course of the past year I have ran into the term “be the worst” several times. First, Dawn Cannan had an article on being the worst in the Agile Record. But I ran into this even before that, when I read Apprenticeship Patterns from Dave Hoover and Ade Oshineye. Recently my paths crossed the principle in some more books as well – unfortunately I don’t remember all of them.

To me, a previous swimmer, ambitious by nature, being the worst means to work hard in order to achieve the current work at hand as well as to improve myself. It’s a constant driver for most of the things I do, to master them.

That said, at some point between the Agile Testing Days and XP2010 I came to the conclusion that it’s time for me to move on. Most of my colleagues are already aware about the fact, that I will leave my current company by the end of this month.

That said, I leave with a crying and a laughing eye. Looking back for the four and a half years that I stayed at my current company, I learned a lot. Initially starting the product development as a software tester, I got appointed a group leader position after one and a half year. Seeing my team’s struggle, I worked with them to improve the situation, thereby diving more and more into Agile software development. We were able to apply what we learned quickly, and continued our journey. Getting the appreciations from a co-worker recently really made me aware that I made a big impression to him – which made me proud.

For the laughing part, I am going to start a position at it-agile GmbH starting from September. Some of my future colleagues I got to know at last year’s XP Days Germany – many of them I admire.

I don’t know what is right in front of me, but I know that the decision for me to move was right. It depresses me a bit that I have to leave my current company. But the warm welcome I already receive from my future colleagues makes me look straightly forward with a smile. I know that I’m going to be the worst among this great team, but I also know that I am set up for the job.

So, I will spend the remaining three weeks that I got with the tasks remaining, talking to colleagues, and reflecting back, but also looking towards a new step in my life.

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13 thoughts on “On being the worst”

  1. Good luck Markus,

    I enjoy the blog very much.

    Very much doubt that you will be the worst, at least not for very long, but I do hope that you enjoy tackling a new challenge.

    Adam.

  2. I too doubt that you will be the worst. But I am sure that you will learn a lot. And that you will contribute a lot. That is my experience and it is an awesome ride. Great to have you on board soon.

    marko

  3. Hi Markus,

    I’ve just read the comments from your new colleagues so for compensation a comment from someone who worked with you for the last 4 years.

    Looking back on the last years we have experienced a very successful period in the life of our company. Great challenges were mastered by the whole team all over the world.
    No need for major modification over the last years. Although we all have known for long that we could do better and must get better in some areas
    but nothing has changed in our daily work.

    IMHO there was only one substantial change in our core workflow process; the way the customer specific system tests were done.
    Your team has proven that it is possible to reorganize old plugged-in processes also in good times when here is no obvious pressure to reorganize.
    In the end I think you introduces with your team the most in deepth innovation in our company in the last years.

    Well, now it’s time to say goodbye.
    I wish you more support from your new management and customers; it’s worth it.
    (And do not count that much on all kinds of test figures and statistics.
    In the end it’s all about a permanent iteration to become better.)

    All the best
    Thorsten

    In modern software development there can’t be a partitioning between development and test any longer.
    The most challenging task is the configuration management of available software modules and customer needs.

  4. Although I got to know Markus just for a short time from blogosphere, twitterland and small chats, also EWT, I think he is a great tester, leader and quite accomplished personally. He is a balanced guy that looks to improve every side of him professionally, personally and as a tester.
    Good luck in the new settlement!

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