No, this post isn’t about installing Linux.
And I didn’t write any code today.
I was working with people all day. This isn’t easy for me, but more and more it feels both rewarding and worthwhile.
I’m a geek, a dork, a clumsy introvert. Meeting new people is hard for me.
But I strongly believe that effective collaboration results in better software. And happier people.(1)
One of my most important jobs as a manager is to facilitate and encourage effective collaboration. Today I think I achieved that, which made it a good day.
The EF team meets for a couple of hours every Wednesday morning for a “Design Meeting”. It went well–good humored, productive, and with digressions about other stuff going on around us. (I tell people about what I hear in “manager meetings” as much as I can. As a non-manager, being kept in the dark was very frustrating.)
Half way through the design meeting a prospective new team member was able to drop in. I felt awkward getting people to introduce themselves. But I tried hard to keep it upbeat, lighthearted, and enthusiastic. It went well. I was a socially awkward dork, but a happy, enthusiastic, and hopefully engaging one.
Several meetings later I was in a similar situation again; meeting new people.(2) This time it was the first in a new sync I setup with the SqlClient team. Again, I felt I was quite clumsy in kicking off the meeting and doing introductions. I talked quite a bit at the beginning trying to get things going. But by the end people seemed at their ease and were engaging in interactive discussions.
I also remembered to thank the SqlClient team for the good job they are doing managing their GitHub repo. (It’s not that I had to remember to be thankful. But remembering to tell people you are thankful when appropriate is important.) It went well.
I’ve been taking antianxiety medication for three years now. It took me until my 40s to realize that I didn’t have to live with the level of social anxiety I was accustomed to.
I’m not saying medication is the right path for everyone. But I don’t think I could be a manager without it. Days like today would have been too stressful for me to cope.
Instead I was able to bring people together. And that made it a good day.
(1) I have many thoughts on teamwork. And happy people. I’ll probably post more about it at a later date.
(2) If you’re interested in the complexities of meeting new people, then I highly recommend Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell. Get the audiobook.