Farewell John Kordyback
Farewell John Kordyback

John Kordyback, a treasured colleague and buddy, died final week, aged
64.

As soon as the bus from Denver airport had pulled into the Colorado ski
resort, and I would deposited my luggage in my room, I got down to start the
weekend. It was June, so there was no snow on the slopes, however I wasn’t
right here for the mountains, though I like to hike in them. My consideration
as a substitute was to my colleagues, a pair hundred of which had been there with me
for a North America “awayday” – a weekend gathering of staff of
Thoughtworks. Strolling alongside I used to be quickly hailed by a welcome face in a flat
cap, sitting outdoors with a glass of beer as work-in-progress.

I would first met John Kordyback ten years previous to this. I used to be visiting
our new workplace in Calgary and considered one of my co-worker buddies mentioned “you’re
actually going to love this new rent” and was rapidly confirmed right. Whereas
the elders within the firm had been individuals simply into their 30’s, John was my
age. Fortunately I found that he additionally shared my humorousness, and
took enjoyment of pleasant banter. Of extra skilled significance, he discovered a lot
that appealed in our embrace of agile software program growth.

The world of agile software program was very totally different within the early 2000s.
These had been the times when agile concepts about embracing change had been
thought of irresponsible, when no person thought that actual programmers ought to
be testing their very own software program, and deployment into manufacturing solely carried out
a couple of times a yr (not counting bug-fix emergencies).

After I sat down with my very own glass of beer, agile had grown into
desirability, and many consumers needed people like John to steer their very own
journey into this fashion of software program growth. However John had discovered a
notably difficult route, making use of agile strategies to legacy
methods, particularly: Mainframes.

Most of my colleagues had been cautious of working in legacy methods. They had been
normally pissed off by poor modularity, few automated assessments, and fiddly
deployments. However John acknowledged that these had been referred to as legacies as a result of
they had been invaluable to their recipients. Every single day we carried out
interactions with software program that led, ultimately, to transactions on
mainframes. I needed to listen to what he’d discovered and the way he coped with the
challenges.

John was properly suited to this work as a result of he understood the core
rules of agile pondering, ones that had been typically misplaced in a world of
two-day Scrum masters. He was conscious that the journey from Mainframes to
Steady Supply was considered one of a thousand small steps. (The title of one of his few convention
talks.) To hold these out he’d realized a very powerful factor was
to introduce thorough testing, and progressively simplify the trail to
manufacturing.

However a very powerful core precept of agile that John understood was
that agile habits had been based upon people working collectively. When John
went into the mainframe world, he listened to these already there. There
had been a number of people in mainframe growth who had been eager to attempt higher
methods, however wanted somebody who, whereas they understood newer strategies,
would not inform them the right way to do issues that would not work, however as a substitute would
would mix with their expertise to find the right way to enhance mainframe
growth

John naturally labored this manner as a result of above all issues, he cared
deeply concerning the individuals he labored with. When the subject of John has come
up, the factor that at all times dominates our reminiscences is his kindness. His
humor was infectious, however not merciless. When he confronted opposition, he tried to
perceive the place it got here from, understanding that always individuals do dangerous
issues as a result of they’ve been taught to endure such habits the exhausting method.
His purpose was a lot better than agile, it was to deliver decency and
happiness to individuals’s working lives. To create an atmosphere that will
allow to better of us to thrive and multiply these environments.

I have not seen John for much too lengthy. Throughout his sickness we frequently
talked on zoom. Simply as he was together with his work issues, he confronted the demon of
most cancers with a constructive air, even when the information was grim. He had hoped for
a neater battle, one that will enable him to work with me to jot down down
his discoveries whereas he was quickly away from his shoppers. Sadly it did not end up
that method, and I will now not be capable to search him out
at a gathering. However the reminiscence of his smile and banter won’t ever go away.
That a part of him will dwell in our reminiscences for a few years but.

Martin Fowler : 26 March 2024

John has impressed and influenced many individuals in his profession. Right here just a few
of them add their ideas on his skilled life.

Joanne Molesky

writer of “Lean Enterprise”, John’s spouse

My first profession was in well being care. I left that subject within the early 1990’s because of the stress of regularly working in underfunded situations (to not point out diminishing alternative for work). As I looked for a brand new profession, John inspired me to discover ways to use e-mail and educate others the right way to use it. From there, he continuously inspired me to maintain going and decide myself up and transfer on once I stumbled and had doubts that I used to be sensible sufficient and ok to work within the Tech trade. He caught his neck out many instances by vouching for me in stretch roles that turned accessible. I’d by no means have been thought of for them if he hadn’t carried out that. He advised me as soon as it wasn’t as a result of we had been married, it was as a result of he knew I may do a very good job and I’d not fail. He has a beautiful reward to assist individuals see the brighter facet of life and provides us hope that we are able to do a very good job regardless of the quite a few limitations that have to be overcome.

Like many people of a sure age who’ve labored in tech, John by no means obtained a proper coaching in software program growth or administration. His diploma is in Philosophy. He took some stats programs at college. He taught himself the right way to code, take a look at and perceive methods. Earlier than John began working in Tech, he labored with disabled individuals in group houses. He has quite a lot of compassion for the much less lucky on the earth and would stand as much as bullies when he noticed them behaving badly in direction of the weak. He talked about that moderately than confront and punish, he would use constructive reinforcement behavioural coaching strategies with drawback individuals at work so they might turn into a productive a part of the staff. I feel these years working with disabled individuals (significantly underrated and underpaid work) paid off in spades later in his profession.

Ian Robinson

writer of REST in Follow

Jim Webber and I labored lots with John, in Calgary, over 2007 and 2008. We went from a one-week troubleshooting gig to a big change programme nearly in a single day. I feel John had a tolerant skepticism in direction of our large principle and broad-strokes consultancy: whereas many people misplaced ourselves for some time in an abstracted, considerably confused, big-picture tackle proceedings, John sought to supply a gentle counterweight, working in his affected person, humble approach to set up belief and credibility by educating and inspiring good practices within the engineering groups on the bottom.

John understood that software program is a social exercise, and that change is commonly greatest rooted in day-to-day actions and habits, in belief, and might be most enduring when it emerges from the bottom up. He led by doing, by being candid about experiments and errors, by creating area for younger, upstart concepts and enthusiasms, and by having enjoyable.

When it comes to affect on my profession, I feel there was a sensible affect then, and an affect now, as I proceed to work out how I would dwell a big skilled life. Someday within the early 2010s, I assumed I needed a “title” for myself in our trade. Someday later, I spotted I didn’t. I’d had mayfly ambitions: John’s lengthy profession confirms for me now {that a} vital skilled life will not be a once-and-done affair. Each engagement is initially an engagement with a contemporary group of distinctive individuals. Success, belief and respect don’t simply roll over from one engagement to a different – each interplay begins afresh to construct at this time’s method of working collectively. There needs to be a powerful core of compassion and openness, of here-and-nowness, for somebody to keep up that capability to construct staff foundations time and again, over a few years – and John had that core.

In addition to our software program pursuits, we shared a variety of touchpoints round British comedy and science fiction, and we laughed lots – largely at ourselves, which I feel is the kindest laughter. I feel that characterises John’s skilled life: an effortlessly inclusive interaction of concepts and actions performed with a light-weight contact of endurance and humor – he was a humble however vastly influential instructor, chief and buddy.

Sharlene McKinnon

This memorial was each straightforward and exhausting to jot down. It’s straightforward as a result of John had such a long-lasting affect on my profession, and it’s straightforward to tease that affect out of all of the silliness that we cope with as consultants. It’s exhausting as a result of it feels so unsuitable to be saying goodbye. It’s far too quickly.

John is a storyteller, and he has a method of utilizing tales to attach and produce out the most effective in individuals. I bear in mind assembly him in 2008. I went to a shopper website on my first day at Thoughtworks, and I used to be so inexperienced. I fearful that I’d mess up as a result of I didn’t know “Agile.”

I ended up on his staff and the very first thing he mentioned is, “Don’t fear about that stuff. A very powerful factor is to get individuals speaking to one another.” And, that’s what we did. We spent months simply specializing in strengthening the human connections whereas adjustments in know-how swirled round us at a blistering tempo.

What strikes me is that I bear in mind the human components from that point—the laughter, John’s tales, his knowledge and real want to assist. And I’ve forgotten the tech and undertaking particulars, as a result of they weren’t that necessary. Know-how is fleeting and like a high-speed prepare that strikes at an unmanageable tempo. It was the conversations and connections that we had on that prepare that glued us collectively and made the journey memorable.

One of many issues that John used to say to me was, “That particular person is caught within the weeds. Go assist them see the forest.” I’ve constructed a profession out of serving to individuals get out of the weeds. This was one thing that John acknowledged and fostered in me in these early years (I didn’t see it). I really feel blessed to have recognized him.

photograph: Suzi Edwards-Alexander

Steven Deobald

It’s been over a decade since I labored with John, and I don’t have any particular anecdotes to share. Nevertheless, I did wish to describe the way in which through which he dealt with a (generally tough) staff. He was not the type of one who would both dominate conversations and current himself because the authoritative chief of the group, nor was he the type of one who would sneakily “seek the advice of” his approach to the suitable conclusion.

As an alternative, John simply spoke clearly and actually. A standup with John was at all times a type of palate cleanser, irrespective of how tough yesterday had been. His sense of humour was typically the key sauce that helped a staff gel.

He was a really pure mentor and chief, in that he would largely stand apart and let individuals develop on their very own. As an alternative of pushing or pulling, he would calmly step in — like an skilled gardener — to information and shield the youngest amongst us as we found out what the heck it was we had been actually doing. Typically this steerage was technical and inner, generally it was political and client-facing. Typically it was only a hug when somebody clearly wanted one.

On a for much longer timescale, John’s mentorship meant educating others to be mentors. Not by teaching or working seminars, however by his personal instance. Sadly, a big a part of what I loved a lot about working with John is ineffable. However everybody who had the privilege of working with him has absolutely felt it.

Mike Jones

My very first introduction to “QB” (a nick-name for John) was previous to my TW employment. I used to be an integration developer co-located with a TW staff. At one level throughout my very first day on the undertaking, QB jumped out of his chair, yelled ‘Dopio’ and walked out of the room. I had no thought what was occurring however then the whole TW staff additionally popped up and walked out of the room. I used to be caught off guard however they motioned to me to affix them and I rapidly found that ‘Dopio’ (double espresso) was QB’s favourite drink at Starbucks. Proclaiming ‘Dopio’ was QB’s cryptic method of claiming ‘Come on staff, let’s go for espresso’. That could be a very fond reminiscence of mine.

James Pickett

John and I labored carefully collectively in 2018 via early 2020. Throughout that point, I feel John and I had extra meals collectively than I did with my household! After I joined Thoughtworks in 2017, I used to be each a lateral rent and an individual with abilities/expertise that had been “non-core” to Tw on the time. I rely John as considered one of a handful of Thoughtworkers that basically helped me discover a approach to have an effect for our shoppers and the corporate. We additionally had so many conversations about so many subjects past Thoughworks (household, children, tech trade, and all issues Canada!). Relaxation in peace John. We’ll miss you, and we’re all higher for figuring out you!

Evan Bottcher

John was a presence in Thoughtworks from the time I joined in 2006, a kind of voices within the noise inside our mailing listing, who when he spoke up you listened to what he needed to say, as you possibly can inform it was reasoning from a large expertise base and a excessive mind. I inherited him as one of many “elders” considered one of whom I felt that I turned later in my time at Thoughtworks.

I feel the factor I’d spotlight was his expertise in working with groups making use of agile strategies to mainframe growth, together with take a look at pushed growth. I do know for a number of years afterwards I’d join John with Thoughtworks groups all around the world once they would stumble upon this bizarre world of mainframe and wanted somebody to assist in giving them the ‘Rosetta stone’ to have good conversations and affect with them. John would graciously take the calls and supply that bridge to a distinct period of growth.

Aleksandar Serafimoski

John was a tremendous buddy, mentor and a tremendous human being. He at all times cared about individuals, and method out of his approach to really feel individuals heard, acknowledged and really feel as a part of the staff. His data and expertise with legacy modernization and testing has been invaluable. He was at all times keen to share his perspective and to assist individuals once they had been struggling. I’ll undoubtedly miss him at TW and in life! Relaxation in peace John.

photograph: Kelly Cronin

Angela Ferguson

I had absolutely the privilege of counting John and Joanne buddies since they had been right here on project in Melbourne. One of many issues that basically stands out to me about John is his capability to actually really feel the enjoyment in (nearly) any scenario and to wish to share that pleasure with others, whereas concurrently not hesitating on calling bullshit when it must be referred to as. His want to take colleagues alongside on his skilled journey, to champion for them and to assist them to additionally see the enjoyment in working with nice individuals was good. Though I’ve solely seen him sporadically prior to now years – and I really feel very fortunate to have been in a position to see him this previous September – I, like many others, will miss having him right here.

Brandon Byars

writer of Testing Microservices with Mountebank

All people wants a mentor once they transfer right into a stretch function. The primary time I took on a management place at scale, I used to be lucky to have John Kordyback mentor me. He taught me to “lean in” to issues moderately than run or disguise from them. He taught me the significance of strolling the halls and speaking to individuals, as a result of working at scale meant constructing and relying in your community to get issues carried out. He taught me to chuckle on the each day tribulations moderately than turn into burdened by them. He helped me assume not nearly know-how, however the right way to implement know-how via individuals, and the right way to keep resilient when the challenges felt overwhelming. John did way over assist me turn into a greater technologist and a greater chief; he helped me turn into a greater particular person.

Stefania Stefansdottir

I had the fortune to very briefly meet and work with John in 2020 at
Thoughtworks. John was an individual that one way or the other managed to depart such a
constructive impression on the individuals round him. How he approached
structure and software program supply tied to legacy methods was one way or the other
so tied to empathy for the individuals working with it and understanding
the worth of the system that it nonetheless stays with me 4 years later and
has influenced how I work together and work each with legacy methods and
shoppers.

Martin Andersen

After I met John I used to be working within the Calgary workplace, which on the time was the epitome of TW’s “like school however with cash” slogan – we had been all younger, it was considerably unhinged, and it was a variety of enjoyable. In the future I heard there was some pleasure that we’d managed to rent this senior man from TransCanada, older and extra skilled. I may see the worth in that, however to be trustworthy I actually wasn’t wanting ahead to it. I felt just like the temper would shift, get extra severe and boring. After all as soon as he arrived it didn’t take lengthy to comprehend this wasn’t the case. John was at all times an extremely youthful particular person. He was enthusiastic and curious and at all times stuffed with power. And he liked each the issues most crucial to make this trade work its greatest: know-how and other people.

I used to be at all times impressed by his capability to stay thinking about and focussed on detailed technical issues. Lots of people age out of this as they shift or drift extra into management and administration, however John at all times needed to be near the steel. And whereas it’s not unusual for individuals to wish to stay concerned, in an trade at all times altering as quick as this has, so many don’t sustain. However John did. He by no means uninterested in studying, and you possibly can at all times see clearly his pleasure about no matter it was he was pursuing.

I used to be extra impressed, although, together with his curiosity in and concentrate on others. Whenever you had been with John he was with you. He was and engaged. He had a wry, playful sense of humour. May very well be severe as wanted, however would at all times moderately be smiling, which he normally was. In every single place he went he made buddies and put individuals comfortable. He’d land at a shopper website and have all of it mapped out earlier than you knew it, joking round with VPs and junior devs alike. Some individuals make forging these enterprise relationships appear to be work, transactional, however I by no means bought that sense with John. It felt like he actually did simply get pleasure from making connections. Actually, he had the identical enthusiasm and curiousity concerning the individuals he labored with as he did concerning the issues he labored on. He made all of it appear enjoyable. Greater than that, he made it really enjoyable. It nonetheless makes me chuckle that I ever thought he is likely to be some gray stultifying presence. I’m glad I had the possibility to spend as a few years round him as I did. I’ll miss him.

Ranbir Chawla

SVP Engineering, RB International

I met John throughout a Mission Discovery whereas I used to be working at Thoughtworks, and I used to be instantly impressed together with his capability to take heed to the shoppers, ask perceptive questions and attain a fast understanding of the deeper below-the-surface points at hand. John at all times displayed a deep empathy for individuals, and on the similar time a really sensible mindset that helped us all see how we may break down a big drawback, perceive the human facets and the way they intertwined with know-how issues. He was a implausible communicator, in a position to break down a fancy resolution into one thing very comprehensible by the viewers he was with. He and I used to joke that one of the simplest ways to be sure to understood an issue was to clarify it to your mom first, and if she get’s it, properly then it’s essential to perceive it as properly; so now you might be outfitted to assist take your shoppers on a journey to their finish targets with out shedding them in some deeply technical presentation or planning cycle.

With that stage of practicality and communication John and I had been in a position to companion with our shopper leaders to point out the worth of small-batch work, frequent deliveries of software program to their product groups (weekly vs. quarterly to start out) and in the long run modified throughout the group how software program was delivered, dragging their different consulting companies into the method. All of the whereas John stored smiling, joking, and taking individuals on that journey in his personal particular method.

Most of all, John made that fixed on the street time away from dwelling enjoyable and cozy. I’ll treasure the easy dinners on the native Indian restaurant in Spring Texas, or burgers on the native bar and grill he liked that we named The Kordy Shack. His humour, empathy, and talent to climate no matter storm hit us left an timeless impression in my soul. As an older man solely 3 years youthful than John, I nonetheless would inform him “Sometime I’ll develop as much as be identical to you sir 😊”.

photograph: Aleksandar Serafimoski

Vanessa Towers

I first labored on the identical account as John in 2013 after which in a while in 2020. John was a standout in each cases, rapidly incomes a powerful repute as a technical chief, modernization guru and all-round sort hearted human. John’s humor bought everybody via essentially the most difficult instances throughout formidable shopper engagements. John’s dedication to our shoppers was second to none, engaged on a distributed account at scale from the US West Coast meant John and I’d typically begin our working day at 5am, with John sometimes taking cost of driving important conferences and dealing classes right now, with a number of cups of espresso wanted to maintain us going via the early hours. John’s dedication to rising the subsequent era of Thoughtworks leaders was an unimaginable reward to these round him. John was an inspiring colleague, buddy, gardener, cook dinner, father and devoted husband to Joanne. He will probably be significantly missed by his buddies and colleagues at Thoughtworks.

Miguel Enriquez

Principal Software program Engineer at Subsequent Information

Like many others, I met John at work throughout very tough instances each private
and professionally. Like many technologists I knew from that point, I used to be very
captivated with a number of subjects however John at all times had these pearls of knowledge to
share with me relating to know-how, management and, extra importantly, private
relationships.

I at all times questioned why he at all times would transfer between conferences with executives to
our little conflict room downstairs with a smile that was contagious. Everybody was
virtually smiling and laughing each time we noticed him stroll the hallways. I slowly
realized, via conversations that I bear in mind fondly, that he was a wonderful
human being and he cemented this with nice talks about tech, clever banter, nice
e-book suggestions, a shared love for cats, and particularly a contagious sense
of humor. I’m at a lack of phrases about all good the issues he was and I’ll
bear in mind him fondly, smiling all the way in which, as a mentor and fellow technologist.

Patrick Kua

Founding father of the Tech Lead Academy

John confirmed me early in my profession what on a regular basis management regarded like. I first noticed his title on inner mailing lists. His contributions at all times felt well-balanced and considerate, contrasting with a number of the heated debates on a software program growth listing. When he posted, his phrases appeared to maneuver individuals, and other people actually listened to him.

I understood this extra whereas engaged on an project in Canada. We labored on the similar shopper, albeit on totally different tasks, so I lastly bought to place a face to the title. Though we labored on totally different tasks, we sat in the identical cubicle space. I bear in mind he would at all times greet me on arrival, say goodbye earlier than leaving, and, regardless of his difficult undertaking, at all times had a smile or a joke to share. Extra importantly, I found I may at all times flip round and ask for enter when not sure about something. He at all times made time to rigorously pay attention and noticeably pause and assume earlier than responding.

In management circles, you typically hear the saying, “On the finish of the day, individuals gained’t bear in mind what you mentioned or did; they may bear in mind the way you made them really feel.” John made everybody really feel listened to. Since you felt listened to, you additionally listened to John when he mentioned one thing. Though my undertaking solely lasted just a few months, his role-modelling underscored how everybody can present management with out being a proper chief.

Amit Uttam

Earlier than becoming a member of Thoughtworks full-time, I had the nice fortune of being a part of a staff that had introduced in Thoughtworks for what was speculated to be a quick “consulting and technical” steerage engagement. Simply prior, I bear in mind feeling moderately drained from continuously being pulled into non-technical areas of staff and enterprise administration, whereas nonetheless attempting to maintain my ever-fading technical embers alive and stoked.

It was in that temporary engagement that I met John Kordyback, and he confirmed me that it was alright to be wizened, quirky, politely irreverent and unapologetically technical. I finally turned John’s colleague and teammate at Thoughtworks Calgary, and I can say with full confidence that a few of my most necessary profession choices and trajectory forks are laced with a little bit of his particular salt.

I’m a greater particular person for having recognized John, my buddy.

Chirag Lakhani

I contemplate myself extremely lucky to have had the chance to collaborate and work carefully with John on current undertaking collectively. Our in-person interactions throughout a current undertaking had been invaluable, as John proved to be not solely an distinctive staff member but additionally a mentor and coach to me. His steerage on main classes and public talking was notably enlightening. John’s insights remodeled how we approached shopper issues, urging us to assume outdoors the field and embrace risk-taking and speedy iteration. Exterior of labor, our conversations over dinners supplied glimpses into his passions and his love for his household. He was eagerly awaiting the arrival of his long-awaited bike, ordered amidst the challenges of the Covid period. He needed to get pleasure from his bike rides throughout his sabbatical. Even throughout his sickness, John’s resilience shone via. Our Zoom conversations had been at all times crammed together with his unwavering positivity, and he took satisfaction within the medical care he obtained. Regardless of going through robust days, he made time for us. We performed New York instances puzzles (Wordle & Connections) on a regular basis and his aggressive spirit thrived. We liked sharing scores every single day with one another on our non-public Wordle channel. The current absence of his scores in our Wordle channel serves as a poignant reminder that issues won’t ever be fairly the identical with out him.

Relaxation in peace, John. Your presence is sorely missed.

Kelly Cronin

I solely labored on one undertaking with John, about 3 years into my tenure at TW, however he and the actual foxhole we had been in there left a long-lasting impression on me. My first assembly with him was, delightfully, within the bar colloquially recognized account-wide because the Kordy Shack, the place he grinned a welcome at me, handed over a menu he didn’t want, and made just a few suggestions, ones which I used to be silly sufficient to not take.

Over the subsequent few months, as a “pre-technical” addition to a really technical technique group, I made an insane pest of myself badgering everybody for particulars on the whys, with the intention to perceive, and assist inform the story of, what we had been doing there. Anybody coming into our communal convention room in between grueling shopper conferences was instantly waylaid and set to narrating my more and more unreadable whiteboard diagrams. However John had a present for rationalization, even when explaining to somebody as hard-headed and pre-technical as me; a present he’d honed by way of lengthy years of seeing round corners for his shoppers when all they might see was a legacy spaghetti diagram; for serving to them discover a facet door out of the technical corners they’d painted themselves into.

He had unimaginable endurance for that type of dialog. He gave me diagrams explaining some primary information precepts and defined a number of the steps the shopper was going to must take alongside the way in which to the transformation they needed; then gave me the fact of what they had been prone to do once they ran out of time and money, and the place that will probably land them. He helped me fill in a giant hole in my understanding of knowledge platforms broadly. I may not ever discover ways to pay attention like John, however I definitely realized I ought to pay attention to him. I may not have had the talents to acknowledge how deeply his data really rooted, however even I may inform the person was seeing the forests, the bushes, and all of the leaves and bugs and sub-bark phloem and xylem that stored the entire rattling factor alive.

That is to say nothing of his dry Canadian wit, his willingness to be foolish, his abiding love of an absurd headline or a very good dad joke, and his utter graciousness within the face of this unfair, infuriating analysis and sickness. To have such a person be lower quick is definitely tragic; for him to be praising his success on the way in which out, for the remedy he obtained and the help of his household and buddies, and the care of his medical staff, and the life he bought to steer up till…. that’s to his core the person that he was: following hope the place it led down an arduous path, then gracefully bidding hope adieu to stroll the remainder of the way in which with realism and peace. We who knew him had been fortunate; and we might be fortunate to face what he did as he did, with vulnerability, equanimity, and look after these he left behind. It was one more hole in my data that he crammed for me, and I like him for it.

Michelle D’Souza

John and I labored collectively in 2008 for quite a lot of years on my very first account at Thoughtworks. It was a big and nebulous account and more often than not I felt I didn’t know what I used to be doing. However John, together with his large and reassuring smile (the factor I’ll miss essentially the most about him), made me really feel like I used to be able to something.

He was a powerful believer in recognizing an individual’s strengths and amplifying these. He was one of many first few individuals to point out me the significance of the human facet of know-how. Irrespective of how busy he was, he ceaselessly popped by our cubicles to share a random bicycling story or to speak about shopper technique or the brand new hotness in tech.

He was a mentor not simply to me however to anybody who was keen to pay attention. He will probably be dearly missed…..

Nick Thorpe

The primary time I met John Kordyback, he swept right into a shopper we had been working at. It was my first job, and I used to be nervy. I requested him what he was doing there. He pointed on the sky, and mentioned “Air Cowl”. I had no thought what he meant, however as we turned buddies, I got here to grasp it meant “influencing individuals many ranges up from what you see out of your vantage level”.

John was at all times involved about individuals, however he by no means purchased into bullshit. In a while, we had been speaking about how a few of our colleagues had been deriding the undertaking as “waterfall”. I had no thought what to say to that, as a result of it was true! He put his hand on his mouth in mock horror, after which got here that wolfish Kordyback grin. “Inform ‘em to recover from it”. He mentioned.

Christopher Hastings

I met John on considered one of my earliest TW tasks. He was sort and heat, but additionally had a tremendous perspective on what was necessary. As a current rent, I used to be nonetheless attempting to kind via the right way to strategy working with shoppers, and John was at all times a gentle hand to concentrate on what was necessary. He was sort to swap tales of carpentry and different tasks, as properly. He’s already missed.

Blanca Lopez

I bought the chance to collaborate with John after I got here again from maternity depart. I used to be overwhelmed by this new stage in my life as I used to be looking for steadiness between skilled life and my new function as a mother. Kordyback was not solely a terrific colleague who helped me discover my method again to work, he was a tremendous human being who additionally shared parental ideas, beer and meals suggestions.

He was a pure chief with excessive values, a sort smile, dad jokes in his pocket and an ideal approach to discover alternatives to share his admiration for Joanne.

David Robinson

I had the privilege to work with John Kordyback on 3 events throughout my tenure at Thoughtworks. I’m a greater human and a greater advisor due to him. I aspire to be the sort of Thoughtworkers he was. His humility and kindness made a constructive impression on his colleagues, buddies, and shoppers. I actually appreciated his relaxed perspective, even when issues bought “fascinating”. I’ll miss him

Tom Clement Oketch

I had the wonderful privilege of working with John extensively at a shopper in Houston from 2018 to 2019. His data of enterprise structure, testing in all its kinds, mainframes, and legacy modernization was unmatched. His capability to command respect and restore calm to chaos in a room stuffed with executives was magical. Nevertheless maybe my favourite trait of his was the endurance and empathy with which he handled everybody round him.

It’s not typically that somebody as sensible and excellent as him can be keen to put apart their lofty accomplishments to have deeply impacting conversations about all the pieces from work and profession, to household and the goofiness of American versus Canadian tradition, to random conversations concerning the wonderful pictures he had taken of his cat. I learnt lots from John, and for that I’m deeply grateful.

Relaxation in peace, sort buddy.

Ben Escudero

I’ve nothing however fond reminiscences of John’s prolonged tour of Australia that go properly past studying about how watching ice hockey might be thought of a marital exercise in Canada. All the time keen to inject his rascally humour and a depraved smile into an interplay, John introduced a deep sense of humanity and social connection to all of his technical engagements.

If John was on the staff, you at all times knew that each single member of that staff would have him searching for them, supporting them, encouraging them to think about a distinct perspective to the scenario at hand. This went method past being beneficiant together with his time, John merely embraced the concept offering pastoral care was in line with the years of expertise that he introduced to each interplay.

Listening to John specific his timeless love for his gal, normally within the presence of mentioned gal, was a lesson within the energy of vulnerability, of the enjoyment of being in love, and the significance of expressing gratitude for all that life has to supply. John helped form and information many technologists who had been lucky sufficient to have had his help on the robust issues that wanted to be solved. His considerate, loving care for everybody inside his orbit stays with me even after a decade of our final undertaking collectively, and by gosh I like that fella for it.

Jonathan Kohl

I met John over twenty years in the past once I was in my first company IT atmosphere as a software program tester. John had been requested to check out my work, and supply steerage and suggestions as wanted. I used to be a child working with scissors writing Ruby scripts for take a look at automation, and management felt that it’d assist to have an grownup within the room. I used to be nervous once I confirmed John what I had been engaged on. My code solved the issues I wanted it to unravel, nevertheless it was easy. I used to be additionally utilizing a precursor to what turned the Watir automation software, and he was enthusiastic when he noticed what I used to be doing. Not solely did he praise my work and mentioned sort issues concerning the code I felt so self-conscious about, he had all types of nice concepts for enchancment. He helped me promote my concepts to the remainder of the staff, and was so constructive about properly, nearly all the pieces.

In the future, I used to be upset and John got here by to see how I used to be doing. I had been requested to digitize an data radiator that I’d created, however the stipulation was that I needed to create it in Excel. After I fumed to John that it was unimaginable to create the reporting dashboard we required in Excel, he mentioned: “You are able to do something with Excel for those who actually must.” He was proper, and he taught me the right way to make API calls and bounce via all types of hoops and awkwardness in Excel to unravel the issue. It labored, and the managers I labored with had been happy. Over time, he would deliver it up, grinning, with a gleam in his eye. “I advised you, you may make Excel do something, even for those who shouldn’t.”

John felt that there was extra to discover than having a sober second take a look at my automation work, so as a substitute of him reviewing and advising, we began to actively work collectively. We began pairing to see how testers and builders may collaborate on Take a look at Pushed Improvement for software program tasks. We found out the most effective areas for a software program tester to contribute, and we additionally found out a variety of practicalities about having two individuals with totally different ability units pair programming collectively. That wasn’t sufficient although, John needed me to be taught and personal TDD myself, so from then on, we might pair and I realized the right way to write take a look at instruments utilizing TDD, one take a look at at a time. After I moved on to turn into an unbiased advisor, these hours spent with John actually paid off. I had important expertise, a greater command of mandatory instruments, and the affect of his constructive perspective and unflappable presence, irrespective of how chaotic the atmosphere was. I used to be additionally in a position to write articles and converse at conferences on subjects we had skilled collectively, all as a result of a sort and beneficiant man noticed one thing in a brash child, and frolicked educating and inspiring me.

Apart from the technical facet of his affect, what I’ll bear in mind essentially the most is John the particular person. After I moved on and we didn’t work collectively anymore, we nonetheless stayed in contact. He was a implausible particular person to bounce concepts off of, or to ask recommendation once I skilled tough conditions as a advisor. If my thought was half baked, he’d let me know, nevertheless it was at all times a constructive expertise. John would additionally problem my concepts, and information me in direction of different views, all with out me feeling challenged or interfered with. Later, once I was on the street myself, I regarded ahead to our paths crossing if we occurred to be in the identical place on the similar time. Assembly John like this meant I used to be in for a night of excellent meals, nice dialog, sharing conflict tales, tons and plenty of laughter, and luxury.

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