May 20, 2024

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

As soon as the bus from Denver airport had pulled into the Colorado ski
resort, and I might deposited my baggage 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, despite the fact that I like to hike in them. My consideration
as an alternative was to my colleagues, a pair hundred of which had been there with me
for a North America “awayday” – a weekend gathering of workers of
Thoughtworks. Strolling alongside I used to be quickly hailed by a welcome face in a flat
cap, sitting exterior with a glass of beer as work-in-progress.

I might 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 mates mentioned “you’re
actually going to love this new rent” and was rapidly confirmed right. Whereas
the elders within the firm had been folks 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 improvement.

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 one thought that actual programmers ought to
be testing their very own software program, and deployment into manufacturing solely performed
a few times a 12 months (not counting bug-fix emergencies).

Once I sat down with my very own glass of beer, agile had grown into
desirability, and many purchasers wished people like John to guide their very own
journey into this model of software program improvement. However John had discovered a
notably difficult route, making use of agile methods to legacy
techniques, specifically: Mainframes.

Most of my colleagues had been cautious of working in legacy techniques. They had been
often annoyed by poor modularity, few automated assessments, and fiddly
deployments. However John acknowledged that these had been known as legacies as a result of
they had been invaluable to their recipients. Day by day we carried out
interactions with software program that led, in the end, to transactions on
mainframes. I wished to listen to what he’d discovered and the way he coped with the

John was effectively suited to this work as a result of he understood the core
rules of agile considering, 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 discovered crucial factor was
to introduce thorough testing, and progressively simplify the trail to

However crucial 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 improvement who had been eager to strive higher
methods, however wanted somebody who, whereas they understood newer methods,
would not inform them the right way to do issues that would not work, however as an alternative would
would mix with their expertise to find the right way to enhance mainframe

John naturally labored this manner as a result of above all issues, he cared
deeply in regards to the folks he labored with. When the subject of John has come
up, the factor that all the time dominates our recollections 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 folks do dangerous
issues as a result of they’ve been taught to undergo such conduct the onerous approach.
His purpose was a lot better than agile, it was to deliver decency and
happiness to folks’s working lives. To create an setting 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 along with his work issues, he confronted the demon of
most cancers with a optimistic air, even when the information was grim. He had hoped for
a neater battle, one that will enable him to work with me to put in writing down
his discoveries whereas he was quickly away from his purchasers. Sadly it did not end up
that approach, and I am going to not be capable of 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 recollections for a few years but.

Martin Fowler : 26 March 2024

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

Joanne Molesky

co-author 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 continually working in underfunded circumstances (to not point out diminishing alternative for work). As I looked for a brand new profession, John inspired me to discover ways to use electronic mail and train others the right way to use it. From there, he continually inspired me to maintain going and choose myself up and transfer on after 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 occasions by vouching for me in stretch roles that grew to become obtainable. I might by no means have been thought of for them if he hadn’t performed that. He informed me as soon as it wasn’t as a result of we had been married, it was as a result of he knew I might do a very good job and I might not fail. He has an exquisite reward to assist folks see the brighter facet of life and provides us hope that we will do a superb 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 improvement 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 techniques. Earlier than John began working in Tech, he labored with disabled individuals in group houses. He has an excessive amount 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 susceptible. He talked about that reasonably than confront and punish, he would use optimistic reinforcement behavioural coaching methods with drawback folks at work so they may develop into a productive a part of the crew. I believe these years working with disabled folks (significantly underrated and underpaid work) paid off in spades later in his profession.

Ian Robinson

co-author of REST in Apply

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

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

By way of influence on my profession, I believe there was a sensible influence then, and an affect now, as I proceed to work out how I’d dwell a major skilled life. Someday within the early 2010s, I assumed I wished 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} important skilled life shouldn’t be a once-and-done affair. Each engagement is at the beginning an engagement with a recent 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 right now’s approach of working collectively. There must be a powerful core of compassion and openness, of here-and-nowness, for somebody to keep up that means to construct crew foundations again and again, over a few years – and John had that core.

Moreover our software program pursuits, we shared quite a lot of touchpoints round British comedy and science fiction, and we laughed quite a bit – principally at ourselves, which I believe is the kindest laughter. I believe that characterises John’s skilled life: an effortlessly inclusive interaction of concepts and actions performed with a lightweight contact of persistence and humor – he was a humble however massively influential trainer, chief and buddy.

Sharlene McKinnon

This memorial was each simple and onerous to put in writing. It’s simple as a result of John had such a long-lasting influence on my profession, and it’s simple to tease that influence out of all of the silliness that we cope with as consultants. It’s onerous as a result of it feels so improper to be saying goodbye. It’s far too quickly.

John is a storyteller, and he has a approach of utilizing tales to attach and produce out the very best in folks. I bear in mind assembly him in 2008. I went to a consumer web site 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 crew and the very first thing he mentioned is, “Don’t fear about that stuff. A very powerful factor is to get folks speaking to one another.” And, that’s what we did. We spent months simply specializing in strengthening the human connections whereas adjustments in expertise 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 need to assist. And I’ve forgotten the tech and venture particulars, as a result of they weren’t that essential. Expertise is fleeting and like a high-speed practice that strikes at an unmanageable tempo. It was the conversations and connections that we had on that practice that glued us collectively and made the journey memorable.

One of many issues that John used to say to me was, “That individual is caught within the weeds. Go assist them see the forest.” I’ve constructed a profession out of serving to folks 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 identified him.

picture: 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 best way through which he dealt with a (typically troublesome) crew. He was not the kind of one that would both dominate conversations and current himself because the authoritative chief of the group, nor was he the kind of one that would sneakily “seek the advice of” his method to the correct conclusion.

As a substitute, John simply spoke clearly and truthfully. A standup with John was all the time a kind of palate cleanser, regardless of how troublesome yesterday had been. His sense of humour was typically the key sauce that helped a crew gel.

He was a really pure mentor and chief, in that he would largely stand apart and let folks develop on their very own. As a substitute 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. Generally this steering was technical and inside, typically it was political and client-facing. Generally it was only a hug when somebody clearly wanted one.

On a for much longer timescale, John’s mentorship meant instructing 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 crew. At one level throughout my very first day on the venture, QB jumped out of his chair, yelled ‘Dopio’ and walked out of the room. I had no thought what was occurring however then your complete TW crew 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 approach of claiming ‘Come on crew, let’s go for espresso’. That could be a very fond reminiscence of mine.

James Pickett

John and I labored carefully collectively in 2018 by means of early 2020. Throughout that point, I believe John and I had extra meals collectively than I did with my household! Once I joined Thoughtworks in 2017, I used to be each a lateral rent and an individual with expertise/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 method to have an effect for our purchasers and the corporate. We additionally had so many conversations about so many subjects past Thoughworks (household, youngsters, 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 type of voices within the noise inside our mailing checklist, who when he spoke up you listened to what he needed to say, as you 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 grew to become later in my time at Thoughtworks.

I believe the factor I might spotlight was his expertise in working with groups making use of agile strategies to mainframe improvement, together with take a look at pushed improvement. I do know for a number of years afterwards I might join John with Thoughtworks groups everywhere in the world after 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 improvement.

Aleksandar Serafimoski

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

picture: Kelly Cronin

Angela Ferguson

I had absolutely the privilege of counting John and Joanne mates since they had been right here on project in Melbourne. One of many issues that basically stands out to me about John is his means to essentially really feel the enjoyment in (virtually) any scenario and to wish to share that pleasure with others, whereas concurrently not hesitating on calling bullshit when it must be known as. His need 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 folks was sensible. Though I’ve solely seen him sporadically up 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

Everyone wants a mentor after 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 reasonably than run or disguise from them. He taught me the significance of strolling the halls and speaking to folks, as a result of working at scale meant constructing and relying in your community to get issues performed. He taught me to giggle on the day by day tribulations reasonably than develop into burdened by them. He helped me suppose not nearly expertise, however the right way to implement expertise by means of folks, and the right way to keep resilient when the challenges felt overwhelming. John did way over assist me develop into a greater technologist and a greater chief; he helped me develop into a greater individual.

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
optimistic impression on the folks round him. How he approached
structure and software program supply tied to legacy techniques was one way or the other
so tied to empathy for the folks 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 techniques and

Martin Andersen

Once 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 quite a lot of enjoyable. Sooner or later I heard there was some pleasure that we’d managed to rent this senior man from TransCanada, older and extra skilled. I might see the worth in that, however to be sincere I actually wasn’t wanting ahead to it. I felt just like the temper would shift, get extra critical and boring. In fact as soon as he arrived it didn’t take lengthy to understand this wasn’t the case. John was all the time an extremely youthful individual. He was enthusiastic and curious and all the time filled with power. And he cherished each the issues most crucial to make this trade work its finest: expertise and folks.

I used to be all the time impressed by his means to stay keen on 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 all the time wished to be near the metallic. And whereas it’s not unusual for folks to wish to stay concerned, in an trade all the time altering as quick as this has, so many don’t sustain. However John did. He by no means bored with studying, and you can all the time see clearly his pleasure about no matter it was he was pursuing.

I used to be extra impressed, although, along with his curiosity in and give attention to others. If 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 critical as wanted, however would all the time reasonably be smiling, which he often was. In all places he went he made mates and put folks relaxed. He’d land at a consumer web site and have all of it mapped out earlier than you knew it, joking round with VPs and junior devs alike. Some folks make forging these enterprise relationships seem to be work, transactional, however I by no means acquired that sense with John. It felt like he really did simply get pleasure from making connections. Actually, he had the identical enthusiasm and curiousity in regards to the folks he labored with as he did in regards to the issues he labored on. He made all of it appear enjoyable. Greater than that, he made it truly enjoyable. It nonetheless makes me giggle that I ever thought he may 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 Challenge Discovery whereas I used to be working at Thoughtworks, and I used to be instantly impressed along with his means to take heed to the purchasers, ask perceptive questions and attain a fast understanding of the deeper below-the-surface points at hand. John all the time displayed a deep empathy for folks, and on the identical time a really sensible mindset that helped us all see how we might break down a big drawback, perceive the human points and the way they intertwined with expertise issues. He was a incredible communicator, in a position to break down a posh answer into one thing very comprehensible by the viewers he was with. He and I used to joke that one of the best ways to ensure you understood an issue was to clarify it to your mom first, and if she get’s it, effectively then you need to perceive it as effectively; so now you’re outfitted to assist take your purchasers on a journey to their finish targets with out dropping them in some deeply technical presentation or planning cycle.

With that degree of practicality and communication John and I had been in a position to companion with our consumer leaders to indicate the worth of small-batch work, frequent deliveries of software program to their product groups (weekly vs. quarterly to begin) 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 folks on that journey in his personal particular approach.

Most of all, John made that fixed on the highway time away from residence enjoyable and cozy. I’ll treasure the straightforward dinners on the native Indian restaurant in Spring Texas, or burgers on the native bar and grill he cherished that we named The Kordy Shack. His humour, empathy, and skill 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 😊”.

picture: 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 popularity as a technical chief, modernization guru and all-round form hearted human. John’s humor acquired everybody by means of essentially the most difficult occasions throughout bold consumer engagements. John’s dedication to our purchasers was second to none, engaged on a distributed account at scale from the US West Coast meant John and I might typically begin our working day at 5am, with John sometimes taking cost of driving essential conferences and dealing classes presently, with a number of cups of espresso wanted to maintain us going by means of the early hours. John’s dedication to rising the following era of Thoughtworks leaders was an unbelievable reward to these round him. John was an inspiring colleague, buddy, gardener, cook dinner, father and devoted husband to Joanne. He will likely be significantly missed by his mates and colleagues at Thoughtworks.

Miguel Enriquez

Principal Software program Engineer at Subsequent Knowledge

Like many others, I met John at work throughout very troublesome occasions 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 all the time had these pearls of knowledge to
share with me relating to expertise, management and, extra importantly, private

I all the time puzzled why he all the time would transfer between conferences with executives to
our little struggle room downstairs with a smile that was contagious. Everybody was
virtually smiling and laughing at any time when we noticed him stroll the hallways. I slowly
realized, by means of conversations that I bear in mind fondly, that he was a superb
human being and he cemented this with nice talks about tech, smart 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 best way, 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 inside mailing lists. His contributions all the time felt well-balanced and considerate, contrasting with among the heated debates on a software program improvement checklist. When he posted, his phrases appeared to maneuver folks, and folks actually listened to him.

I understood this extra whereas engaged on an project in Canada. We labored on the identical consumer, albeit on totally different initiatives, so I lastly acquired to place a face to the title. Though we labored on totally different initiatives, we sat in the identical cubicle space. I bear in mind he would all the time greet me on arrival, say goodbye earlier than leaving, and, regardless of his difficult venture, all the time had a smile or a joke to share. Extra importantly, I found I might all the time flip round and ask for enter when uncertain about something. He all the time made time to rigorously hear and noticeably pause and suppose earlier than responding.

In management circles, you typically hear the saying, “On the finish of the day, folks received’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 venture solely lasted a number of 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 great fortune of being a part of a crew that had introduced in Thoughtworks for what was purported to be a quick “consulting and technical” steering engagement. Simply prior, I bear in mind feeling reasonably drained from continually being pulled into non-technical areas of crew and enterprise administration, whereas nonetheless making an attempt to maintain my ever-fading technical embers alive and stoked.

It was in that transient 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 grew to become John’s colleague and teammate at Thoughtworks Calgary, and I can say with full confidence that a few of my most essential profession selections and trajectory forks are laced with a little bit of his particular salt.

I’m a greater individual for having identified John, my buddy.

Chirag Lakhani

I take into account myself extremely lucky to have had the chance to collaborate and work carefully with John on latest venture collectively. Our in-person interactions throughout a latest venture had been invaluable, as John proved to be not solely an distinctive crew member but additionally a mentor and coach to me. His steering on main classes and public talking was notably enlightening. John’s insights remodeled how we approached consumer issues, urging us to suppose exterior the field and embrace risk-taking and speedy iteration. Outdoors of labor, our conversations over dinners offered 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 wished to get pleasure from his bike rides throughout his sabbatical. Even throughout his sickness, John’s resilience shone by means of. Our Zoom conversations had been all the time stuffed along with his unwavering positivity, and he took delight within the medical care he obtained. Regardless of going through powerful days, he made time for us. We performed New York occasions puzzles (Wordle & Connections) on a regular basis and his aggressive spirit thrived. We cherished sharing scores every single day with one another on our personal Wordle channel. The latest 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.

Blanca Lopez

I acquired the chance to collaborate with John after I got here again from maternity go away. 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 an incredible colleague who helped me discover my approach 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 method to discover alternatives to share his admiration for Joanne.

Kelly Cronin

I solely labored on one venture 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 identified account-wide because the Kordy Shack, the place he grinned a welcome at me, handed over a menu he didn’t want, and made a number of suggestions, ones which I used to be silly sufficient to not take.

Over the following 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 a purpose to perceive, and assist inform the story of, what we had been doing there. Anybody coming into our communal convention room in between grueling consumer conferences was instantly waylaid and set to narrating my more and more unreadable whiteboard diagrams. However John had a present for clarification, 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 purchasers when all they may 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 unbelievable persistence for that kind of dialog. He gave me diagrams explaining some primary knowledge precepts and defined among the steps the consumer was going to need to take alongside the best way to the transformation they wished; then gave me the fact of what they had been more likely to do after they ran out of time and cash, and the place that will doubtless land them. He helped me fill in a giant hole in my understanding of knowledge platforms broadly. I won’t ever discover ways to hear like John, however I actually discovered I ought to hear to him. I won’t have had the talents to acknowledge how deeply his information truly rooted, however even I might 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 superb dad joke, and his utter graciousness within the face of this unfair, infuriating prognosis and sickness. To have such a person be minimize quick is actually tragic; for him to be praising his luck on the best way out, for the therapy he obtained and the assist of his household and mates, and the care of his medical crew, and the life he acquired to guide 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 best way with realism and peace. We who knew him had been fortunate; and we’d be fortunate to face what he did as he did, with vulnerability, equanimity, and take care of these he left behind. It was one more hole in my information that he stuffed for me, and I really like him for it.

Michelle D’Souza

John and I labored collectively in 2008 for numerous 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, along with his huge 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 folks to indicate me the significance of the human facet of expertise. Irrespective of how busy he was, he ceaselessly popped by our cubicles to share a random bicycling story or to speak about consumer technique or the brand new hotness in tech.

He was a mentor not simply to me however to anybody who was keen to hear. He will likely be dearly missed…..

Nick Thorpe

The primary time I met John Kordyback, he swept right into a consumer 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 grew to become mates, I got here to know it meant “influencing folks many ranges up from what you see out of your vantage level”.

John was all the time involved about folks, however he by no means purchased into bullshit. Afterward, we had been speaking about how a few of our colleagues had been deriding the venture 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 initiatives. He was form and heat, but additionally had a tremendous perspective on what was essential. As a latest rent, I used to be nonetheless making an attempt to kind by means of the right way to method working with purchasers, and John was all the time a gentle hand to give attention to what was essential. He was form to swap tales of carpentry and different initiatives, as effectively. He’s already missed.

Lejo Varughese

John was a guiding gentle in my private {and professional} journey. As a mentor, he performed the function of the smart ‘grownup’ throughout essential phases of my profession, providing steering, and a gentle hand by means of life’s ups and downs. His kindness, knowledge, and dedication will proceed to encourage and information me as I navigate the trail forward. Relaxation in peace, pricey buddy and mentor.

Jez Humble

co-author, Steady Supply, Lean Enterprise, The DevOps Handbook, Speed up

John was an exceptionally skilled and skillful chief and problem-solver who efficiently guided groups and initiatives to success in essentially the most complicated and ambiguous conditions. I acquired to know him due to his work serving to a crew at a big insurance coverage firm implement steady supply practices on mainframes. You may see the excellent talk he gave on this subject at a convention I organized in 2013. I should have proven excerpts from this discuss over 100 occasions over time.

What actually made John a particular individual for me was not simply what he did, however how he did it. He mixed being tremendously laid again with caring an incredible deal for the folks round him. He would all the time lead with a giant hug and checking in on everybody, and softly throw in some zingers to spice issues up. He made everybody round him really feel like their perspective had been invaluable, and that they had been cared for. His deep follow of empathy and loving-kindness was no less than as essential as his technical talent in making the folks he labored with profitable, and I discovered an incredible deal from his instance. I’ll miss him very a lot.

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 marketing consultant due to him. I aspire to be the form of Thoughtworkers he was. His humility and kindness made a optimistic impression on his colleagues, mates, and purchasers. I actually appreciated his relaxed angle, even when issues acquired “attention-grabbing”. I’ll miss him

Tom Clement Oketch

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

It’s not typically that somebody as sensible and excellent as him could be keen to put apart their lofty accomplishments to have deeply impacting conversations about the whole lot from work and profession, to household and the goofiness of American versus Canadian tradition, to random conversations in regards to the superb photographs he had taken of his cat. I learnt quite a bit from John, and for that I’m deeply grateful.

Relaxation in peace, form buddy.

Ben Escudero

I’ve nothing however fond recollections of John’s prolonged tour of Australia that go effectively past studying about how watching ice hockey may be thought of a marital exercise in Canada. At all times 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 crew, you all the time knew that each single member of that crew would have him looking for them, supporting them, encouraging them to contemplate a distinct perspective to the scenario at hand. This went approach past being beneficiant along with his time, John merely embraced the concept offering pastoral care was consistent with the years of expertise that he introduced to each interplay.

Listening to John specific his timeless love for his gal, often 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 assist on the powerful 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 venture collectively, and by gosh I really like that fella for it.

Jonathan Kohl

I met John over twenty years in the past after I was in my first company IT setting as a software program tester. John had been requested to check out my work, and supply steering 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 after I confirmed John what I had been engaged on. My code solved the issues I wanted it to resolve, however it was easy. I used to be additionally utilizing a precursor to what grew to become the Watir automation device, and he was enthusiastic when he noticed what I used to be doing. Not solely did he praise my work and mentioned form issues in regards to the code I felt so self-conscious about, he had every kind of nice concepts for enchancment. He helped me promote my concepts to the remainder of the crew, and was so optimistic about effectively, nearly the whole lot.

Sooner or later, 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 info radiator that I’d created, however the stipulation was that I needed to create it in Excel. Once 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 in the event you actually need to.” He was proper, and he taught me the right way to make API calls and soar by means of every kind of hoops and awkwardness in Excel to resolve 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 informed you, you can also make Excel do something, even in the event you shouldn’t.”

John felt that there was extra to discover than having a sober second take a look at my automation work, so as an alternative of him reviewing and advising, we began to actively work collectively. We began pairing to see how testers and builders might collaborate on Take a look at Pushed Growth for software program initiatives. We found out the very best areas for a software program tester to contribute, and we additionally found out quite a lot of practicalities about having two folks with totally different talent units pair programming collectively. That wasn’t sufficient although, John wished me to study and personal TDD myself, so from then on, we might pair and I discovered the right way to write take a look at instruments utilizing TDD, one take a look at at a time. Once I moved on to develop into an impartial marketing consultant, these hours spent with John actually paid off. I had very important expertise, a greater command of obligatory instruments, and the affect of his optimistic angle and unflappable presence, regardless of how chaotic the setting was. I used to be additionally in a position to write articles and communicate 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 hung out instructing and inspiring me.

Other than the technical facet of his affect, what I’ll bear in mind essentially the most is John the individual. After I moved on and we didn’t work collectively anymore, we nonetheless stayed in contact. He was a incredible individual to bounce concepts off of, or to ask recommendation after I skilled troublesome conditions as a marketing consultant. If my thought was half baked, he’d let me know, however it was all the time a optimistic 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, after I was on the highway myself, I regarded ahead to our paths crossing if we occurred to be in the identical place on the identical time. Assembly John like this meant I used to be in for a night of fine meals, nice dialog, sharing struggle tales, heaps and plenty of laughter, and luxury.

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