Aug. 2, 2011

Awesome Coach of the Week: Andreas Leidig

We honour Andreas Leidig as awesome coach of the week 31, 2011!

I first met Andreas @leiderleider Leidig at last year’s AgileCoachCamp. Since then, we met at a few other (un)conferences, collaborated in organising a new one, helped the ALE network grow… In short, we became much more than colleagues. Having met Andreas at the Deutsche Scrum in Stuttgart the week before my holidays, I was reminded of a compliment by Sebastian Schürmann that I wrote about before…

Will Disobey Anyone If Required

Andreas takes this mindset to another level. If there was a word for “dogmatic about being undogmatic”, I’d use it for him:–)
Andreas Leidig
Let me give you an example: he proposed a session in the open space at Deutsche Scrum about how procedural thinking keeps developers from becoming agile. Unfortunately that session didn’t happen (because mine on dysfunctional team goals took much longer than planned and he was too polite to interrupt…) but it’s definitely a thesis worth exploring!
We had many intensive discussions over the last year, not always being of the same opinion, but always sharing the deep passion to find the good, the right solution to a challenge, not the easy, obvious or nice one. (We both share a preference for being good over being nice…) In addition to being interesting, challenging and sometimes relentless in discussions, Andreas is one of the most helpful and generous people I’ve met. Offering help where it’s needed, providing comfortable, free accommodation when I was on a business trip in Karlsruhe last year… (I have to include thanks to his wonderful spouse Nicole Rauch here as well—she’s quite an awesome coach in her own right, but that’s a topic for a different post.)
It’s great to have such friends.

Craftsmanship

I had a few chances to talk with Andreas about development practices in general and craftsmanship in particular, taking your job seriously, taking responsibility for your learning and caring to become a master in what you do. One thing that always struck me as odd in discussions I had or in texts I read about software craftsmanship, is the impression that “clean code” is an end in itself, that the creation of source code was seen as something like an art.

Andreas surprised me with a view I hadn’t heard before. (I know this is not his unique opinion, but I heard it from him first.) Code has to be written with care to make it easier to read, because software is created for money, and it’s your responsibility to deliver good quality to the person who pays you. Even where they don’t see it…

Andreas in serious dialogue mode
This is how Andreas looks like when he’s deep in dialogue… Making a point.

SoCraTes

During the past months, Andreas has been busy envisioning, creating and organising a new unconference: SoCraTes! I unfortunately still don’t know if I’ll be able to attend, but I recommend this event to everyone who’s interested in bringing Agile, Software Craftsmanship and Testing closer together, with a focus on practice, not theory. I was involved in the first stages of the organisation, when we defined the vision. SoCraTes will be a highly collaborative 48 hours retreat with lightning talks, invited sessions and Open Space, facilitated by the amazing Pierluigi Pugliese… So if you’re looking for an opportunity to get to know Andreas… Consider to visit lovely Rückersbach in September! You’ll meet amazing people, and there’s still places left.

Awesome Coach of the Week

This is why we think Andreas Leidig is an Awesome Coach. If you can add an awesome experience with Andreas, please do so in the comments. We honour one Coach a week (except for some when I'm on holidays). Suggestions welcome!

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