An Epiphany at the Office

One of my Release Management team members wanted to take a DevOps continuing ed course at the local community college.  I thought it was a very good idea – our Release Managers are going to need to sharpen their technical skills.

The first problem

The DevOps course had a prerequisite for C# or Java programming experience.  The interested party did not have this experience, and the programming courses were much more expensive, and more than she really wanted to sign up for.

The second problem

Since we are predominately a Java house, Java seemed the natural solution to me.  The DevOps course starts in August (if I recall correctly), and there was no time to sign up for and complete a Java class before the next DevOps class started.  The interested party did not want to wait for the next semester.

Realizing the target state of our Release Manager (RM) role is more technical, I agreed to host a small “Code Camp” for the RMs on the team, for those interested in learning a bit of Java, and who desire to stretch to be a little more technical.  Knowledge is power.  67% of our RM team signed up for a class, hosted by me.  The classes scheduled to start near the end of July.

The third problem

It has been YEARS since I have written a LINE of JAVA.  And I like to joke I have the mind and body of a much older man.  🙂  I remembered almost nothing about Java syntax, the object model, etc.  I came home and my wife and I laughed about my arrogance or stupidity.  I was laughing at my arrogance, but Melissa?  Well let’s not assume, please.

The Solution

So, what do I do?  Back out?  Ummm….never.

Since agreeing to the Code Camp, I have spent 3+ hours a night for the last few nights brushing up on my JAVA.  I have the curriculum written up.  I have example code.  I am refreshed (completely?) on the basics, and I am ready to go, from a knowledge perspective, with 8 days to spare.  It wasn’t too bad (smugly polishing nails on undershirt).

Lesson Learned

In all seriousness, I learned something meaningful here.  It is easy to throw up your hands and say “oh well, that stinks,” and go about your day.  But, if you care about your team, if you are not drowning in apathy, if you care about the individuals you work with, you might be surprised what a little elbow grease can do.  Not all problems require a budget, funding, or a project to resolve.  Sometimes, a little initiative and humanity is all that is needed.

Now I just need to make sure my Code Camp doesn’t crash and burn.  No pressure.  🙂

If you have comments or feedback on this entry, please consider leaving a comment.  I would appreciate any feedback or questions. 

Best Regards,


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