Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A reason to hope

First, I would like to try and explain my previous post. I wrote that after having a great evening at my company's Christmas party hosted at the Suntree Country Club. In only the few months that I've been here I have made so many friends and learned so much. I suppose looking back on where I was last year at this time, desperately searching for a new job, and comparing it to now, things have definitely changed. And this came out a bit stronger than I had anticipated. Regardless, I don't regret writing any of it.

Now I was going to use this space to write about the contribution that Open Source software, or OSS, has and will continue to make to our society at both the commerical and public sector level. But today I found out some news which really disappointed me. My friend and boss has decided to move on. Now it's not exactly public info quite yet but since nobody reads my blog I think I'm in the clear.

The last boss that I can really remember liking was five years ago when I worked for a company called ID Training. I only worked there for a few months during the summer of 2000 but I had a great time and really got to know the people there. It was painful to hear that just a few months later nearly everyone was laid off and the company was literally scrapped for parts. Anyways, my boss's name was Andy and he was super laid back. He kept me on track to finish my projects but also gave me my creative space to explore new forthcoming technologies.

My bosses of the past few years have not had such great track records. My last one liked to square the peons, namely us, off against each other in a vain effort to raise their own status. The one before that made a habit of sleeping with team members. Neither of these methods are what we would call good for 'team building'. So as you can see, my view of management had been greatly diminished by the time I arrived at my current employer. But within a short amount of time, I had a whole new perspective.

My boss Ryan never pretended to be above us but the way he treated the group got us to give him our respect. We could always count on him to get us what we needed to do our job and to those requests that were out-of-scope he gave us an honest answer. And he always put the welfare of the team above his own. I do not hand out praise like this lightly. He truly is a great manager and he will be sorely missed.

However, I must also look to the future and that means dealing with his replacement, for better or worse. In my limited experience with upper management, I think I have a lot to be hopeful for. Procedures are firmly in place within this organization and training for managers is required. Such assignments are not handed out solely based on time served. As well, yearly surveys are issued to employees to measure their managers' abilities and these results are pored over for signs of weak leaders.

So even though the best manager I've had in a long time has decided to move on, I'm not sad. I am happy that he is pursuing what is essentially his life's dream. And I am also confident that whatever person does come in to fill those very large shoes will have the training and experience necessary to do the job.

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