The next mentor is my former boss in the previous company I worked.

3.- Manager DJ.

Soon after I joined the company, Manager E.A. left and it was crushing. The next in line joined as a temporal replacement; he was no good.

Like a year later, they hired Manager DJ, a bit older than EA, huge experience with international companies and a a very smart person.

His most valuable characteristic? His ability to listen. He would let you speak and explain everything and he would be there, listening and learning from you.

That humility was impressive for me, because this guy had a lot of experience, yes, but he understood that he was the new guy and he needed to learn what was the current scenario before he could twist anything. Impressive.

We bonded because I was technical lead of one of the dev teams, and he trusted me which I value a lot. He'd ask me my opinion from time to time regarding important decisions. Even if he wouldn't take my advice, he valued the opinion of the developers and that made me trust him a lot.

From him I learned that, no matter how much experience you have in one field, you can always learn from others and if you're new, the best you can do is sit silently and listen, waiting for your moment to step up when necessary, and that could take weeks or months.

The other thing I learned from him was courage.

See, we were a company A formed of the join of three other companies (a, b, c) and we were part of a major group of companies (P)

(a, b and c) used the enterprise system we developed, but internally the system was a bit chaotic, lots of bad practices and very unstable. But it was like that because those were the rules set by company P.

DJ talked to me
- DJ: Hey, what do you think we should do to fix all the problems we have?
- Me: Well, if it were up to me, we'd apply a complete refactoring of the system. Re-engineering the core and reconstruct all modules using a modular structure. It's A LOT of work, A LOT, but it'd be the way.
- DJ: ...
- DJ: What about the guidelines of P?
- Me: Those guidelines are obsolete, and we'd probably go against them. I know it's crazy but you asked me.

Some time later, we talked about it again, and again, and again until one day.

- DJ: Let's do it. Take these 4 developers with you, I rented other office away from here so nobody will bother you with anything else, this will be a semi-secret project. Present me a methodology plan, and a rough estimation. Let's work with weekly advances, and if in three months we have something good, we continue that road, tear everything apart and implement the solution you guys develop.
- Me: Really? That's impressive! What about P?
- DJ: I'll handle them.

The guy would battle to defend us and our work. And we were extremely motivated. We did revolutionize the development processes we had. We reconstructed the entire system and the results were excellent.

I left the company when we were in the last quarter of the development but I'm proud because they're still using our solution and even P took our approach.

Having the courage of going against everyone in order to do the right thing and to do things right was an impressive demonstration of self confidence, intelligence and balls.

DJ and I talk every now and then. I appreciate him a lot.

Thank you DJ for your lessons and your trust.

Part I:

Part II:

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