T-496 days for New Horizons … brings back a lot of memories of precious friends, books and a noisy generator during a power failure :)

Funny what your brain pulls from the memory folders when you are waiting for VMs to spin up in Azure during an evening troubleshooting session. 1 - DSCF0575In 2007 my colleague Geoff Bruce and I got together to discuss the concept of writing an ALM book that would be read by all of the developers, testers and leads in the teams we were helping to embrace Agile, Scrum and get visibility of progress, or lack thereof. Give an ALM book to a developer and it is either turned into a mouse pad or used to raise their monitor by 1-2 centimetres Disappointed smile

Most of the techies were interested in space missions and in those days all of us were watching the Firefly TV series and the Serenity movie. “Bingo” … Geoff and I decided to write a science fiction story. The story included teams building and flying in their own space craft to then planet (now dwarf planet) Pluto.

It was a nightmare to convince the leadership and get approval for the “crazy” idea. It was fun and a privilege to work with Geoff, and interesting to see how our artist Tony converted the stories within the story to images.

However, it was amazing to watch the techies plough through the story, not realising that they were actually reading an ALM book Smile  The final success was witnessed when the techies released their solution to production. As expected, we had a power outage in Johannesburg and we had a noisy power generator on the balcony delivering power to machines and emergency lighting, and a very passionate and competent leader (Margie) continuously motivating her sleep deprived team! We should really have captured the atmosphere on pictures, but unfortunately the Smartphone with the camera feature was not mainstream at the time.

Anyone recognise this phone? My reliable, big and heavy companion at the time we wrote the book.

image firefly_025

If you visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/newhorizons/main/index.html you will note that the New Horizons space craft is getting closer to Pluto and is scheduled to arrive in 2015, after 10.5 years in space. A phenomenal adventure!

image Moon View: The Pluto System (click to enlarge)

We carved out two other books for the teams and the ALM community in South-Africa … enjoy the memories:

Book1NET Book Cover Indigo 004 

Thanks to BBD for giving me permission to share these memories and the book downloads with the community.

Comments (3)

  1. Margie Maimonis says:

    Aaaa Willy a sure blast from the past. That period of our lives was truly special, the floor we occupied was just a great environment of sure energy, passion and innovation. Willy the ever calm leader of ATC that was always the strong supporting backbone to CDS and your support, patience and help made me realise many things. You were and still are an inspiration to me and many other around the globe….. so much of what you taught me i have used as building blocks in Exelia. What a  awesome period and team we had……

  2. @Margie, a truly awesome time with an awesome team …. and we shipped that night 🙂

  3. Jean-Pierre says:

    Agree with Margie about Willy.  And a very informative – and quirky – read that space book is!  Keep Well 'old' chap!

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