Today everyone has some form of social media, at least in this business, LinkedIn, Facebook, twitter or this blog! They're all examples of being able to keep in contact with people out there, either bi-directionally in the case of LinkedIn & Facebook, or uni-directional in the case of Twitter and this blog.
I like the latter, I like people to be able to find me; if they know me, or just discover me. I recently had a message from a chap involved in my first Rack Mount Mistakes posts. His name is Stuart, and he was a very nice chap, he helped with the clean up and was my second when we had to confront and appoint the blame for the debacle on the chap responsible.
He contacted me to say "hey, I remember this"... Which is exactly what this blog is about, but I had to tell him I didn't clearly remember him...
After a little discussion we came to a conclusion, he found me to be a pain in the bum, fun and good at my job, but I was young, much younger than him, but in charge; which he didn't like. I was early twenties, he was early thirties. Now he's entered his fifties he looks back on those days with fondness and even said "I thought back then I had the nous to do your job, that you were pushy, but I know now I could never had been like that with people, never told them what to do and get those jobs done when I was that age".
Two things struck me about this, firstly that he was complimentary, but also I realised why I didn't remember him clearly. He was one of those rank and file kind of guys he did his job, he fitted in, and he got the task done.
Because he never rose above the surface level he was never a nail head needing me to drop on him like a hammer...
To my fault this made me place him in my "of least concern" perimeter, so as time has gone on I've forgotten that he was diligent, forgotten that he was a good developer, forgotten even his surname. This is good and bad.
However, taking this tail of thinking further, I realised I remembered lots of the bad ones... The bad egg, the nail which poked up and needed hammering into place, the ones who didn't get on with their jobs, the ones who disappeared from their desks for hours on end, or who missed deadlines, even some whom even today I chase around bad code they've left in their wake.
I don't contact either group of ex-co-workers, very few of them can directly contact me, perhaps this is good for the bad ones, but it's certainly not ideal for all those good ones I've met and worked with over the years....
And the valiant few I still work with and like to work with where I sit today, I salute you all.... Anyone not on the list... I either forgot about you or I don't like you; you decide which!