#10 Agata Bres & Adam Nowakowski on taking a break
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Tim Bourguignon 0:00
This is developer's journey. My name is Tim Bourguignon. Thanks for joining me give the intro. It's very official. Just shut up.
Adam Nowakowski 0:16
Where's the music?
Tim Bourguignon 0:18
Yeah, there's movies you put the afterward. Well, hi, everyone. This is Dave journey again. I have two persons tonight. Adam and I gotta on the line. I'm Adam. I got our old colleagues of mine. But it's something like five years ago, if we work together?
Adam Nowakowski 0:47
Maybe more. I think it was four years. We are here in Switzerland. So it means six.
Tim Bourguignon 0:56
Six years? Yeah. We started, we started working together something six years ago. And four years ago, you moved to Switzerland? That's right. So so we were working together to fake German company. CRM was green letters. Well, whatever. And then I moved to this consulting firm I'm working for right now. And you guys moved to Switzerland? Your origin? Are you from Poland? You've been working in Germany, in Italy, in Italy? I think? No, it's whistlin. That's correct. Yes. Yeah. And so you are both developers or team leads back then. And now you move the village a little bit. So Adam, you went more the architectural and freelancing way. And I gotta, you've embraced management and fully went the evil way. And you're in a software project lead, right? Or is there a qualification of an adjective on that? So principles, software lead or something like that. So congratulations.
Agata Bres 2:07
Appreciate these warm words from you.
Tim Bourguignon 2:12
I told you, as long as you don't have the business cards, not real. Okay. So this is this, I find really interesting because you guys, so we were working together, or very close team, and kind of, I think discovered Scrum together. And back then it was it was really fun. And, and then you guys went to Switzerland. And you both kind of went a different path. More in the development and more the management side. And now you're just back from kind of a longer vacation, right?
Adam Nowakowski 2:49
Yes. Yes, we're in the wild. So you were away for months. Altogether, we've been away from the house. But we've been out of European continent for three months. And we went through automatic. Okay, and which countries to use?
Agata Bres 3:12
So it was a quad equator, and then Pharaoh began
Adam Nowakowski 3:19
to get it together. But if you want to count it, if you want to extend it to four, four in the house, we also visited galapagus was absolutely amazing. Okay, which is actually Ecuador. But yeah, play it.
Tim Bourguignon 3:37
Okay. And you've been back on European soil. And in Switzerland since about two weeks, I don't think a month, two weeks, two weeks. So you just went back to work, who got how you've been working again. And Adam, you're still you're still taking your time? taking my time that
Adam Nowakowski 4:01
Tim Bourguignon 4:05
But that's exactly what I wanted to talk to you about. So as you know, in these, in this project of mine, there will be a journey like pouring kind of the the soft skills or the all the all the things basically, that embrace the life of a software developer, not just technical stuff, but also more and more psychological sites. And one of them is his purples and, and the way you see your life and the way you feel good about your life, and how you find what you love, so that you don't have to work any other day in your life. And what I would be interesting to do today to talk with you about is since you came back, has something changed for you. Is there something something new or do you see things differently
Adam Nowakowski 4:58
I got some ideas that Okay, so I raised that. And so basically, of course, so every experience in your life change perspective on what you are doing. And yes, what you see around you. And so basically, for me, it was really great experience. And it brought a different perspective on my work, because I started just started. So I have to say that a couple days ago, I got a new project. And I will be, like you said, in this management position, so principles of the project leader, so it's a leader, being the leader, and what's changed after my seat is definitely the perception of my role. And my role is more focused definitely now on people I'm working with so. And it's not only on what to do what I have to, let's say, develop. So I need to create a plan, I need to come up with a new organization, the team organization, I need to I don't know, understand which risks we will have in the project, and organize some good relationship with the interfaces that we will have in the project. But really, the My focus is on the people I'm working with, because I don't want to work in the project. I'm not having fun. So and what does it mean? It means that to have fun for me, is to have people around me who also have fun. So how can I do it, as I'm thinking about this, I don't know how I will do it, it will just happen, maybe. But I know that I need to put focus on this, that people are definitely empowered in what they are doing. So that they feel motivated, because I'm looking from also my perspective a little bit so that when I'm empowered, and I can do many things, then I feel good, I feel really happy. And I think that it's also about other people who are in the project. If people feel that they are empowered, and they have a bit more, let's say no power to do things, they can experiment, even, then they feel happy to come to work and to spend time with other people and share what they just learned or what they implemented. So it doesn't have to be so strict as we think it should be. Because in many organizations, or corporations a dream is mindset that everything has to be according to the process, according to certain regulations and so on. But in development, you have really, and I believe in this very strongly, you have room for experimenting and learning from your even people call it mistakes. But for me, they are not mistakes. They are simply things you can learn from, you know, so it's like a learning phase. And I think if you give people if you empower people to do this to to don't have fear, too, don't be afraid of doing this experimentations then we're really happy to work with you. And there is a very healthy environment, and people can stay with you very long, even the project is long, because we are talking here about projects, which are not six months long, but three years long. And you need to keep people somehow motivated. Yeah. And I can just change in me. So creating this environment, and really letting people to be empowered and to experiment and do how they want to organize themselves. So this is a living organism, and you cannot really regulate it, except regulate itself
Tim Bourguignon 9:39
is something that you discovered for yourself and want to do for others, or how did you come up with this idea?
Agata Bres 9:47
So yeah, I just observed how I like to work how Yeah, it's basically based on my experiences? Yes. So I deep dive into myself and understood that this is what I like how I like to work how I love when people have trusted me. And they know whatever I do, that would be some solution. And that would be some way which brings some solution to the work we are doing. And I think it's based on the observation of myself. And
Tim Bourguignon 10:36
did you think you you needed this break to discover this about yourself?
Agata Bres 10:41
I think that it become more clear for me that before maybe I had some doubts, or I was not sure. And I didn't do this. For analysis of myself. So I think that this trip allowed me to reflect a couple things as which, yeah, brought me to this conference. Okay, how about you? Mm hmm. I, where do I start?
Tim Bourguignon 11:18
And what way you're not back to work? Yes. So that's, that's a hint already.
Adam Nowakowski 11:24
Because I came back, I mean, I could have searched for my for a new job while I was abroad, still, but I didn't want to do it. And it was simply because all things changed. For me. When I was there, I mean, starting from a simple stuff as enjoying your life, you know, like, before I went to district, sometimes I was, I felt like, I'm not really able to enjoy what I'm doing, you know, I'm not fully able to let go and relax and be happy, you know, with whatever I'm doing, maybe because simply, I was never doing anything, that's it was fully in good vibration with me. So maybe I was doing stuff for our working at some certain subjects for money, or for, you know, just proving to myself that I can be an architect for some project, and, you know, like, go up the ladder, I don't know, end up somewhere, but you know, I'm just proving some shit to me, which didn't really matter. And when we went on for that trip, you know, some changes happened in me, I mean, some transformations, I would say, which allow me to stop looking at life. So seriously, you know, so, what I was thinking before I went, you know, for that trick was you need to work, you know, you need to go there and work 40 hours a week to generate income, to not look like a frickin failure, you know, to the outside world, or to people surrounding you, you know, because everybody's doing the same thing, right? And, you know, if you lose the job, or somebody kicks you out, like a tragedy or something, you know, I don't know, it's like, oh, you're, you're, you're judging yourself based on someone else's opinions. It was somehow influential on me. The tip again, change that in me as well, where I don't give a fuck anymore. preacher can cut. I don't give a fuck. You know what other people think about me. And I think the most important thing is that I enjoy what I'm doing, you know, and if I don't know where I want to go, you know, I'm going to find out by experiencing different things, you know, and it can be anything if I'm not in software, now. I can go and try doing something else, see if I like it or not. And without worrying that, you know, my career is gonna suffer because of that break in my CD, which I don't know whether it's three months long, four months long, and nobody's gonna hire me because I had such it's bullshit. No. So but, you know, it was very hard to let it go. Before the tape after the trip is so it's so much easier, so much easier to just relax and start enjoying life. And the way it just appears in front of you. So it can be weather like I gotta she's at work. She likes what she's doing. It's perfect. No, for me, I'm not at work anymore. I'm looking around. I enjoy what I'm doing. I'm starting looking at the world from a different perspective. meeting different kinds of people. No, still talking to software companies, you know, So recently I applied for a job just because I have to because I'm unemployed, they want to get unemployment money. So I applied for a job at the company here close to where I live, which is a small company doing mobile applications. And I have absolutely no clue about. I mean, I have some club, I was nobody, but I've never been professionally developing any mobile applications. And so these guys actually called me back. And we started talking. And it was so funny, because I was so chilled, I didn't give a fuck if they hire me or not, you know, whatever they say. And even though I was so relaxed, and just told them in front of the rice, I have absolutely no, absolutely no professional experience with mobile applications. So what do you think, you know, and these guys were still interested, you know, which is so much different to what I've been thinking before. Now, before I was able to relax before I was able to look at the world from a different perspective, from more relaxed perspective. You know, which actually this big gave me this longer break this longer period of time where I didn't earn the money, where I was just enjoying together with Agata. So this taught me that if you don't take life seriously, and nothing bad's gonna happen, I mean, the fact that you are, you know, unemployed, actually, it's a different kind of experience, how many of you have ever been unemployed, it counts, you know, as an experience, because it is an experience, you know, it's something different. So once you do it, you know how it is. And in that time, you can actually experience even more you can try going for a job, which you always thought would be cool for you. And even though you never studied the subject, you know, and maybe somebody's gonna accept me or something, you know, because people generally don't know, they don't judge you immediately as you judge yourself. So, but you have to learn this, you know, because all the signals we get from the outset are completely different than, like, from TV, everybody tries to scare us, they know they will be the next, what sort of a tragedy tomorrow. So people are scared, and longer breaks like this, they teach you that you can get out of it. I'll give you an example. You know, we actually were out in the area. So our passports were stolen, and the backpack and everything was a big tragedy. And our reaction to this was maybe, I don't know, maybe four or five minutes we were, we were not cheered. And then we just chilled it, just so I could see what's what's gonna be what's gonna happen next, you know, we need to get out of this freaking believer somehow. And it was quite interesting experience, actually, to learn how you get a temporary passport? How do you get a pass out of Bolivia, because there is no Polish embassy? So you have to find another way. And then you don't know the language? You know? Absolutely. So in some having to communicate with people and police station, get papers and so on. And it worked out. So after such situations, you know, all the things that happened to us in this say civilized world here. This is this is funny. Just like I say, the tapes like this, especially to South America, it changes your perspective on life. And for me, it was exactly this. No, just stop for a while. Look at yourself from a distance. hear yourself to what makes you happy. What makes you want to wake up and do something next day? What would if you want to wake up and drink your coffee? What do you feel like doing today? No. And then you quickly discover that it may not be software, maybe something else? Maybe? Anything else? So just Greg's like this psycho. It's good boy.
Tim Bourguignon 19:21
Do you think you could achieve similar results? Maybe not exactly the same thing, but something going this direction without doing such a break?
Agata Bres 19:32
This is question for me.
Tim Bourguignon 19:35
Either one of you.
Agata Bres 19:37
I think you know, maybe you are like this experience you're seeing where do you what is relevant in your life and you set the priorities and you see that and when you are starting to be stressed about things here. For example, like Adam said, Oh, I noticed job or or, I don't know, whatever is happening. Negative people call it. So there's no point to be released at. And that was clear for us, but it's changed the script change this in so that we are not stressed about things because they are just happening. So they are kind of challenges for you. But you should take it easy, you know, you should just try to experiment, you should try different things because they are enriching your life. So, you cannot perceive things as like, Oh, I again, did something wrong, or something didn't work out. So I'm the loser. You know, very often people are just ending up with this conclusion of No, I would say no, no, no, because in my opinion is like a No, you are the one who tried this, and you are richer on this experience, so you're farther than others are. And you should think on this, like a yes, I tried this. And I know what I will do next time different. So that I'm maybe reaching, I don't know, my goal, or whatever I set myself. So basically, the street showed that, you know, in every situation, you have some solution, and this is the path, and everybody has different paths to the solution. And during this particular learning different things, and there is no, you know, better and worse, no, this is experience, and this is enriching your life. So everything should be really seen in this positive flags, my opinion. And then if you see things in the positive light,
Adam Nowakowski 22:00
I guess your life is also positive, because you are attracting really this positive energy around you. And then it's important, exactly this not allowing this negative energy, which is always coming always often the case in big corporations where you have all these processes and people coming to you, and judging you from your performance. And, you know, and telling you that you're you will not get your bonus, because you know, you didn't perform enough or you were too slow. I don't know. And, you know, people often take it inside. And this is very negative actually energy because someone is judging you on a non human like non emotional aspects in life, which is bullshit more or less. Because everybody's different you could have as a person, you have a not enormous value, your unique your amazing infinite being, why is somebody telling you your your bed or something, you know, maybe if you didn't take it negative, you know, as a developer, just, you know, being a developer hearing this stuff, you don't take it negatively. You just say, Okay, this guy, that's his opinion, I didn't give a shit, I feel amazing. But maybe I take his comment as a signal for me that maybe I'm not doing something that I shouldn't be doing. Maybe I made for something else, if somebody is complaining too much about me, but never take it as a direct insult. Because this is something that companies try to do, too. I don't know, push the employee down, or I don't know what they're doing. Just leave not only about company, it's not. But I remember how I was killing, you know, when people were judging me, you don't want to be judged. Because, you know, somebody's telling you either good or bad things. And the more bad things you hear you don't feel well, no, if you always hear good things, it's great. But the moment when they start judging you and you start thinking negative things, and if you're a person which is highly being highly influenced can be highly influenced by others, then this is a direct negative effect on you. Yeah, but I want to say just that it's the society also around us, so don't really again blame the company every couple years.
Agata Bres 24:26
That sometimes like you have toxic friends, toxic environments, which would stay the same and put you down. So I would not really like to focus on one thing. So let's come back to the main Yes. The trips like this also teach you your abandonment, right. Yes, they they and they show you also that you know you should not be worried too much because if you are to worry too much then you are taking it to yourself. So nobody else is worrying. You are worrying. So This is starting being your problem. So then think twice about this, do I want to worry and stop enjoying and stop enjoying the life or I want to read, reflect what happened and just take another as an experience and then then try another thing?
Tim Bourguignon 25:20
Hmm, yeah, I heard I heard, don't worry and just chill out. And these are like,
Adam Nowakowski 25:30
if you're making for building software today also, you know, it's like, what I learned is because you meet many people on those trips, and you can see that we are not like static beings, which, you know, like, our school system tries to teach us that. When you're, you know, who do you want to be? You know, in future? Do you want to be a firefighter? Do you want to be a lawyer is bullshit. Because in your life, you can be absolutely anything you know, and it can change. So today, you may feel like you want to be a lawyer. But there's no two months later, one year later, two years later, you may feel like you want to be someone else. And that's absolutely fair and absolutely normal. And absolutely cool. So
Agata Bres 26:18
tell us the topic.
Tim Bourguignon 26:24
nicely, nice word. And you know, this, this sentence from I think it's attributed to Confucius. Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life. Exactly. I know that you do. Do you think you're a step closer to this? Guy? Yeah.
Agata Bres 26:43
I agree with him, you know, because
Adam Nowakowski 26:47
it's hard for people actually to find, I mean, target to me. But in this world today, it's hard for people to find what they love, because often they're manipulated into the job, or something, which is good for them, but not necessarily good for them is good for their earning and so on and money, consumables and whatever, but not for their soul or whatever they, they feel like they would make them happy. So I read some story about the lady who was actually super unhappy. It had job, I don't remember what she was doing some, some business, I'd know she was working for a hedge fund or something like this. top management, making shitloads of money, but all the way all the time very unhappy. And then she went for a therapy it was the therapy was very interesting psychological therapy, where they, it's there is a book written, which is embracing ourselves, you can read the book, it's really interesting about different voices in your head, different emotions. And she went through this program. And in the end, she discovered that what she loves, I mean, she loves horses. She loves for some reason, she loves horses, and she started going to visit some horses to ride them. And so he learned everything. And after a while she dropped her job and replaced it with a school of riding horses, which absolutely loved it. And this woman in my opinion, she will never have to work again. Because it's her passing. It's a it's what she loves to do. It doesn't sound like a job for her. She just wakes up in the house to those houses because she loves them. And you know that that's perfect. That's amazing. That's something that I wish everybody you know, this sort of the current transformation.
Tim Bourguignon 28:51
And I guess, going away from for another four months vacation is not on your plans right now. But so how do you how do you what have you planned to come one step closer to this, this ideal of doing exactly what you love? But what's your plan for for identifying this? I got that.
Agata Bres 29:20
Yes, so, I mean, I would say shortly that I'm going to do the I'm gonna be honest with myself and I were really very close to the observe how I feel during what I'm doing. And and I will check basically all the time if I'm feeling good, or I'm seeing not so No, I am not feeling well, what I should do differently. Because for now I'm feeling that I feel happy. And also, I don't want to change anything. I don't want to do something you know, I don't know change things completely. I think that this is, for me exactly very important lessons that I had, I always just observe how I feel. And then I will just see what can I do in different situations and decide about my next steps. But that being easily like we already mentioned this, do what you love and do it often them. Yes, so this is like the life Manifesto.
Tim Bourguignon 30:37
The whole steam Manifesto. Right. You still have it, you still have it in your wallet. I do as well. Great, very great. I think we can we can leave it there. Do what you love doing awesome. This is your life.
Agata Bres 30:53
Oh, great. Great, great, great.
Tim Bourguignon 30:57
No, let's leave it there. We will have two things to ponder. One five seconds. No.
Adam Nowakowski 31:05
Five second break.
Tim Bourguignon 31:07
That's that's really nice quotes from you guys. Like, I'm gonna quote you.
Adam Nowakowski 31:15
That's gonna be so fun.
Tim Bourguignon 31:18
Well, thank you very much. Thank you very much. I hope I hope my listeners will find some some things to work to pointer in this as well. Well, so this has been another entry for Deaf journey. And we'll hear each other well soon enough. Bye.