I’ve been a database developer for over 20 years and worked with lots of different programmers over the course of my career. John Mann is one of the best developers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, hands down. Here’s why.
John has a highly developed skill that he has consciously honed over a long period of time and he can apply it in a very practical way. He has an intuitive sense of the programmer’s landscape that only comes from an experienced, knowledgeable, mature programmer. He studies his craft to keep abreast of the programmer culture. He teaches newbie programmers out of his home free of charge. If he has to cut corners due to time constraints, he knows which corners can be cut and what can be negotiated in order to meet a schedule without sacrificing accuracy. Basically, John lives his craft as it has become second nature to him.
He continually strives to broaden his knowledge. Since I’ve worked with John these last 3 years, I’ve watched him delve into one aspect of software development after another. His “delving” includes the intellectual and theoretical research of how to do things right, followed by a long period of hands-on, practical application of that knowledge. The best example I can supply is his three year journey into the database world. He took database classes from the University of Washington for a year after which he volunteered for more and more database development projects always striving to apply his newfound knowledge. In recent months, John has been diving deeper into WPF and JQuery.
John is a problem solver with a bulldog’s tenacity. If you present John with a problem, he quickly gathers the necessary data he needs, plans his tasks, and executes. He may run into hurdles and obstacles of all kinds, but it does not deter him. We had one such occasion getting Reporting Server deployed to a Production box. I couldn’t get it working. The other dev assigned to the project couldn’t get it working. I asked John for his help. John got it working sometime around 9pm that night after working a full day. He didn’t give up. John loves solving problems as evidenced by the informal office title of “handyman”. In a related, but different skill, John also loves fighting fires as proved by the Fire Chief helmet that he was awarded at our company meeting.
John has the right attitude and people like to be around him. He takes pride in his work and he knows his work is good. People love to be around him because of his sense of humor, his positive attitude, and complete lack of pretense.
In a word, John loves what he does and he carries that with him wherever he goes.