On Letting Go

2009-06-18

There was a point towards the end of the Writing Open Source conference where we were discussing what XML namespace to use for Mallard. And I was totally bikeshedding my own discussion. Emma looked at me and told me I need to let go.

It’s true. I have a hard time letting go. It’s just that, over the last seven or so years, I’ve seen lots of people come and go. Many of those people I thought would become core documentation team people. Some of them could have even replaced me. But inevitably, they all disappear or move on. Maybe it’s my fault. If I were to entrust them with more stuff, they might develop a stronger connection to the team. But I’ve learned to have a strong tendency to keep things close, where I know I can pick up the pieces if people disappear.

But I don’t want to be That Guy that’s blocking everybody. (Insert whatever name you want for That Guy. We all know That Guy in some project or another.) I’ve established the Steering Committee, and I’m trying very hard to empower these guys to be able to kick ass with or without me.

So if anybody catches me being That Guy, please tell me. Our team needs to rock, and it can’t block on me.

♫NP: Bellybone by Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise