Duncan has lived his entire life in and around the city The Hague in the Netherlands. In January 2020 he moved from an apartment in the city to a remodeled farm in the outskirts of a small village near ’s-Hertogenbosch. Here he lives with his wife Sylvana and two dogs Pixel and Hurley.
Away from keyboard he enjoys riding his motorcycle, walking with his dogs through the biggest forest he can find. For relaxation he can be found on the couch watching movies, tv shows or playing a console game. As a traditional computer nerd he also has interest in 3D printing, home automation and gadget geekery. Looking for a conversation starter, and have interest in something that requires a plug, he suggests to start there.
To keep himself inside the recommended BMI range, he run’s three times a week. He also loves mountain biking.
Of course the following profiles don’t 100% match up with him, but they do provide a nice framework.
How to Contact
In this attempt to maintain some separation between work and private life he would appreciate it if you could help him by keeping that in mind when contacting him. Talking shop? Use any medium you feel comfortable with. For complex discussions or questions, written mediums like Microsoft Teams, slack, Google meet, E-mail tend to not work well for him. At the cost of asynchronicity, a video call has worked much better.
Want to just shoot the breeze? Use what ever medium, when ever.
He is a big proponent of the no hello movement.
Preferred Working Style
Duncan really loves cooperation, which can take various forms. Pair programming, mobbing with a group, behind a keyboard or whiteboard. If you bring your enthusiasm or curiosity, give him some time and he will match it.
There are no specific windows or peak time when he is at his best, bad nights sleep or just woke up on the wrong side of the bed? He is still able to dive into a problem, although you might need to supply a lot of initial energy before you get something back.
When introduced to a new concept or problem, he might need some time to wrap his head around it. This might include some proof of concept style code spikes. He will usually choose to do that alone outside of work hours. But this does not mean that you are not welcome to help out. You may need to pull him into a pairing session and give him some space to ramble on and try some random things.
Duncan is at his best when he is part of a motivated group. If the people he is cooperating with are enthusiastic about what they are doing, he will draw energy from that vibe. When paring be an active passenger, or demanding driver. Share you knowledge and ideas. Your enthusiasm will be contagious.
Another big motivator for him is learning new things. Have experience with a technology, code paradigm or methodology? Please share.
Having trouble with something you think he can help you with? Ask him to help you, he will make time and try to help you however he can, for as long as is required. As long as you are motivated, he will be too.
Getting to know his colleagues on a more personal level. Getting to a place where he doesn’t have to tiptoe around someone because he can trust that they know him better than the guy that woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning.
A primary demotivator for Duncan is the lack of feedback when he is applying energy to something. He has the capability to supply great initial bursts of it, but that energy will quickly diminish if there is no feedback. Things that he considers are energy draining are keeping your webcam off during a video meeting, or not actively participating in a discussion.
While he appreciates a good yak shaving session as well as the next guy, if he gets the feeling that there is no improvement and not a lot of support in the shaving, motivation can dwindle quickly.
Duncan really appreciates work ethic, but an environment where there is no room for joking around will give him trouble adjusting.
A previous employer of Duncan put to words something that describes his professional values perfectly: “Open, Honest, Friends”. While he understands that colleagues are not friends and don’t have to be, he choses to construed friends as someone you would happily share a meal or drink with. Openness and honesty will construe themselves through several aspects. If he doesn’t know something he will say so, if he has an opinion about something he will voice it.
One of the greatest values Duncan believes in is Personal improvement through open and honest feedback. We all have aspects of ourselves that we want to manage, improve or change. He views feedback as a key mechanism to do so. Had an interaction that didn’t sit well with you? Found he could have handled a situation better? Found he handled a situation pretty good? He would really appreciate it if you could tell him about your experiences. He will return the favour.
Strong Opinions, Weakly Held. Duncan strives, and fails, to embody his interpretation of this. Which can be described as follows: form your opinion about something, trust your gut, don’t be afraid to propagate it. But keep your objectivity, and when presented with new insights and facts, incorporate and adjust.
Duncan can be very present. This opens him up to unintentionally overshadowing others. He is aware of this trait and is working on it, but it would really help him out if you make him aware of the fact that he is doing it.
When he feels his idea or opinion is the correct or best one, it might be tough to persuade him. He is aware of this trait an would love it if you help him get a handle on it.
Duncan has a very dark and self deprecating sense of humor. This can be misconstrued. If you feel unconformable and or personally attacked please give him a heads up. It’s not his intention of hurt anyone’s feelings.
When he has lost his motivation, it can be quite hard to get his head back in the game. Calling him out on this and offering some energy of your own can help. Sometimes just offering to calling it a day is the best option.
- Doing the same thing expecting different results. Or as the saying goes: If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.
- People that have strong opinions but are completely unwilling to reflect upon those opinions.
- He really appreciates feedback. If the feedback is based on any of the blind-spot areas please take me aside for a one-on one as soon as possible, as this will help keep the context top of mind.
- Having lost a substantial amount of weight, his diet is a continuing source of struggle. Please don’t be offended if he rejects your offer of any caloric intake.
- Don’t assume he’s not interested in your random facts, or points of interest. He most definitely is.
- Notice a spelling mistake, makes a lot of sense as he’s quite dyslectic.
- Has he missed a new haircut, glasses or anniversary. Sorry, He can notice the smallest of things and miss the big stuff.