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How Thoughtworks Saved my Marriage

Nobody intentionally erases the memory of when you first fall in love. In my case, it was love at first sight. I was only 19 years old. It was when I stepped into a bank, in the interiors of Uganda, 8hrs away from Kampala. I was at the bank to  pay my high school tuition fees. That’s when we met.

For a village boy, it was fascination. I placed my pride aside, and asked the teller in the bank, what that beautiful object was. She told me, it was a computer. I had no clue what it was. I think you have a pretty great idea of what my next questions were. Well, in the end, the picture was clear. I knew it was something I wanted to explore. A relationship blossomed and it eventually led to marriage.

As time went by, the love, attraction and passion grew. It took hard work in high school for me to realise the dream of one day being united together. I joined  Uganda Christian University in the pioneer class of Information Technology, majoring in software and database development. It was here, that Technology and I got married.

Two years later, I ended up as a junior application developer at one of the small IT firms in Uganda’s capital, Kampala. We grew stronger as a couple. This soon resulted in the  desire to impact clients. We both felt that clients needed our help to revolutionize their businesses. This was the beginning of trouble in paradise. We began to grow apart due to frustrations we weren’t able to satisfy clients. We hadn’t realised that we weren’t doing it the right way. Nonetheless, we pushed on to no substantial success. We both reached a conclusion that maybe we weren’t meant for each other. 8 years in the union and nothing that was of value was actually delivered to the clients. We both agreed it was time. Time to go our separate ways. I filed for divorce in January 2013. I was done with technology, especially software delivery.

Miraculously, a month prior to my last working day, I bumped into a guy who interned with me two years earlier. He had joined Thoughtworks. After a quick chat about it, I hit a few keys on the web to check it out. My first impression of the company whose home page had ‘Ambitious Missions Need Disruptive Thinking’ was inspiring. I have always considered myself a driven guy. I didn’t hesitate for a second to explore and research more about this company.

Robert Jakech working the agile way

I met my counsellor, Agile, when I read more about Thoughtworks and their operations. I had never previously heard of this person (Agile). Apparently, I was too waterfalled to breathe fresh air and to know what was outside the box - tedious clients engagements that led to nothing but pain.

I remained curious about Thoughtworks.  I wondered whether they were successful in doing what they say they do. I wondered how this guy, Agile, would really “make life easier”. I decided to apply to join Thoughtworks. I was invited for an interview, which not only changed my perspective but also made me a serious Thoughtworks cyber-stalker! I read almost anything that came up in the search result when I typed ‘Thoughtworks’. I day-dreamed of when I could receive a call telling me “Join us!” and I soon did.

I’ve now been in Thoughtworks for a year, but it feels like I joined just yesterday. The blankets of support by the diverse brilliant minds, the coordinated approaches and practices as well as the ability to share knowledge across the globe within the organization all makes me feel at home.

Robert Jakech presenting

Today, I can confidently say, I am in a company where I am free to express myself and my potential is positively harnessed. The diversity of exposure through forums and groups across the globe is a ‘handshake to my brain’.

As I celebrate the one year milestone, I am forever grateful that Thoughtworks has saved my marriage. The passion for technology which I was on the blink of losing appetite for is once again eminent. I can feel myself again being re-united to something I love doing and more so do it alongside the hive minds with clear goals to make the world a better place. I am truly grateful for this opportunity. Now we can live happily ever after!

Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.

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