I was asked to do a 5 minute Spark Tale for the first Qiqocon user conference on August 5, 2021. I decided to do something a little bit different and wrote a poem in Dr. Seuss style to fit the conference theme of “Stretch What’s Possible”.

Below is the YouTube of the 5 minute Spark Tale and the poem follows. Enjoy!

(Note: I actually printed out the pages of the poem and clipped them into an actual Dr. Seuss book. Can you tell which one from the video? Also, can you guess what I used for the visual effects? Let me know your answers in the comments.)


Thank you April, and Lucas, and all who helped on
this marvelous journey, our first Qiqocon (applause).
Now, I have a tale in store
Which I hope will not bore.
But in this time where we're all in a stretch
I thought some may find some ideas to fetch.
Maybe you've been pushed and dunked into one mess after another. 
You’re exhausted. You’re tired. You wonder why you should bother.
When challenges come at you fast and thick, that’s when you find yourself in the "ick".  
The ick is a quandary and a difficult place.  It frustrates and tires you.  It’s hard to keep pace.  
Most find the ick an unpleasant place to be, but sometimes I find it's enlightening for me.


a decade before manifesto
a young career climbed fast and free
Year after year, 
from developer, to lead, to architect, to manager, 
you SEE ... the KEY...  was to always BE ... LEARNING
That was their mantra,
there was no diverting.
They couldn't be stopped.
No opportunity past,
until a web bubble popped ...
and two towers fell fast,
And thousands of jobs vanished, 
All gone in the past.
Stuck in the ick
no job for months made them sick.
So, so, so, so
What to do?  What to do?
They were stuck in a goo
What would you do?
think, think, think, ... THINK!
This ick did stink.
Then a flicker, an idea did spark.
It became brighter and then obvious
Just sit in the dark!
Ponder what you learned.
What you might really do.
Then think of opportunities 
That might lead to clues.
But another aha came along with that perk.
Don't just wait for opportunities,
Reach out to your network.
And then a friend contacted them with a new job
and it might involve that new agile stuff that made their heads nod.


Fast forward a few years
Once again a success
They learned inspect and adapt
Will always work best.
That was thing one,
and thing two came in time.
You should always be listening
To see if people around you are fine.
Thing one and Thing two, they always stayed close
Until the next job
and a huge challenge arose.
Management was pleased with this new agile stuff
So surely they could manage a team far away.
Easy enough.
Oh dear, oh dear.  They did fear.
They had been dropped in the ick again.  
No way to steer clear.
How to guide a team 1000 miles away.
Maybe it's time to dust off the resume.
But once again, it came quick.
Just sit in the ick.  Let it stick.  Who cares.
Think about what you learned
And all of the knowledge
That has come hard-earned.
Face to face was the place
that didn't quite stick when you are here and they are in Topeka. 
But it wasn't the face that was important you see.
It was connecting with people.  That was the EUREKA!


A few years later a large network was built
And a lifetime of knowledge was full to the hilt.
But there was a different ick to be thrashing about.
There was a strong desire to serve and share and teach
But no fresh ideas made them pout. 
Imposter syndrome was the name of this ick.
All energy it did leach and it was a different kind of sick.
and suddenly they realized with a click.
It's not amazing ideas; It's your stories that stick.
Your stories are the guides when you are in the ick.
And when you share them with others, they find their stories to get out of the thick.
and it helps find the principles that always make them tick!


So I tell you this tale
For when YOU are stuck in the ick
Go backwards to go forwards.
And see what principles YOU have learned that stick!
That ends this spark tale
Just one thing left to do
It’s really quite simple.
I’ll just say:                      Thank you!

QiqoCON 2021