Showing posts from November, 2020

The Three Things I Wish I’d Known When I Began My Career in Software

Progressing in a tech career is straightforward — but that lingering sense of self doubt, the impostor syndrome, can be tough to shake even as you grow. 1. If you’re not reading, you’re falling behind. This isn’t about reading fiction, and it’s not about reading technical manuals. This is all about proactively reading about your career, the evolving practices and methodologies. If your path is leadership, you should be reading about management, growth and leadership strategies, culture building, project management, conflict management. If your path is to become more specialized and technical you should become very familiar with Uncle Bob . Whatever your direction or path, there’s a book for it all. A great one to start with, one that I wish had been written when I first got started is The Manager’s Path . (It covers a career arc from Jr Engineer to CTO and is important regardless of whether your path includes management.) Beyond that, you should read about your industry: whether it’s e


There's a paradox about family: you hear cautions about working with family while simultaneously hearing teams describing themselves as being "like a family." Next week marks 2 years of the passing of my older brother. My older brother, but also my employer for 8 years. An employer to many, but also their older brother. It would be wrong to call him a workaholic. There was no work/life balance in his mind. Just life . Just as you'd be his employee, coworker, colleague, you'd also be his friend - and being his friend meant you were his family. He'd laugh at my (finally!) reluctant admission that having an older brother makes you lazy - especially an older brother as vibrant, energetic, and full of life as he. It makes you lazy because not only do you know you could never keep up , but because you also know with him around, you don't need to keep up. When I was 6, my cool 17 year old brother would pick me up from my babysitter's to take me to the mall.

Bad Goals are Indistinguishable from Numbers

When it comes to S.M.A.R.T goals, the best thing I've read was: "Bad goals are indistinguishable from numbers." The writer goes on to explain how goals should state where you are today, your current rate/velocity, your target and when you will hit it. Bad goals: "Get backlog below 20 items by the end of the month." / "Decrease backlog by 50% by end of month," / "Get velocity up to 6 items per week by month end" Good goal: "Current backlog is at 52, with velocity of 7 items items per week. By month end, we will get the backlog under 20 items, by increasing velocity to 9 items per week." Personally, I think it's even better to briefly cover how you will get there : "Current backlog is at 52, with velocity of 7 items items per week. By month end, we will get the backlog under 20 items, by increasing velocity to 9 items per week. We'll achieve this by reducing unnecessary meetings and setting up office hours to reduce dist


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