Showing posts from November, 2021

Let's Talk Interviews!

With the Holidays, December can be a slower month for interviewing. That makes it a great time to practice! Here are some tips on how to set yourself apart from other candidates.

3 Forevers Ago

People talk about 3 years going by in the blink of an eye. That's not always the case. Not if you knew someone like my brother, Sal. He passed away 3 years ago today - and, if you knew him, you'd understand what I mean when I say: 3 years feels like forever. My brother used every second. No exaggeration - he was the type of person who celebrated his 1 billionth second on earth, and looked forward to his 2nd billionth. If you ever travelled with him, you'd undoubtedly experienced those times when - at the end of the day, just as you were getting ready to turn in for the evening - he'd come up with some plan to drive 90 minutes somewhere, without telling you where and only promising that 'you'd love it.' And you knew you could trust him on that. Maybe you'd protest, but ultimately you'd go - and after having a great time, you'd be cringing as you waited for him to say "I told you so." But he never would. He was the kind of person who woul

Let's Talk Portfolios!

With Thanksgiving almost upon us, most hiring managers are likely not going to review anything until after Thanksgiving. This is a PERFECT time to work on your portfolio and GitHub. Here are my quick thoughts on how you can build something that will really help you stand out. Update [5/19/2022]: Now that you've build your portfolio MVP, check out your next steps !

Coding Tip: Starting on a Problem

Coding Tip: If you're working on a particularly large problem/feature/technical challenge, step away from the computer. Go for a walk, wash the dishes, sweep the floors - occupy yourself with something fairly routine and automatic, and just think through your problem. If you're overwhelmed and not sure where to start, try this: What does your output need to look like? (Output could be the return value of a function, the output of your application, or the UI) Does your output need to look like that? (Reframe your problem, and spend time thinking of how you might make the problem easier if the output were different from #1) Think of your input(s), and again ask: could you use more inputs, less inputs, or a different kind of input altogether? (Inputs can be function parameters, user input, etc.) Now, work outside-in, top to bottom: You have your input, what's the first thing you need to do to get the inputs in the right state? Should you filter? Should you clone the array? En

Increments Episode 106: Frenetic

Someone I know, someone I consider a mentor, recently called me 'frenetic.' And it was a fair criticism - but one I think that could use a little explaining.

Announcing: Code / Collision

When I was a kid, I wasn't allowed to play video games. That was the rule. I couldn't play them, unless I made them. And that's how I learned to code. I made games in Basic, then QBasic, then Visual Basic, some C++, and then a whole lot in Flash & JavaScript. The thing I loved about coding video games is it exposed me to so many challenges you don't typically see with application or web development. Applied physics, trig, collision detection. My favorite was building a computer player to be my opponent. These days, as many enter development through boot camps, and self-guided course, they leap frog over the amazing world of game development and get right into building applications, missing out on some really interesting opportunities. But it's hard to create games these days: Our expectations for what games need to be are much higher than when I was getting started. On top of that, the languages we use to code games are not what we'd use for application deve

A Resume Template for Coders

I've seen a lot of resumes in my time. Resumes are one of those things where everyone has an opinion - but having done this for a while, and comparing notes with others that I respect - I wanted to offer up a template I put together that covers everything from: Changing careers, Multiple roles at one company, Project based work, Fitting it all on one page. Give it a look & feel free to share. Let me know how it goes! Resume Template [Google Docs]

Pancakes & Growth

If you're looking for growth, one area we you don't want to neglect is our ability to make great pancakes. Sundays are for pancakes, so to help kick start your growth efforts in this critical area I'm sharing a recipe I've been iterating on for 5 years. Place a sieve over a bowl, and add in: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon white sugar Shake sieve to let dry ingredients mix and fall into bowl. Next melt 3 tablespoons of butter (I use the microwave and zap for 19 seconds, and then swirl to to let the rest melt down.) Let the melted butter cool, and while it's cooling add: 1 1/4 cups milk 1 egg to your dry ingredients. When your melted butter is lukewarm, add slowly add it in, whisking until smooth, but allow a little clumping - don't over whisk. Let stand 5 minutes so that the baking powder can do its job and create fluffy bubbles. Heat grill to 235F. Butter up the grill surface. Pour 1/4 - 1/3 cup of batter

Experience: Years vs Projects

Too many hiring managers need to remember: Experience isn't a reflection of how much time has elapsed but by how much was accomplished. 2 years, 4 years, 6 years on one project is less valuable than 2 projects, 4 projects or 6 projects. It's not to say 6 years on one project isn't valuable - there'll be a lot of depth to the candidate's knowledge, but when you're looking for someone with 2 years of professional experience you - you can just as easily substitute that depth with breadth.

5 Ways I Cope With The Impostor Syndrome

You'd think that being a coder for 15 years would have me confident I'm no longer an impostor - and yet, it's still something that I wrestle with. But though the feeling hasn't gone away, I have gotten better about how I manage the feeling and how I respond to it. Here are 5 ways I've learned to address feeling like an impostor.


Let's Clear Up The Ambiguity!

FAQs for a Software Engineering Hiring Manager

7 Steps to Writing an Amazing Resume

Work Experience vs Professional Experience

7 Steps to Building your Portfolio MVP