Posts

Showing posts from January, 2022

This is why I can't quit Facebook...

Image
Memories like these are why I can't quit Facebook.

Hiring Managers: Let's Get Some Data

Image
As part of the #OpenToHelping initiative (now over 2M views!), I received thousands of messages from frustrated job seekers. Many of those frustrations were around the lack of consistency and overall ambiguity they face as job seekers. As a result, I want to help by providing meaningful perspective on what Hiring Managers are looking for - but to do that, I'm going to need some #Data. If you're a Hiring Manager: Please consider quickly filling out this survey  - while your information is collected to ensure you are experienced in this area, it will be anonymized and your privacy will be completely respected. Please share with other hiring managers out there, so we can get a comprehensive perspective! Thanks!

7 Steps to Building your Portfolio MVP

Image
Often when I suggest to coders that they build a portfolio, I'll hear back: "I don't need one..." "With all the effort it takes to apply, where will I find the time?" Simply put, having a portfolio's never going to hurt your chances at landing a job - it can only help. That second question is where a lot of struggle - because applying to jobs can be time consuming. Especially if you're wrapping up a bootcamp, or having to manually type in your resume info after uploading your resume. That's why I made these 7 steps which, when done correctly, can really help you stand out with a hiring manager. And, the best part is, it should only take you 2 days. Being the Agile-Obsessive that I am, it's all about maximizing value while minimizing effort. Fix links to your Resume, GitHub, LinkedIn, etc. at the top where they're always accessible. Link to everything here - and then remove all other links on your Resume except your Portfolio link . It sa

And Now the Next Chapter...

Image
Some 16 years after starting my career as a Software Engineer, having grown in to a Manager, then Director, it's time for a bit of a career pivot. As much as I love writing code and being the best people manager I can be, it's all been against a backdrop of how I can best serve the customer and deliver the most value. (That's advice for any role, really - the trick is knowing who your "customer' is.) I love questions around strategy, solving problems and collaborating - and the last few years have been increasingly focused on just that. So it's with a whole lot of excitement that I'm starting on a new path as a Sr. Program Manager at Microsoft. I'm a sponge for advice, tips and recommendations, so if you're in the Product/Program space and can share some wisdom - send it my way! Can't wait for what's to come!

Closing One Chapter

Image
It comes with a lot of mixed emotions to share that today's my last day at Celero Commerce. While I'm excited to share what's next, but that's for a future post, for now I wanted to reflect on my time here and what we've accomplished in nearly two years. One of my first goals was to build an in-house team while navigating the chaos and confusion of the very early days of Covid. In a short time span, we built a great team that was banking significant wins, whilst building trust and cohesion during a very uncertain time. This was only made possibly by the strong foundation established well before I joined - by a few who don't ask for credit but truly deserve it: Charlie Berard, Kevin Jones, Christopher Rywelski - I can't thank you enough for what you gave me to work with. Early on, someone asked me why I liked working at Celero and I explained that foundation of trust: If I've had any success at Celero it was purely because I was given the space to fail. T

Ambiguous Terms When Interviewing

Image
  There are a lot of subjective terms that get thrown around when you go through the interview circuit. These terms don't provide concrete and actionable insights, so let's break them down: 1) Passion is a solution in search of a problem. You've learned how to write code, use a tool, learned a skill - and you are looking for new ways to apply it. It's conveyed with the energy in your voice, the enthusiasm and excitement as you talk about your experience, and the projects you take on. The converse, a lack of passion, is someone who is apathetic: they do what was asked of them, but not much more. The emphasis on passion is because you're looking for innovators, people who will push the boundaries of what they know, and learn more, who will identify problems and solve them. 2) Hunger is seeing opportunities as stepping stones, without being opportunistic. It's a sense of progression with direction. It's volunteering oneself where others don't, accepting ea

#OpenToHelping Follow-Up

Image
It's been 1 week since posting the #OpenToHelping frame, and I wanted to share a rough analysis of what I've learned: Of those who have reached out for help: About 50% needed resume feedback. Of that 50%, 3/4 expressed frustration from the application process: Submitting their resume and not receiving a response, or receiving a cookie-cutter rejection. For those who asked for feedback, almost all of them received none (or did not receive anything actionable.) 40% were students who were about to graduate, and wanted advice on how to best represent themselves given a lack of professional experience. About 10% were transitioning careers and looking to understand how to represent their transition. Another 10% were those who put their careers on pause: mothers who raised their kids and even homeschooled, some who took a sabbatical or extended leave to either care for others, or for themselves. The last 10% were a variety of special cases looking to navigate the career space: questi

Let's Talk Portfolios

Image
Last week, I did a virtual talk with 150+ students world wide about how #portfolios can help set you apart from other candidates, whether you're a coder, UI/UX developer, or even in CyberSecurity. This is based on my 16+ years as a coder, and 10+ years as a hiring manager. No need to complicate things with a massive website, in just 2 days , you can build a website that showcases your work.

The 5 Stages of Reviewing Your Own Old Code

Image
  Reviewing your old code can be like reviewing the love poems you wrote in high school. It makes you cringe, you don't want to look - but you have to, you come up with excuses for why. The best part is you see your own progression. You see all that've you learned along the way. With code, you learn to write better stuff. With poems, you learn to not post it online for the world to see. 

#OpenToHelping

Image
I 've made my own LinkedIn profile sticker - it's for those willing to give their time to help job seekers put their best foot forward. There's plenty of #OpenToWork stickers, but I'd like to encourage others to be #OpenToHelping - give resume feedback, have mock interviews, offer career advice. 💛 Update: As of Jan13, the post has had 1.2 Million views. I never would have expected this to take off to the level it has. It's been inspiring to see how many have adopted the badge, and have connected and helped others. People all around the world are using it. My inbox has been flooded. It's amazing. If ever I could have a post go viral, I'm glad it's about helping one another.

WinAmp Skin

Image
Back in 2001 I made a WinAmp skin I was pretty proud of. Especially because the camo-theme lended itself to a great pun - bootcAmp. I thought I was sooooo clever. Like many of my older projects, I thought I'd lost it forever. Luckily, I was proud of the number of downloads, so I took a screenshot. It's overflowing with nostalgia. 

Impostor Syndrome and #LifeHacks

Image
  I wonder if psychologists hate the over-use of "Impostor Syndrome" the way techies hate when one of our terms gets overused (ahem... #LifeHack) With that in mind, while the term may get over-used, I don't think you can over-discuss strategies for coping with the feeling.  Whenever I talk about it with others the common thread is a sense that you never truly belong because you are never confident that you know enough , are talented enough , or grasp   complexities fast enough . It can be so humbling when you see someone make some logical leap and create a solution out of thin air. It leaves you thinking: "I could never do that..." But that's why experience is so valuable. Professional experience, personal experience, project  experience - all that hard work turns into potential solutions for future problems . Unfortunately we rarely see the hard work others put in, so their solutions seem to appear out of nowhere. As a result, we doubt ourselves. Gainin

4 Things to Practice in Advance of an Interview

Image
Every interview always starts with introductions - and I've seen so many candidates struggle to talk about themselves in relevant ways. To help yourself rehearse, try one of the following: Practice with your most honest friends Practice by recording a video of yourself Practice with a timer / stop watch Practice while having voice-to-text enabled on your phone/computer A friend will tell you when you are rambling, but in the other 3 cases that's what you want to look out for. Simply telling yourself "don't ramble" won't help. Listen to yourself, so you can see where you start unnecessarily repeating yourself.

Technical Interviews: Ask Relevant Questions

Image
Having sat on both sides of the table, I'm always surprised to see Technical Interviewers ask questions that are not relevant to the role or skill level for which they are hiring. These questions can be useful, and I definitely understand why they're asked - but in today's world, the approach can be a dated. Once upon a time, Software Engineers needed a wider breadth of knowledge because technology was less mature. But as languages have matured, and as hardware's become more stable and powerful, it's allowed developers to focus and specialize around an area of expertise. Thus, the classical questions of yester-year are less relevant. For example, if your role is mostly front-end focused - your questions should be around UI development, events, accessibility, data collection, validation, filtering, presenting. If that's not your skillset, have someone else sit in and ask questions. Or, have the candidate talk through their GitHub projects, or portfolio. But what

Consolidated Posts

Image
This is the first post on this blog... a blog that already has 100+ posts. How? Like many, I've been using Facebook less and less. I've not deleted my account because I do like the many memories I have on there, and I'm holding out hope that Facebook somehow returns to what it was. Those memories are made up not just of photos - I have those - but also a fair number of longer text-based posts, observations, humorous anecdotes that I don't keep anywhere else. For example - there's the a post I shared about my daughter, when she was 3: Without Facebook's Memories, I'd lose those silly little stories about my goofball kids. Thinking about this made me realize that LinkedIn doesn't have a 'Memories' feature - and it makes sense, given it's a site for professionals, and so there's stronger emphasis on recent events (though, arguably, seeing how one's progressed in their career would be pretty neat.) Ultimately, it gave me the sad realizati

5 Questions You Should Absolutely Ask Your Interviewer

Image
To all you new coders out there, here are 5 questions you absolutely should ask the hiring manager in an interview. The last one especially, because good managers will be excited to answer it & bad ones will squirm and struggle (telling you everything you need to know.)

Rearranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic

Image
'Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic' should not be an expression about pointlessness. If you're a Jr Coder, don't lose your momentum because of #job market challenges.

Popular

#OpenToHelping Follow-Up

7 Steps to Building your Portfolio MVP

Impostor Syndrome and #LifeHacks

Technical Interviews: Ask Relevant Questions