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Showing posts from August, 2022

LinkedIn Post Generator

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If you're struggling to come up with a quality LinkedIn post, I have the thing for you! If you're familiar with MadLibs, I've built one for LinkedIn, that I'm calling "LinkedLibs". LinkedLibs will generate engaging posts that resonate with your followers! Here's a quick sample: Want to gain more followers? Here's how I did it: Profile picture? 🤳 Make sure it has toys! Without toys, you're just another hasty penguin! 😥😢😖 In your heading, be sure to include statements about your collection of vintage robots! This tells people you're a beautiful person 🧑‍💼 who is happy to cry. 😃 Your banner should include a photo of you at a wedding or you in a hot-air balloon.  People take hot-air balloon pictures very quickly - in fact, did you know hot-air balloon pictures have been shown by anthropologists to make people feel satisfaction? As for a wedding - well - nothing says "humble", like a picture of you at a wedding. Finally, everyone lo

Code-mares

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When I used to code all the time, I'd go to bed and have code-mares. The same problem I was wrestling with would play in a stressful loop in my mind - but on some rare occasions I'd actually find the solution in my sleep. I'd wake up and, impatiently, couldn't get back to the keyboard fast enough. I was filled with excitement that a solved problem gives you. Recently I've been doing some mild carpentry at the house (building a mudroom bench and laundry cabinet). Carpentry, I've found, produces the same kind of feelings that coding can. I love it but I find myself frustrated when the right solution feels slightly out of reach. Suffice it to say, I had my first carpentry-mare. The dream made me realize I'd missed an important detail - and so, waking up, it was the first thing I had to do. That's when I realized a very important lesson about the difference between coding and carpentry: despite their similarities, coding is much much quieter.

Burning Down the House

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There's a parable about marriage - to paraphrase from memory: a wife is working hard around the house while her husband is in the living room reading the paper. As she races to clean, she notices the pot is boiling over, and the oven timer has gone off. She manages to get to it all, and over dinner she asks her husband: "How much do you love me?" and the husband says: "Very much." The wife presses: "What would you do if I was trapped inside a burning house?" and the husband says: "I love you so much dear, I'd rush in to save you." And she replies: "The house may never burn dear. If you wait for the big opportunities to show your love for me, they may never come. If you love me, help me with the little things." I think this parable extends beyond marriages - to friendships, but also our professional lives as well. How often do we wait until things escalate? How often do we wait until someone is really struggling before offering t

It's not delivery, it's deresume...

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If your career is a pizza, your resume is the box it comes in. Just about any box will meet the basic requirement of holding a pizza - but if you think more about what a pizza box can do, there's a lot more opportunity to tap into: First and foremost, it's the consumer's first impression. You see the box, before the pizza. The box creates expectations, it sets the tone. It can be unique and wildly different, or boring but familiar. Even though great pizzas aren't determined by the box they come in - if you're not familiar with the pizzeria a great box can grab your attention and pique your curiosity so that you want to find out more about the pizza. It's not delivery, it's deresume.

On This Day...

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On this day you looked at your Facebook memories to discover a database glitch which caused Facebook to provide you with someone else's memories. You can only assume they can see yours. You find the other person's memories fascinating, exciting, but ultimately would prefer to see your own. You wonder what they think of your memories. On this day, you looked at your Facebook memories to discover what you believe to be the same glitch. Only this time, it wasn't a database glitch. Turns out you had just grown older, matured, and couldn't relate to your past self anymore. You wonder what your past self would think of the new memories you're making. On this day, you looked back at your Facebook memories to dosciver a new glitch: Instead of posts from "A year ago" and "2 years ago" you find memories titled "A year from now..." and "Two years from now..." Curious, but nervous, you click on the memories to see what your fu

How to Pay Off Systems Debt

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Joined my pal Jakub Grajcar on Tech Leaders Hub to talk Systems Debt :

...yet

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It was our early start-up days - a year before the acquisition. The 6 of us were in a small conference room talking to a prospective client about the (really objectively awesome) software robotics & automation platform we'd built. My oldest brother, the founder and CEO, was leading the call. He was breaking down exactly how our customers were dramatically cutting costs in full transparent detail. And as the customer was thinking through how much they could save with our software robots, my brother concluded: "The only thing it won't do is pick up the phone and make a call." There was silence as the customer digested it all. And I, the Sr. Software Engineer at the time, invited only to provide engineering support for technical questions felt compelled to break the silence. I muttered (though still intentionally audibly)  "...yet." My brother glared at me. I smiled. We were generally pretty good at staying strictly professional at work - so while I knew I

Mouse Jiggler 2.0

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More than 10 years ago, we had a very specific case where we needed a computer to remain unlocked - despite activity on the computer, a weird configuration was keeping the activity from being detected. As a result, the computer would lock and unlocking it would take a lot of manual effort. On a whim, I printed out black and white "noise" and glued it to an external fan. Then I (crudely) wired the external fan to be powered over USB. It was crazy - but it worked. Fast forward 10 years, and I'm seeing actual "Mouse Movers" and "Mouse Jigglers" all over Amazon  that are designed almost identically (albeit theirs look much nicer...) I missed my calling...

Not Today

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I once read somewhere: "One day your parents stop carrying you. You never know when it happens, and they never know when it happens. They just put you down and never pick you back up..." Sharing as reminder: Work may be tough, your day may be frustrating, LinkedIn may be overwhelming. Or maybe it's all great. Whatever your story, don't let today be the last day you lift up your kid(s). 👨‍👧‍👦 Not today.

Thought Experiment: New Resume Sections

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When it comes to resumes, as subjective as they can be, it's important to stick to a commonly accepted standard. There's simple enough reason why: It makes it easier for the hiring manager to compare one candidate to another when everyone follows the same format and approach (that's why applications are so appealing.) All that being said, while I appreciate structural standards, I was thinking today: If there was 1 thing I could somehow make a standard for all resumes what would it be? Beyond the typical Professional Experience, Project Experience, Education sections - what is something missing? Resumes don't just need to provide the base level information. They can be used to drive the conversation forward so the interview doesn't just fall back to a typical Q&A. Resumes can give you something to talk about. So while I'm typically not in favor of straying from the standard and precedent, I think - if there was one thing I could add to the existing standard,

Facehuggers & MVPs

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The original sketch of the facehugger from Alien is a great reminder that your MVP does not have to be perfect to fully convey your vision - but if stakeholders confuse it for the final result, they'll laugh/cry/have an anxiety attack. MVPs need expectations management. I've had so many discussions with stakeholders (whether while freelancing or working in more corporate environments) on why an MVP is the right way to go. Someone unfamiliar with iterative delivery will still view the MVP with reluctance/resistance. That's where I'll typically break out the 3-week deliverable example: You are working on a project that can be delivered in 3 weeks; but you, being the Agile-wizard you are, realize you can break it into 3 logical areas that will each take 1 week to produce. You can either work on the whole project in a chaotic flurry of creativity and deliver the results in 3 weeks. Or you can work on the first chunk in 1 week, release it to solicit feedback while working on

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