Showing posts from September, 2022

A story about tables

This is a story about Tables. Not database tables or HTML tables - but the kind of table that you sit at on a crisp autumn morning on a Sunday and enjoy the aromas of your freshly brewed coffee. Years ago, my wife and I bought a dining table we absolutely loved. The style, the unique design and character - we were really excited to find a table that we thought would become our family table. Then, our young family sat for dinner at the table. Each whack of a metal spoon that our 1-year-old daughter would make against the fine grain of the table caused us to wince. Every spill caused us to quickly jump up to and hurriedly wipe up any mess for fears of stains. Our little girl, who loved to draw and paint, and play with clay - well... she couldn't at that table. Suddenly, we felt a lot more constrained by this table. The table, beautiful as it was, didn't match the life we were living. Fortunately, the house we'd moved into at the time had a formal dining and a kitc

Resume Triage - Livestream

 In case you missed it, here's the hour-long resume workshop that I ran with my friend Taylor. We had a lot of resume submissions - and the approach was the same for each: First sorting the resume into a "Definitely Call", "May Call" and "Wouldn't Call" bucket before diving deeper into our constructive feedback. We had so many submissions that we couldn't get through them all - so we're talking about making Resume Triage a monthly thing. Stay tuned! 

Engineering Career Trajectory

  I was talking to a good friend of mine about career paths, and where their focus generally falls as they grow in their career - as I did, I thought about my own experiences and the companies with which I've interviewed. In particular, there have been some that I avoided purely because their expectations didn't align with my own for the role I was pursuing. That lead me to make the above graph - it's not necessarily to capture where all our time is spent, but more about the types of problems that align to our career goals. This isn't prescriptive scientific fact - but an approach to explaining the differences in responsibilities as one grows in their career. The time spent in each role may be accelerated, it may not be linear - and depending on the size of the organization they are with, the exact percentage breakdowns may shift up or down. As the first few years of our career is really about learning coding as a skilled trade. We're refining our skills and becom

Resume Triage!

Having reviewed thousands of resumes at this point, I have been seeing a lot of the same mistakes over and over. What crushes me is when I find out how much some people have paid to get ... not-so-good ... advice. That's why next Friday (the 23rd), I am going to livestream with my good pal Taylor Desseyn and we're going to review resumes live and on-air. It'll be a fun (and free)  workshop where we cover what works & what doesn't. If you're brave enough to have yours reviewed, you can share us a link - if you want to do it anonymously you're free to change your info and experience before sharing. For context: I have more than 10 years experience in hiring tech jobs, and I've helped a bunch of others land jobs. Taylor's got about the same number of years as a recruiter - so he has a great sense of what many companies are looking for. Hope to see you soon! Join the event

Infinite Bridges

He stepped into my office and closed the door. This was a bad sign. Any time one of your direct reports quietly comes it and closes a door, you know it's bad news. "What's up?" I say. "You're going to be mad at me." He replies. Yep. Bad news - but at least, this statement reduces my anxiety: I can infer some context; It's not personal, it's not health related, it's not a family-event. He's probably moving on... "Are you about to resign?" I ask, to cut the tension. "I...didn't expect you to ask so bluntly..." "You've lined up a new role though, right?" I reply, with the tone of a concerned parent. "Yes..." "Cool, tell me about it..." He proceeds to tell me the role, what it offers. "That sounds great, I can see how that would be a big move for you. Just so I make sure - you're committed to this decision, right? I mean, based on what you described, I'm assuming you'r

On Lego Bricks

 Lego bricks are more than just bricks... This took a lot of lego pieces...

Coaching and Coding

I've been coaching my daughter's soccer team for more 3 and a half years now - 7 seasons in total. We're just hours away from her first first game for the fall season and I've been struck with an epiphany: coaching is very much like coding. For the last month we've been hard at work making sure we cover the basic requirements, and wrap things up with test scenarios. As we grew more confident that we'd covered the happy paths, we focused on edge cases and broadened our test suite. We've made a lot of assumptions about the depths of what we should cover - but, given the set schedule and hard deadline, we did the best we could in the time we had. And now, we're ready to deploy into production. Or...maybe we aren't ready and we'll find out. But ultimately, as any good coder knows: if things fail, they should fail gracefully. When things go wrong, we'll be learn from it, build on the experience, and continue to iterate. We've set ourselves up

Don't Break the Chain

A really good friend of mine once told me I'd be one of the funniest people he knows if I could just keep myself from making the many un-funny jokes I make. As is, the bad jokes made me about half as funny as I could be. The tricky thing is - because I'd argue all those jokes are funny - it's hard to know which jokes will "land" and which will cause groans. And I say all this because I think it equally applies to the posts - as great as I may think they all are, some of them never land. The trickiest part is when the popularity of a particular post is inversely proportional to the effort I put in. Despite the old addage about quality over quantity, I've found that whether it's jokes, posts, or some other hobby - creativity fuels creativity. It's easier to keep the momentum of the proverbial snowball when it's already rolling - and so I'm scared to ever stop. I guess that applies to just about anything too - dieting, exercising, reading, coding,


I see a lot of posts about having a #sidehustle - investing your time, energy and effort into a passion that unlocks your future. While I'm not against them, for now these two are my side hustle (and my main hustle.) When you become a parent they tell you the days are long, but the years are short. I can think of any better investment for these short few years. It's tough to balance the impact your professional can have on your family, with the impact your presence has. In my own case, I try to involve my kids in my projects. They see me struggle, they see me persevere, but they also see me have fun - but for the most part I am in their orbit.


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