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Showing posts from March, 2023

"FOLLOW THAT CAB!"

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I was playing 2 Truths & A Lie with some coworkers. One of my truths (that everyone was convinced was a lie) is about how I'd once jumped into a cab and yelled that classic line that appears in just about every movie genre. It was from a time when I had long, shaggy hair tucked under a tattered cap. The cab driver, realizing it was an #opportunity to live out his car-chase dreams, broke quite a few traffic laws that night. I won't get into the specifics of that story. You can pretty much pick any movie and the elements behind that scene were the same make up of my own true story, (including a classic scene where we were driving over a bridge, lost the other cab for some moments, and then when we spotted them again, we had to pull across 3 lanes to make a turn just in time...) But this story is not the purpose of the post. Or rather, one story is not the point. The point is ALL. The. Stories. I don't see life as discreete experiences. They're all parts of a larger st

To thine own resume be true...

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Should you lie on your resume? Should you lie in an interview? Should you embellish your experience? While the answer is obviously no, the concern I have is for the hundreds of coworkers & friends that I know are selling themselves short. Obviously, no honest person ever wants credit for someone else's success. But, if you're a naturally humble person, you're probably undervaluing the role you played in that person's success. Anyone who is part of a team, department, business unit, organization can never be independently successful. Success is a team effort - and everyone deserves the credit. When I think of my own successful projects - I was trained by my seniors, enabled by my leadership, supported by my direct reports, and strengthened by my peers. And I know I played a similar role for others. You shouldn't lie on your resume. But you absolutely should recognize your contributions towards success. Showcase it on resume, highlight it in an interview, share it

The 4 "REs" of Systems Debt

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I like to joke that the perfect code is the code you've not yet written. It's optimized, bug-free, fully capable, and carries zero debt. Because, the unfortunate truth is, as soon as we're writing code, we're likely accruing some debt - and that's ok provided we're consistently paying it down.  A common suggestion is to allocate 20% of the teams' time towards paying down technical debt. As a reminder, Technical Debt is when teams take shortcuts to deliver a project sooner, knowing they will later refactor. Not paying it down leads to a product with a brittle code base that is tough to maintain, scale and support - and teams are often bad about actively paying it down, which leads to Engineers having a strong preference for green field  work over a debt-ridden brown field . So - what if we allocated 20% of our time towards paying down debt? In a typical 5-day work week, this could mean dedicating Fridays to paying down debt you accrued over the course of the

Hire for Capability not Experience

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Advice for fellow Hiring Managers: Hire for the generalized capability, not the specialized experience: If you need someone who can shovel dirt, hire someone who can shovel. Hard. Stop. When you get too specific in your jobposting you turn away amazing candidates - particularly those in groups that are known to self-select out when they don't meet all requirements. If you're thinking: "But, I need someone who has experience with dirt... dry dirt, wet dirt, compacted dirt, gravel dirt, ornamental dirt..." then why are you hiring a shoveler? Get yourself a Dirt Specialist. You're either trying to get away with a 2-for-1 role (which never works out well... Dirt Specialists don't want to shovel, and Dirt Shovelers just want to shovel), or you're not really hiring the Right Person for the Right Job (see EOS by Gino Wickman .) Otherwise, you're unknowingly eliminating the best kind of candidates: One who has core skills, but is also looking to learn, adapt,

Creating Opportunity

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An important theme across my career has been, in the absence of opportunity, to create my own. With today's jobm arket being tougher than ever - with few opportunities, and lots of competition - I'm setting out to create opportunity. If you're a coder or in tech, if you're #OpenToWork and want to fill some time with a project, I'd love it if you joined me. I won't share too many details just yet but the project is entirely community-focused, designed to help out job seekers no matter their job title or industry. If you're curious to learn more, connect with me on LinkedIn .

My place, my rules

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One summer, back when I was a teenager, I visited my oldest brother who lived in another city. We were at his place hanging out and, out of nowhere, he said "Lets play hockey." We used to do this a lot when we were kids, living under one roof (Please don't tell my parents). "Where?" I asked. "Here," he said - as he grabbed a couple of hockey sticks from his coat closet, moved all the living room furniture to the side, set up some nets with pillows, and tossed a tennis ball on the floor. "Are you...allowed to do this?" I asked. He looked at me incredulously. "What do you mean? Why would I not be allowed. It's my place..." It's a memory that also reminds me of a joke by Mitch Hedberg: "I just bought a 2-bedroom house, but I think I get to decide how many bedrooms there are, don't you?" There are a lot of unspoken rules we follow - and end up inhibiting ourselves as a result. Conversations we avoid, extra work we

How do you like them apples?

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  I took this picture back in 2016 at a grocery store. How do you even begin to choose the right apple? All of them look great. You can do some basic checks, like looking for obvious blemishes, but in the end - when you account for all the obvious things - your selection is rather abritrary and random, isn't it? I think it's a good analog for what things look like from a hiring manager's perspective, right now. You're not a bad apple. And it's not that you're not valuable. It's not that you're not doing enough to stand out. There are just a lot of really good apples right there. Right now, the game isn't about standing out. It's about keeping unbruised. Don't let this time, challenging as it is, turn you bitter. 

Face Sign In

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If you ever see me at my desk and wonder why I'm aggressively smiling at my computer, this is what my computer sees because when I'd first set up Facial Recognition, I gave the camera a really goofy grin.

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