Reflection Frameworks

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is typically a change of pace for most people – even if they don’t go on vacation – and a socially acceptable time to reflect and make large changes in your life. I am intentional about goal-setting and have found that having a framework – a simple … [Read more…]

Play to your Strengths – Well, Sometimes.

You hear, and most act upon, the advice to “learn all you can and improve your weaknesses.” Traditional education focuses on being well-rounded and not having any major knowledge gaps, so we get used to pushing through learning things we don’t pick up quickly. But there is another idea, most commonly learned by taking an … [Read more…]

Personal Pre-Mortems

If you are like me you can get into a mindset of negative thinking where you can poke holes in any potential project idea or action. After all, thinking of doomsday scenarios is a marketable skill when you actually take action to prevent them, but in our personal lives having this negative view is very … [Read more…]

Bring Your Own Team

Now here is an interesting idea: front-loading an aquihire by hiring a functioning team rather that a single person. As many of us know developers travel in packs anyway (I have worked with many former colleagues at new places) so bringing on a pre-existing team is an interesting idea. Some immediate thoughts: Developers might travel … [Read more…]

A System for Analyzing Systems [Part 2]

This is the second part of an (awesomely epic) series on how to analyze a software system quickly, click here to view Part 1. So now you (having the right attitude and documenting everything) have viewed the main nouns (data) and verbs (use cases, workflows).  What do you do next? Profit? #3 Find integration points … [Read more…]

A System for Analyzing Systems [Part 1]

We seek definition to understand the system so that we can discern the rules so that we know what to do next so that we win. — Michael Lopp, Being Geek: The Software Developer’s Career Handbook How do you approach learning a new system that is dumped on your lap like a spilled plate of nachos? Let’s say … [Read more…]

The Three Laws of Robotics (for tech recruiters)

The tech market is so hot right now that if you are a developer and can tell the difference between O(n) and your own butthole you might be getting calls from aggressive recruiters. Recently I’ve had two recruiters that I’ve never met contact friends saying that I had recommended them for a position and I’ve … [Read more…]

Key considerations for your next development job

As a developer, your basic job is to create things. Since the world needs software in every industry you might think that one is the same as the next, and you’d be shamefully wrong. Outside of the obvious questions you should ask yourself when looking for your next gig – how sharp are the coworkers, … [Read more…]