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…]

You Get No Credit for Talking

Most of my career has been spent working for companies with less than fifty people. My consulting career had me working with much larger companies often, and many of the stereotypes about big vs. small are true: At a small company you are a generalist; you “wear many hats” [Note: don’t literally do this – it … [Read more…]

Reductio ad absurdum of LinkedIn endorsements

John Lewis endorsed you for Inventory Management and Leadership John Lewis endorsed you for Being Able to Help His Career and Always Being Nice to Him in the Breakroom When You Used to Work Together John Lewis endorsed you for Wise Hiring Decisions and Giving People a Chance Even Though They Have Little Experience John … [Read more…]

Vetting specialized developer experience

Let’s say your job today is to find people to work on a project that uses a crazy-cool-man-I-can’t-wait-to-show-my-old-high-school-girlfriend technology. Since everyone wants to try something new, improve their resume architecture, and dominate buzzword bingo you find that every single person you talk to about said technology appears to have “experience” with it. (Sidebar, the technology … [Read more…]

Questions to ask in an interview

The questions you ask in a job interview are important. They reveal your level of experience, ability to form complete sentences, how much you were actually listening, passion level, and how seriously you take committing to an organization. While the goal of an interview is to get an offer, deciding what to do with that … [Read more…]

How to complain

Let’s talk about one of the ills facing any group of people who are passionate about their work – ‘complaining about how bad things are’.  I’ll list some personal do’s and don’ts on effective complaining, and ways that organizations can help it not destroy morale.Every person that cares about their job complains.  How they complain, … [Read more…]

Complexity

In software development there are three levels of complexity that are in play.  You should focus on the primary complexity: taking a complex business problem within its native domain and designing a technical solution. Examples of primary complexity issues are designing a strategy-based plugin architecture for mortgage calculations, designing a star schema to later use for … [Read more…]