Communication is at the heart of everything we do. But doing it well can be difficult. One of the goals of this blog was to practice communicating. Trying to make a point in the most impactful way possible. Sometimes I’ve tried metaphors, sometimes lists and sometimes being plain esoteric. I’m not sure which way is best. It’s definitely an art.
I’ve been lucky in my brief career to have worked in a range of environments. From small startups to enterprises and large government projects. Along the way I’ve learnt a few things about making career progress, but staying sane along the way. Somewhat sane, that is …
Agile is something we are, not something we do. That means in order to be agile, we must embody traits. To keep us on track with these traits, we can ask ourselves questions. These questions ensure our software is easy to change. And hopefully, this means we stand a better chance at delighting our customers.
Most problems have happened before. If we search back in history far enough, we’ll find someone overcoming a problem we now have. Stoic philosophy (Stoicism), when studied can give us many of the answers to problems we already face. I am only a beginner when it comes to Stoicism. But I’ve already had benefits leveraging some of the learnings from their teachings.
Rather than spending your time reading the works and figuring out how they apply to you. I’ve distilled 5 of the top lessons, from the perspective of a software developer.
“What good does it do you to go overseas, to move from city to city? If you really want to escape the things that harass you, what you’re needing is not to be in a different place but to be a different person.” – Seneca, Letters from a Stoic
In this letter, Seneca was highlighting that running from a problem, does not solve it. You must be careful to understand that where you’re running from might not be the problem. The problem might even be you (in this case, your team/business). Before we make that leap and change where we are, we need to address ourselves. And our own potential shortcomings.
There comes a time with our software teams where a thought flashes through our mind: “Should we change framework?”
The term learning disability is taken from Senge’s The Fifth Discipline. In the book, Senge discusses how to transform organisations into what he calls “Learning organisations”. Organisations that are quick to pick up new skills and responsive to change. To become one we must recognise what Senge calls “learning disabilities”.
Learning Disabilities are behavioural traits that teams exhibit. These traits cloud our ability to learn and grow as teams. Out of the seven total three, in particular, I know will resonate for developers.
My journey with Platform all started a few years ago when I read Key Person of Influence. It ultimately prompted my intrigue with writing. Blown away by the ideas in this book I had to dig deeper. This is when I discovered books talking about similar concepts:
I recommend them all.
The concept of Platform can apply to every type of software developer career. It doesn’t matter if you: want to work full time, start a business or go into management … The concepts of Platform apply no matter your career vision.
I’ve been recently pushing myself to improve certain knowledge gaps. Whilst thinking about how to tackle the problem I ended up posing myself a question:
When have I made the biggest learning improvements in the past? How did I do it? And can I repeat that process?
The answer took me back to when I was a student …it was when I read non-fiction. a lot.
For developers, portfolios have become more commonplace. Which in itself is a wonderful thing. It’s a great tool to showcase your work and your passion. I even believe it’s one of the best investments you can make as a developer. Especially if you’re starting out. But, I made a mistake when I created mine years ago. I wish I could go back and do things again. Because there is something that I’d change.
If you want to step up your developer career you might be considering creating a portfolio. If you are, bravo! Having a portfolio immediately puts you ahead of the curve. So, you sit down with a coffee in hand and debate the best ways to create your website and a thought crosses your mind:
Do I create my portfolio in code, or do I use a template?
This question came up recently on a front end developer forum. The answers that emerged were short and shallow. Did they answer the question? Yes. Will they help the developer get hired? I’m not so sure.