The important questions I ask myself every week, and why.

By rewriting your concerns as questions you move from anxiety to curiosity.
This is a paraphrased quote from the book Sprint. Author Jake Knapp is talking about gathering a list of “what could go wrongs” on a project as part of a design Sprint. Knapp is tapping into the elephant in the room and testing the worst case scenarios. But rather than listing them as statements, Jake says to list them as questions. “If we don’t get our customer to understand X we’ll fail” becomes “How can we encourage the user to understand X?”.

On being and hiring an apprentice

When it comes to being an apprentice: autonomy trumps skill.

We are often an apprentice. Whether that’s joining a new team with a new business domain. Or joining a new job that requires new skills. This means that we’re at the mercy of needing someone else to guide us. Leaving us in the dark, trying to make sense of everything.
 
As I move between clients often I find myself in the apprentice space a lot. And then wondering what approach is best. Ask lots of questions or hardly any? What amount of interaction makes sense?

Creating a powerful online presence with a platform

Having a website, blog, portfolio or stackoverflow profile is common amongst software developers. Yet, by thinking about our online presence as a Platform we could be achieving greater results. But what is a platform? And why would we want one?

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.

The best software developers write, you should too

10 reasons you should write. Gain clarity over your thoughts, get better job satisfaction and accelerate your career.

The rules are changing. Especially for knowledge workers like software developers. It’s impacting how we should craft our careers. The opportunities and the tools we have are different to the years before. Writing platforms are one of these big shifts. We have the ability to share our ideas with large audiences. It’s simpler than ever. Mainstream media influence is yielding to the power of individual influencers. Only a handful of developers will identify this opportunity. Even less act on it.
If you insist on playing todays games by yesterdays rules, you’re stuck – Seth Godin, Tribes.

5 steps to bulletproof behavioural interview prep

Behavioural questions are often very difficult. Yet with a little preparation anyone can nail them with ease.

After a lot of failures I’ve created a method that allows me to nail those behavioural questions. Behavioural questions often look a little like this:
  • “Identify and explain a time when you utilised leadership?”
  • “Identify and explain a time when you had to manage a conflict?”
  • “Describe a complex problem to me”
Behavioural questions can seem impossible to prepare for. It seems impossible to remember enough scenarios to cover it all. Especially, like me, you struggle with thinking on your feet. But that’s where good preparation comes in.

The Importance Of The Developer Portfolio

Throughout my early jobs – many comments were made positively about my portfolio. I had a hunch at the time that having a portfolio was important. It was only until later in my career, when I was performing interviews that I realised just how useful a portfolio is to hiring managers and organisations.

 
Back when I first started development, I spent one year working for a company in London when I caught the bug for being a developer, it was only after this point that I started to work on and create a portfolio. Luckily it wasn’t “too late” and I had retained a lot of the information and work from my university to be able to upload it.