Being authentic

Authenticity is an underrated trait for too many people.

The act of being authentic is the act of being exactly who you are, most if not all of the time. Too many people focus on being what others expect or want them to be, and too little time focusing on who they really are. They appeal to the lowest common denominator, rather than raising the bar.

I’ve fallen into this trap myself in the past. Being authentic is challenging, really challenging, and it’s easy to try and please the masses than send out the signal you have to offer the people who will hear it and respond to it.

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Thursday, May 19th, 2022 @ 1:59 pm | Comments (0) | Categories: Uncategorized

Human Skills: Teamwork

Any job posting that you look at will specify they want a “team player” or “someone who works well with others.” Some call it “culture fit.” In fact, this is so common it’s almost become cliché – we all want to work with people we enjoy. We want to work with people who are invested in our success and interested in positive outcomes.

But what does teamwork really look like? How do we achieve teamwork in our organizations, and how do we screen for it as something we can evaluate in a job interview or on the job itself?

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Tuesday, February 15th, 2022 @ 10:06 am | Comments (0) | Categories: Uncategorized

Human Skills: Leadership

Leadership is a tricky topic. When the subject of leadership comes up, most people automatically think of the person “in charge” as the natural leader. They rightly look at them as the person responsible for leading them. But leadership is broader than the person “on top.” Leadership describes behavior, rather than position, and emphasizes how we act, rather than the titles we have.

Let’s take a look at three different kinds of leaders, and the benefits of each. (more…)

Friday, January 7th, 2022 @ 1:10 pm | Comments (0) | Categories: Uncategorized

Human Skills: Communication

How do you communicate?  This question, perhaps more than any other, dictates how successful a person will be in life. As social animals, humans rely on and prize communication skills at or above all others. We elevate great orators to positions of power, and we celebrate beautiful marketing campaigns that communicate clearly.  Despite the fact that every human everywhere uses communication with others on a daily basis, communication is still an area where many people struggle. With developers, this problem can be particularly acute, and yet the complexity of software development is a practice that requires effective communication to work properly. The famous bit, “Who’s on first?” illustrates the challenges of communication well. In this bit, Abbott & Costello discuss baseball. Costello asks Abbott, “Who is on first?” Abbott responds with, “Who is on first.” Costello becomes more and more irate as the two fail to communicate that “Who” is the name of the first baseman. This bit is probably the most famous comedy routine of all time, based on a simple miscommunication between two people, using simple, everyday language.  So, how do we communicate effectively with each other? 

Communication is about ideas

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Tuesday, December 14th, 2021 @ 7:54 am | Comments (0) | Categories: Uncategorized
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Spotting High Levels of Technical Debt In An Interview

We’ve all been there before: we’re sitting across the table from someone, who is interviewing us for a new position. We’re getting close and we know it because the conversation shifts from talk of “…if you come on board…” to “…when you come on board…” And suddenly you have a thought that strikes fear into the core of your heart: what kind of code base am I getting myself into?

The truth is that nobody is ever going to volunteer that their code base is a complete mess (I’ve had it happen maybe once), and short of asking to see the code before you start, you’re not going to really know what it’s like until you dig in. Many if not most companies would be reluctant to open their code base to an outsider, so how will you know in advance?

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Monday, July 22nd, 2019 @ 1:56 pm | Comments (0) | Categories: Uncategorized

Breaking the Single Responsibility Principle

Whenever I give lessons on the Single Responsibility Principle, I always teach that object creation is a job, and that it should be separate from classes that are using the objects. (more…)

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 @ 8:00 am | Comment (4) | Categories: PHP, Uncategorized

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