Develpreneur: Become A Better Developer And Entrepreneur



This podcast is for aspiring entrepreneurs and those that want to become a designer and implementor of great software solutions. We look at the whole skill set that makes a great developer. This includes tech skills, business and entrepreneurial skills, and life-hacking so you have the time to get the job done while still enjoying life,


  • Mastering Skills In Under Ten Thousand Hours

    Mastering Skills In Under Ten Thousand Hours

    08/05/2020 Duration: 21min

    There is a well-known book that describes mastery of skills as needing ten thousand hours.  The ideas put forth in the book have many arguments for and against, but that is for another time.  In this episode, we look at ways for mastering skills in under the ten thousand hours mentioned in the Outliers book.  This theory is critical for our daily exercises in getting better because we do want to reach mastery at some point. Complementary Skills We can assume that there is some amount of hours typically needed to master a skill.  Likewise, many skills are related in ways that allow us to learn multiple skills in less time.  The whole hours required are less than the sum of the parts.  We refer to these related skills as complementary. For example, learning a third language (spoken or coding) does not take as much time as the first two).  We can essentially skip ahead on some of the required time by leaning on previous topics.  This benefit can come from identical tasks like the math skills needed in Chemistry

  • Mixing Side-hustle Tasks With Your Daily Job - Overlap Benefits

    Mixing Side-hustle Tasks With Your Daily Job - Overlap Benefits

    06/05/2020 Duration: 22min

    Time is arguably our most valuable resource.  We can not buy extra time. We can only spend it as wisely as possible.  That means we need to be mindful of the cost of our daily tasks for getting better.  Fortunately, that time is not a loss.  We can plan out our daily steps to improve in ways that allow us to get more done with little or no additional time spent.  One way is mixing side-hustle tasks with your regular job. Killing Two Birds with One Stone We have examined how our side-hustle work and a daily job can overlap.  Those tasks we do to improve may help our career while our day job can provide some experience that translates to a side-hustle.  These can even overlap when you focus on mixing side-hustle tasks with your daily job.  Sometimes the overlap will also be a one-to-one mix-in. Fill Dead Time The approach for mixing side-hustle tasks with your daily job is through the use of "dead time."  There are things we do each day that require us to wait for a while.  This waiting goes beyond things like

  • Prior Work As a Starting Point For Higher Quality

    Prior Work As a Starting Point For Higher Quality

    04/05/2020 Duration: 20min

    Our daily work to get better is not without positive side-effects.  One of the most powerful of these is the ability for us to build on prior work.  These tools can be a huge productivity boost.  That is the case whether we are starting with an application baseline or working from a document template. Prior Work Is An Investment Our daily steps to improve and become a better developer will generate deliverables at some point.  These may not be highly polished production items we would send to a customer.  Nevertheless, they are a start on that type of work.  Therefore, our daily work on improving can also be seen as an investment in some yet-to-be-determined future projects.  There is no guarantee we will be able to re-use that work.  Thus, consider it a bonus when you do. An Improvement In Quality We have to be intentional about how we do our daily tasks to make the best use of them.  However, the return on investment is substantial.  We can take the work we initially did, refine and extend it, and then have

  • Self-Confidence That Comes From Incremental Improvement

    Self-Confidence That Comes From Incremental Improvement

    01/05/2020 Duration: 14min

    A big part of a good interview is self-confidence. Those that answer questions directly and confidently are more likely to impress than those that waver or seem unsure of themselves.  While interpersonal skills are often downplayed for technology positions, they are still essential for getting a job offer. Hard Work Equals Self-Confidence One of the complaints we hear that leads to imposter syndrome is a lack of "earning" the respect or position one has.  A possible cure for this is the knowledge that you have put in the hard work and "earned" your position.  I can think of no better way to do this than to take daily steps towards becoming better.  Since we do this as part of our better developer path, you should also see your self-confidence grow and strengthen along with your steady improvement. If It Has Been Done Before, It Can Be Done Experience gives us many benefits.  One of the most concrete is the idea that something we have done before can be done again.  The path and circumstances may be different

  • Stories Instead of Buzzwords - Showing What You Know

    Stories Instead of Buzzwords - Showing What You Know

    29/04/2020 Duration: 23min

    There are numerous guides and articles on how to interview.  They all provide some great suggestions.  However, I rarely see an essential recommendation for technical interviews.  Some technical interviews require dry and detailed answers.  Nevertheless, you will make a better impression when you focus on stories instead of buzzwords. We Solve Problems The most important aspect of our skills is how they are used to solve problems.  While a series of buzzwords can be useful for a job search, that is not the best way to show your skills.  It is good to include those buzzwords in your answers to technical questions, but not sufficient.  Turn the simple responses about your skillset into stories about how you used them. For example, when asked how much Java experience you have, do not leave the answer at a number of years.  Instead, talk about your most recent Java project.  You can keep it short, but make sure you let the listener know that you have used those skills. You might even talk about a group of projec

  • I Can Find That Out,Saying I Do Not Know Yet

    I Can Find That Out,Saying I Do Not Know Yet

    27/04/2020 Duration: 19min

    We are asked questions every day.  Also, part of the expectation of our job is that we will have an answer.  However, we do not have to answer immediately.  It is acceptable to say that I can find that out or let me get back to you for that answer.  Do not rush into a solution when you have time to think through a response or ping others. Experience Is Half The Battle Experience is one of the best teachers.  When we are not clear on an answer, we often know where to start looking.  This approach may utilize search engines, reference materials, or co-workers.  The method we take is not as important as the results we get.  Therefore, do not hesitate to take advantage of every source available in pursuing a solution.  Proper research takes time, so buy some of that resource with a simple answer like "let me get back to you." Correct Later Is Better Than Partial Sooner I know I jump to an answer too quickly at times.  It is sort of an 80-20 rule I have to fight against.  When I am fairly confident in a solution,

  • Accepting or Rejecting Job Offers

    Accepting or Rejecting Job Offers

    24/04/2020 Duration: 24min

    Part of advancing our career includes accepting or rejecting job offers.  It may come as a surprise to you that we do have a choice.  We might even reject an offer without having another option.  There are considerations to keep in mind throughout this offer process. The Counter Offer Both sides can always take or leave an offer and then make adjustments.  This process works the same for jobs as it does anything else we negotiate.  For example, you can conditionally accept an offer and say you also require another week of vacation.  There may be a change in your salary, or the bonus structure, or even your workspace.  Do not limit your negotiations to simple things like salary and health benefits.  There is much more that can be included in an offer. There is also no reason to wait to set some of these expectations.  Feel free to mention (at appropriate times) during an interview process what your needs are.  These often include concerns like childcare, flex hours, or remote work.  Feel free to craft your uni

  • One Offs, Side Projects, and Veering From Standards

    One Offs, Side Projects, and Veering From Standards

    22/04/2020 Duration: 21min

    Rules are meant to be broken, and sometimes there is a reason for veering from standards.  We often do this to build a one-off or maybe a proof-of-concept.  These are situations where we have a form of excuse to try out a new language or create something quickly instead of "correctly."  The rules are different for these projects, so what should we include in our planning? Avoiding POC Problems A critical flaw in some proof-of-concepts projects is that it is too good.  There are times where the powers that be want to move forward quickly and build on that POC.  While that may be feasible, it is often a wrong decision.  There are short cuts taken for a POC that need to be addressed before moving to production.  Therefore, it is often cleaner to start from scratch and use the POC as a reference instead of source code. This need is where doing a POC in a different tech stack can be a plus.  When you are a specific tech stack shop, it is going to be difficult to change gears to another one.  That means a POC in an

  • When To Search For a New Job

    When To Search For a New Job

    20/04/2020 Duration: 21min

    Sooner or later, most of us have a desire to search for a new job.  This situation can arise from negative things like personal conflicts and lack of challenge or can be looking for a better position.  In any case, there are good and bad reasons and timing for a job search. The Obvious Timing We will quickly get the most apparent situation out of the way.  There are times the market is perfect for getting a job, and times when it is not.  These tend to be highly visible (a lot of people looking for the same type of job, or a lot of unfilled positions) and not under our control.  The market is what it is.  However, we do want to avoid searching for a job in a bad market.  Sometimes we have to be patient and suffer a little longer to get a new job that is a positive move. Keeping An Ear To The Ground The best way to keep your options open is to stay current with the market.  This approach is one that we take in our efforts to be a better developer.  Our skills are current, and we have been exposed to some of th

  • Marketing or Narcissism - How Much Is Too Much

    Marketing or Narcissism - How Much Is Too Much

    17/04/2020 Duration: 21min

    When we build a personal brand, there is a certain amount of "bragging" we need to do.  This form of marketing can be seen as pure narcissism at times.  While that is not a concern as much as we may think so, it is still an area worth considering.  Sometimes you can go too far, and then is it marketing or narcissism? Donald Trump and Oprah Winfrey Two perfect examples of over-the-top marketing are Donald Trump and Oprah Winfrey.  The political nature of Trump has brought out those that accuse him of narcissism, but that is more recent.  There is a difference between these two personal brands. However, both trumpet their features and successes steadily and often.  I think it also gives us examples of how we can find a level of comfort between marketing or narcissism.  It may also help us feel more comfortable with mentioning our accomplishments in a resume, brand, or interview. Oprah Everywhere I am not sure anyone has accused Oprah of being a narcissist.  However, when you look at her content, you will see he

  • Addressing Old and Rusty Skills In An Interview

    Addressing Old and Rusty Skills In An Interview

    15/04/2020 Duration: 19min

    Technology moves fast and is not likely to slow down.  Therefore, cutting-edge knowledge we have today can quickly lose its value.  Nevertheless, just as a car that loses a lot, but not all, of its value when you drive off the lot.  We also still have value in those old and rusty skills from our past.  There are modern needs and baseline knowledge that can be assumed from those past projects.  Do not ignore them in an interview or resume. Migration Is Forever An essential part of technology moving forward is that we always have migration projects available.  There is a steady stream of new and start-up companies that can dive into new technology from scratch.  However, there is also a significant number of organizations that see a need to move old technology to something new.  This process often requires knowledge of both the past and the new platform.  That is a niche into which you may fall.  It has its own challenges, but can be lucrative. The Value of a Firm Foundation There are work and experience that

  • Research and Preparation For An Interview

    Research and Preparation For An Interview

    13/04/2020 Duration: 25min

    We spend a lot of time doing the work that makes us a better developer.  Nevertheless, there is still some work we need to do as part of selling those skills.  Research and preparation for a job or interview are highly valuable tasks for us to take on.  These steps can help us feel comfortable and impress in an interview or as part of our brand site. Answering Questions - Solving Problems You will not spend much time looking at marketing heavy sites without seeing answers to unasked questions.  That is a technique that is highly effective in drawing in prospects.  Think about it.  When you are looking for an answer to a question, and someone starts a conversation implying they will provide a solution, they will have your attention.  This fact plays into our research and preparation work.  We will be looking for likely problems so we can lead the conversation to how we can provide solutions. Understand the Business The number one outcome of our research should be an understanding of the business.  Yes, it is h

  • Non-Professional Work On Your Resume - It Is Valid Experience

    Non-Professional Work On Your Resume - It Is Valid Experience

    08/04/2020 Duration: 20min

    We often overlook the non-professional work we do in our life.  It is easy to throw work experience on our resume when we got paid.  However, what about volunteer work or maybe even side-effects of living our life?  There is life experience we can lean on at times that will even put us ahead of the competition for a job or project. Scheduling and Managing There are a lot of people in the technical world that are either not good, or they do not like management tasks.  That means the experience you have managing people and projects can be a way to separate from the pack.  These skills can come from running a large family, scheduling reunions, or managing a sports team.  You likely will have experience with "difficult conversations," whether it was telling a child "no" or cutting someone from tryouts. These are everyday tasks and roles among all of us.  However, many people fail to mention them.  That is an opportunity for you to highlight your skills and how you see them applying to a job.  These are areas whe

  • Listing Education On Your Resume and Personal Branding

    Listing Education On Your Resume and Personal Branding

    08/04/2020 Duration: 21min

    We have looked at our professional experience and addressing it on a resume or personal branding site.  In this episode, we look at the other major area of our background and how to handle listing education.  Degrees are easy.  However, there are also many different forms of knowledge that we want to include. Partial Diploma and Post Degree Work We first look at the cases where we have done work in pursuing a degree.  These situations arise from life getting in the way or when we are in progress towards a goal.  The work has been done (to some extent), so do not be afraid to list it.  Yes, there is more work to be done before graduation.  On the other hand, we have made some (maybe significant) progress towards that achievement that can make us a more attractive prospect to employers. Professional Training We have covered certifications.  However, there is also a broad range of professional training classes we can take that do not end up in a certificate.  These educational experiences are valuable.  We spen

  • Conferences As Professional Experience - A Full Resume

    Conferences As Professional Experience - A Full Resume

    06/04/2020 Duration: 20min

    There countless things we do during our careers that are easy to forget yet make us better.  In this episode, we look at counting conferences as professional experience.  We can easily overlook these valuable times spent in an immersive few days.  However, that would be a mistake on our part.  Here are some things to consider as you add conference attendance to your resume or brand. A Known Quantity The value in certifications and degrees is that there is a minimum of information we get from them.  These set a bar of our knowledge or experience.  A conference can do the same thing.  We will at least be exposed to the ideas covered in presentations, and those have a cumulative effect.  Think about how you would view someone that spent four days listening to content about being a better developer.  Do you think you might think of that person as having some ideas on how to be a better developer?  Yes, you would.  There is an experience that comes from attending such events that has a professional value. Perform

  • Your Personal Portfolio - Work and References On Your Branding Site

    Your Personal Portfolio - Work and References On Your Branding Site

    03/04/2020 Duration: 23min

    We talked about a personal brand website.  In this episode, we focus on the personal portfolio.  This content is work examples, deliverables, and possibly even applications.  The bonus for this form of delivery is that your reader can experience the content rather than read it.  Let's look at some ways to make this content sing and avoid hitting sour notes. Keep Their Attention We need to start with a warning.  It is easy to provide tons of links in your content on the web.  These may take the user to a website you built or documents they can read.  Whatever the goal, keep the main problem we are solving in mind.  You should keep the reader in the context of being presented with your story.  Links away from your site can distract and splinter this story.  Make use of frames, open other tabs, or even screenshots to keep the user focused on you.  Avoid sending them to other sites where they may never return to you. Reduce Live Examples To Clickable Demos It is very tempting to send readers to the applications

  • Your Personal Branding Website - Advertise Yourself On The Web

    Your Personal Branding Website - Advertise Yourself On The Web

    01/04/2020 Duration: 25min

    All of us should have a personal branding website of some sort.  This goal can be achieved through a blog site, a web site that displays our portfolio, or a page on LinkedIn.  Whichever approach we take, there is the information we should include the stuff we can avoid.  This site tells our story and should do so in the way we want to tell it.  When you create this material, do not be shy or humble.  This content should impress all who read it.  Your career may depend on it. Theft Is The Highest Form Of Flattery The Internet is full of stolen ideas.  Take a look at popular sites, and you will see the same designs over and over.  Do not be afraid to do more of the same.  When you build your personal branding website, it is best to start by finding an example that you like.  There are sites you can use as a basis or themes and skins that may be what you want. For example, I have multiple sites that follow under this category of showing off content.  Each of those started with a Wordpress theme, and then I custo

  • Work Examples, Portfolios, And Showing Off Your Deliverables

    Work Examples, Portfolios, And Showing Off Your Deliverables

    30/03/2020 Duration: 23min

    A frustrating part of my education was a need to show my work.  I always wanted to get to the answer, and showing work slowed me down.  However, work examples are an important part of our application process for a job or project.  Potential employers can learn a lot from the deliverables we have produced.  Therefore, we must present that content in a way that is easy to read and promotes our personal brand Show Off Your Skills The first thing to consider in building portfolio material is what you want to say.  There is a story around your career, so own that narrative.  Select complex problems solved and the technologies you enjoy to craft that story.  We produce a lot of content in our jobs, so trim down your portfolio to the best of it.  It goes without saying that you can skip the work you were not happy with.  There is no need to hide the fact that you made mistakes.  On the other hand, you can avoid leading with those mistakes.  Own it, do not flaunt it. Show Your Ability To Follow Processes An area of w

  • Expired Certifications And Stale Resume Items

    Expired Certifications And Stale Resume Items

    27/03/2020 Duration: 19min

    Our continued drive to become a better developer will eventually lead to certifications.  Therefore, it will lead to those certifications expiring.  While some authorities do not expire their certs, there is a useful lifespan for any technology.  In this episode, we look at how to handle those expired certifications on a resume or when applying for a position. Expired Certifications Have Value The quick answer would be to drop those expired certifications and ancient skills from your current list.  However, that would be a short-sighted step to take.  The mere fact that you studied for and passed an exam shows value to an employer.  It is proof that you took the initiative to improve yourself as well as showing a baseline in some technology or skill.  A series of expired qualifications may even show a long-term pattern of going the extra mile and staying current in your abilities. A Result Of a Search Of course, we always have the bonus of these older skills, potentially getting us to show up on a search.  Yo

  • The Focused Resume - Curating Your Experience

    The Focused Resume - Curating Your Experience

    25/03/2020 Duration: 22min

    We have looked at a focused form of a resume with the mini-resume.  However, we tend to have a lot of excess in our resume as our career goes on.  This excess may be due to a large number of projects, employers, or both.  It may also come from older skills becoming useless in the modern-day.  A focused resume tackles those struggles. The Focused Resume We have looked at a mini-resume that is a marketing flyer for our experience.  The focused resume is similar while being all-inclusive as well.  In this document, we still list all of our skills and experience.  However, we limit the focus and wording to paint a picture of a skill subset. For example, a developer might need a C# and a Java focused resume.  Someone focused on QA might have an automation targeted resume and one on test creation.  We might want to split out our experience to front-end and back-end or design and implementation.  The possibilities are only limited by the categories of jobs you might pursue. Full and Sparse In One Document One way to

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