Friday, July 2, 2010

Tips on how to survive as a developer at a non-ideal company

The other night I gave a lightning talk at the Sydney Alt.Net group. It was fairly well received and I was asked to blog it in order to make it easier to link to. So here it is, the very first post of my new blog. Nothing fancy really, just the notes I scribbled down on my way to the meeting.

Tips on how to be a developer in a non-ideal company (not applicable to toxic companies)

  • Realise that most companies are not ideal
  • To a certain extent a workplace is what you help to make it
  • Influence and lead everyone (especially management) with 360 degree leadership
  • Realize you are not alone. There are developers who feel just like you, who don’t appear to care but just gave up at some point.
  • Learn like crazy
    • Blogs
    • Usergroups
    • Conferences
    • Books
    • Self practice
  • Never quit over stuff you can help to change
    • Consider your attitude
    • Ask yourself ‘Am I the problem?’ and ‘Is there something I can learn?’
  • Always be planning to leave otherwise it may crush your soul if you think you will be there forever
  • Always be planning to leave once you reach your value apex or you’ll be doing your company and/or yourself a disservice.
  • Always stay long enough to make an impact and to ensure the changes you bring become a part of the culture.
    • Stewardship is important
  • Do something with your life besides tech
    • What will they say about you when you are dead?
    • They won’t be talking about your 1337 5k1LLz
    • They will be talking about your relationships with others and the impact you’ve had on other’s lives

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