There are 5 key questions most developers ask themselves at some point in their careers,
- What do I need to learn that’s going to keep my skills relevant?
- How can I break through to the next level?
- How do I stop myself from becoming commoditised?
- How do I get into the next “big thing”?
- How do I become a better developer?
I started listening to a podcast developer on fire because I’d already buffered more than enough language-specific or platform specific podcasts. There are plenty out there focusing on the new toy, the new hype or just promoting a successful project. Sometimes you get the tidbits of information from some really successful developers to answers some of the questions, but you also stay ahead of whats’ going on in tech. I needed something else.
The host, Dave Rael picks a guest each week and interviews them with a fairly structured set of questions, things like
- Tell us about how you got into technology, your backstory
- Tell us about your failures and successes,
- What do you see as value and how do you provide it?
But really the crux of the podcast is about how you deliver value as a developer. What is really interesting is that the show has guests from different roles, countries, technologies and there are some key similarities in what has made them successful and some big differences.
All of the guests share some sort of success, whether that is in their career being involved in major projects or teams, or being a “well known” figure in the industry.
- Episode 1- John Sonmez, how to market yourself as a software developer
- Episode 154 — Cory House- getting good at something
- Episode 145- Kestrel Blackmore — Moving into management
- Episode 156 David Neal -being a manager without wanting to be
- Episode 141 — John Papa- Real career advice
- Episode 128 — Kevin O’Shaughnessey — adopting new technology (or not)
- Episode 121 — TJ VanToll — Community engagement
- Episode 110 — Rachel Reese — Functional programming and motherhood
- Episode 30 — DHH — Stop overcomplicating requirements
I hear a lot of developers, especially early in their careers trying to figure out how to differentiate themselves. There are plenty of excellent episodes with this topic, the message is pretty clear — specialise.
I also hear people really looking up to famous people in the industry and asking how they become one of those figures. I’d say that the podcast is great in telling real stories of what that is like. Listen to Scott Hanselman’s episode to get a view on the sheer about of work that goes into that, a lifetime’s work. I encourage people to not seek popularity or publicity and then hope that opportunity will open up because of it, but instead focus on the value you are providing and don’t be afraid to promote yourself actively. Doors will open up when you’re solving real problems for real people.
Developer on Fire for me is a great podcast to listen to every week. I always learn something new on every episode, I don’t skip episodes because I already know the project or technology they’re talking about. It’s humbling, enlightening and entertaining to find out what makes people tick, what makes them great and what they learnt along the way.
Oh and I’m on an upcoming episode, I just recorded it with Dave yesterday. http://developeronfire.com/podcast/episode-167-anthony-shaw-innovation-and-inspiration
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