Midwest Dev Chat


  • The newest 15 messages in the super-cool #career-advice channel.

  • 11/14 18:39:11 Belkis: None of that makes sense in the IT world.
  • 11/14 18:43:03 Belkis: Honestly, and I mean no offense here, but the only people I ever see suggesting these kinds of requirements (computer engineering degrees) are . . . people with computer engineering degrees.
  • 11/14 19:02:58 Waldo: I’m about to start at a company where the CTO is a sharp cookie. Every job I’ve had for the last 10 years, I’ve been top tech guy in the company. Any reminders/advice on how to follow a lead especially when I’ve got strong opinions?
  • 11/14 19:15:16 Belkis: Do your best to always try to make their direction better whenever you can, if you can, without being a blocker. Also, remember to watch for when it's time to discuss things and when it's time to execute on things. 1. Ask questions if there's anything you're not sure about, or if you don't know that the direction given makes sense. Ask for additional explanations or verification if you see potential problems. Try to nudge things in a direction that makes sense to you, if you can. Questions can be less aggressive than direct arguments, as long as you're careful not to turn it into an inquisition. 2. Make concerns known if you have any that haven't been addressed. Be tactful with it, especially while the relationship is new and you're still getting comfortable with the CTO. 3. When a decision is made, do everything you can to make it successful, even if you don't agree with it. The time for discussion and debate is over, and it's best to just make things work.
  • 11/14 21:03:15 Cristine: I've been pretty lucky, I've never been top tech guy, and all the other top tech folks were great about me arguing with them (arguing respectfully, hopefully)
  • 11/14 21:05:37 Cristine: Having a smarter person to argue with is great. Ideally they won't see your arguments about technical things as a sign that you're not willing to respect their authority in decision-making. Different people have different lines there, some folks you'll have to limit your arguing time pretty low, others are okay with trading ideas for a good while without any hint of taking offense.
  • 11/14 21:06:55 Cristine: This isn't specific to talking up the authority chain, but eliminating all hint of personal investment in technical arguments gets you way farther
  • 11/14 21:10:49 Cristine: For max value, pair-code/screen-share a lot, have lots of conversations. Not just rubber-ducking, "please peer-review this mostly-complete architectural idea as I verbalize it now" is a great way to learn from smart people
  • 11/15 06:44:33 Waldo: FWIW, sometimes “top tech guy” just meant “only programmer.” Not an ego thing, just saying I haven’t had to manage-up with tech for a while
  • 11/15 08:05:25 Cristen: I don't think I have much advice to add, but I will say I think one of the best things that ever happened to me career-wise (and maybe personally) was when I stopped being the smartest guy in the room. Right now, I'm pretty sure everyone I work with is smarter than I am, and it's fantastic. I just hope I'm not found out slightly_smiling_face
  • 11/15 09:24:50 Allan: The only thing I’d suggest, not from tech experience but from having run into stuff with organizing events and whatever, is that even if someone does something different than how you’d do it, if they free you up to go spend your time on something else equally important, then in the end you end up with a slightly suboptimal X *and* a finished Y, as opposed to just an optimal X and Y half-finished. So being able to delegate--even if it’s actually just letting your superior make certain calls instead of using the brain on it yourself--gives you time/energy for something else, so don’t waste it fussing over stuff that doesn’t matter.
  • 11/15 09:35:35 Joey: i wouldn’t do anything differently… have empathy… be ready to learn but challenge things that don’t make sense… people can’t know everything… you get saturated. So you have things you can bring to the table. “A” people like to surround themselves w/ other “A” people. I always feel uncomfortable if i’m the only one doing the talking/directing/decision making. I always seek out that counterbalance…
  • 11/15 09:37:09 Joey: take advantage of being the new guy early on and ask lots of dumb questions
  • *Usernames have been changed to protect the innocent.
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