The importance of trust in software teams for disaster avoidance

When a junior developer destroys a production database on his first day it highlights just how essential trust is in software teams

Trust is the foundation of an effective software team. A team that is empowered and trusted is more likely to speak up and address pervasive technical issues that could threaten disaster for a company. 

A software developers guide to quitting your job

The time will come to quit your job - make sure you do it right.

Quitting a job can be a delicate time, there’s definitely a right way and a wrong way to go about it. However, it can be an opportunity to strengthen relationships with your employer, by providing feedback and helping them to understand your reasoning to leave.

The best personal investment you’ll ever make: Touch typing

Some investments pay more than others, for developers this one pays the most.

For some reason most people don’t take this topic very serious: Touch Typing. But it adds up into hundreds of hours of wasted time single every year.

How using metaphors saved my bacon

Throughout my career I have found metaphors to be an incredible tool. Good use of metaphors shows how you are someone who can communicate strongly, especially when it comes to big, complicated issues. In fact I’ve even talked about my top 3 metaphors before.

A simple strategy for staying calm under pressure

If there’s one thing I’ve seen across every leader that I’ve worked with over the years, it is that they are calm under pressure. The world might seem to be crumbling around them, but they hold it together for the sake of the team. Most leaders don’t become calm under pressure by chance, they achieve it through deliberate practice and by having a process.

5 tips on how to: ask powerful questions to get powerful answers

Asking questions is incredibly important as a skill – knowing when and how to ask questions can really drive your development and not knowing how and when asking is important can leave you missing out on so many opportunities.

5 steps to bulletproof behavioural interview prep

Behavioural questions are often very difficult. Yet with a little preparation anyone can nail them with ease.

After a lot of failures I’ve created a method that allows me to nail those behavioural questions. Behavioural questions often look a little like this:
  • “Identify and explain a time when you utilised leadership?”
  • “Identify and explain a time when you had to manage a conflict?”
  • “Describe a complex problem to me”
Behavioural questions can seem impossible to prepare for. It seems impossible to remember enough scenarios to cover it all. Especially, like me, you struggle with thinking on your feet. But that’s where good preparation comes in.

The Importance Of The Developer Portfolio

Throughout my early jobs – many comments were made positively about my portfolio. I had a hunch at the time that having a portfolio was important. It was only until later in my career, when I was performing interviews that I realised just how useful a portfolio is to hiring managers and organisations.

 
Back when I first started development, I spent one year working for a company in London when I caught the bug for being a developer, it was only after this point that I started to work on and create a portfolio. Luckily it wasn’t “too late” and I had retained a lot of the information and work from my university to be able to upload it.

Should I go to university to be a software developer?

Deciding what to do with your future can be difficult. University could be one of your options you’re considering. And, there are other options available to you, but which one should you choose and why?

Becoming an irreplaceable junior software developer

As a junior developer it's easy at times to feel a little lost. Yet there are things you can do to increase your own productivity.

You’ve started a job as a junior developer. You’re getting used to the team. Maybe you feel a bit lost on where you can best contribute to the team? Luckily there area areas you can focus on to make an immediate impact.

Cultivated specific expertise

Most teams have a skill deficit in a certain area. This could be CSS, databasing, agile working. If you can find and identify these skill deficit areas you can provide incredible value to your team.
 
Focused effort on a specific topic can create a mastery in a shorter time than you might realise. As software developers we’re required to understand such broad topic areas. This means the rest of your team might be feeling the pains of spreading themselves too thin.
 
This poses a great opportunity within your team. Rather than trying to keep up with every area instead focus on only one. Master that. And then move on to the next. With this approach you will soon find others coming to you for support in your area(s) of expertise. It takes patience but it can make all the difference.

Support the team

Often most developers will shy away from doing “managerial tasks”. Things like organising tasks, unblocking members of the team and anticipating issues. If you notice this trend, you can offer to take up some of these tasks. Soon, the team will soon be seeing you as an essential part of the operation.

Conclusion

As a junior developer, it’s easy to feel like a spare part. But we must remember that we’re operating on a team. This means that team output is far more important than our output as individuals. By noticing this we can start to see far more tasks that are within our grasp when joining a new team.