Professional Development Notes

I have been doing a brain dump on Hekaton for the past few weeks, but I need a bit of break before diving into (and possibly drowning in) the internals.

I have attended a few technology-related professional development courses over the past few years, and I wanted to place some of the better pieces of advice here, primarily for my reference.  Because I very much need this as much as anyone, if not more.

Because I’m such an expert on such matters (not!), I have decided to leave these suggestions in bullet form. It may also have something to with the fact I really don’t have anything to add.

  • Interview question: What is one of the worst things about working here?
  • Act like a consultant (even if you aren’t)
  • Work on advanced projects – just enough to be uncomfortable
  • Get some exercise / mediate
  • Non-computer-related hobby
  • Make your accomplishments visible (far beyond the team that already knows)
  • Have strong opinions, weakly held (be willing to change)
  • Be a jack-of-all-trades
  • Be willing to step up and work extra hours when the need arises
  • Avoid negativity – in yourself and others
  • Learn new, related technologies
  • Know where you want to go
  • Use objective information (not emotion) to project the lifetime of a technology
  • If your current job doesn’t include what you love to do, expand your job and take on extra responsibilities
  • Once per year take time to assess where you were a year ago and where you want to be in one year
  • Iterative, continual learning is the best approach
  • Recognize that short-term thinking is usually driven by artificially dictated project deadlines
  • On the other hand, too much long-term thinking can cause the project to become mired and never ship
  • Learn when to ignore company politics and just do your job
  • Choose your battles; is this the right hill to die on?
  • Listen before responding; let them give their story
  • Most people need criticism; most people who deliver criticism do it poorly (get over it)
  • Don’t try to do too much; do fewer things and do them well
  • Low performers realize they can do 20% and survive; high performers do 20% more and stay ahead
  • Continually interview, even if you don’t intend to leave (helps evaluate the industry and self-skills)

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