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Hacking Spacetime for a Successful Career

November 16, 2015

Hacking Spacetime for a Successful Career

We talk a lot about building well-crafted software. But what about a well-crafted career in software? Who is making sure you’re on track for the life you want five, ten, thirty years from now?

We’ll build a time machine and follow a typical development career through various tracks, and see how a few basic principles can radically alter your career’s trajectory over time.

If you’ve ever felt the existential dread of “climbing the walls” at your job, you’re not alone. We’ll explore why and share some concrete steps you can take now to create a long, happy, rewarding career.


November 16, 2015

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  1. Welcome to the wetware track

  2. None
  3. “Climbing The Walls” by they might be giants


    Marty!” “To go where, Doc?”
  5. Brandon Hays Coffee > Code Conversion Dept. The Frontside @tehviking

  6. None

  8. Me, every 9 months

  9. (Except this mega subtweet) NOT HERE TO TELL MY STORY


  11. None
  12. WARNING! Bummer alert!

  13. Achievement is a system of COntrol

  14. The world doesn’t want your happiness, Just your output

  15. redcupwars.com

  16. LET’S DETONATE The idea that You’re “supposed” to do something

    with your career
  17. Leading Vs. Trailing Metrics

  18. Leading MEtrics º Hours worked º Conversations with new people

    º Lines of code written deleted º Value created º Works published
  19. Trailing Metrics º Income º Titles º Degrees º Recognition

    º Influence

  21. 1. Choose baseline stats 2. Stock inventory 3. View results

    4. Fast-forward/ rewind time HOW TO PLAY
  22. Skill Connection Vision 2: Pick Stats Baseline/How we’re wired

  23. Desire to grow one’s capability to solve difficult problems and

    help others do the same Technical Skill
  24. Desire to connect people and ideas to solve existing problems

    in new ways Connection
  25. VISION Desire to solve entirely new problems & reshape the

  26. Layers of abstraction

  27. Technical Skill: Computer connection: people Vision: industry/society

  28. 3: Choose Inventory Choices/Leading metrics

  29. Thorough understanding of your present value in your current situation

    Item 1: Leverage
  30. Item 2: Ambition Accepting the future value you have the

    potential to create
  31. Item 3: Education The internal investment you make in your

    own capabilities
  32. Item 4: Community The external investment you make in those

    around you & the world
  33. Item 5: Dedication The amount of effort applied to the

    previous four items
  34. THE FORMULA understand your present value + understand your future

    value + invest in yourself + invest in others x amount of effort you put in = YOUR PLATFORM
  35. 4: View Results Income Stress Free Time Satisfaction Impact Outcomes/Trailing

  36. 5: Time travel Changes over time

  37. 9 folks, 9 stories

  38. None
  39. SCENARIO 1 "Please leave me alone so I can code."

  40. Code slinger "Please leave me alone so I can code."

  41. Check for the snarky T-shirt

  42. SCENARIO 2 "Climb the ladder and wait your turn."

  43. Cat herder "Climb the ladder and wait your turn."

  44. Learning to delegate

  45. SCENARIO 3 "I just don't want a boss."

  46. Harried Freelancer "I just don't want a boss."

  47. Gotta hustle every day

  48. SCENARIO 4 "I have something important to say."

  49. Thought Leader "I have something important to say."

  50. Shiny Code by Uncle Bill Williams

  51. SCENARIO 4

  52. SCENARIO 5 "How can I provide the most value?"

  53. Product Manager "How can I provide the most value?"

  54. Hope you like conference calls!

  55. SCENARIO 6 "Let's build the company I always wanted to

    work at."
  56. Lifestyle Biz Founder "Let's build the company I always wanted

    to work at."
  57. TFW the business makes money while you sleep

  58. SCENARIO 7 "Let's build better software together."

  59. Chief Architect "Let's build better software together."

  60. Engineering matters.

  61. SCENARIO 8 "Let's solve an important problem together."

  62. Badass CTO "Let's solve an important problem together."

  63. teamwork makes the dream work

  64. SCENARIO 9 "We're going to change the world."

  65. Visionary CEO "We're going to change the world."

  66. Running a Business

  67. None
  68. 3 types, 3 tracks

  69. Technician: Tools & tactics manager: People & Strategy entrepreneur: invention

    & vision
  70. Track 1: technician Skill Connection Vision

  71. Fascination: Tools & Technique Asks: “How” Focus: Tactics & Implementation

    Track 1: technician
  72. Track 2: manager Skill Connection Vision

  73. Fascination: People Asks: “Who, when, where, what?” Focus: Strategy &

    Connection Track 2: manager
  74. Track 3: entrepreneur Skill Connection Vision

  75. Fascination: Gaps in the world Asks: “Why”, “Why not?” Focus:

    Vision & Invention Track 3: entrepreneur

  77. Mid Dev Keynote Speaker Sr. Dev Chief Architect Distinguished Dev

    Dev Evangelist Author/ Speaker Junior Dev Dev Manager Project Manager Freelance Dev Solopreneur Startup Founder Small Business CEO Founder, 3rd company Chairperson of the Board Director of Product Engineering/ Team Lead VP of Product Director/VP Engineering CTO Developer Manager Entrepreneur Founder, 2nd company
  78. a note about bailing out early

  79. So: which one are you? (hint: all of them)

  80. What Work do you do when stresSED? Get back into

    code? Grab lunch with programmer friends? Sketch up a new app idea?
  81. A lot of arguments in software stem from misunderstanding the

    different values among these 3 types.
  82. Similar ideas Hipster, Hustler, Hacker http://www.forbes.com/sites/andyellwood/2012/08/22/ the-dream-team-hipster-hacker-and-hustler Pioneer, Settler, Town

    Planner http://blog.gardeviance.org/2012/06/pioneers-settlers-and- town-planners.html Entrepreneur, Manager, Technician The E-Myth Revisited: http://www.amazon.com/The-E-Myth- Revisited-Small-Businesses/dp/0887307280
  83. getting different results within A track Leverage Ambition Education Community

    Dedication ? ? ? ? ?
  84. Your PLATFORM How people see you helping them Builds up

    as you go along, intentionally or not
  85. your platform is a voltron Built of several pieces Exists

    as a separate entity Works for you autonomously
  86. Remember THE FORMULA understand your present value + understand your

    future value + invest in yourself + invest in others x amount of effort you put in = YOUR PLATFORM

  88. Know your value http://blog.optimizationgroup.com/how-to-shift-from- a-cost-plus-to-a-value-based-pricing-strategy

  89. Know your value Your salary $ Added (profit) Marketing Etc.*

    *etc. includes recruiting, branding, sales, reduction of uncertainty, and more. Opportunity (negotiable)
  90. Look for extremely informal educational opportunities Invest in yourself

  91. Invest in others Meetups Mentorship Open Source Lunches Lightning talks

    Listening Being a friend Tackling non- Silicon-Valley problems
  92. Scale your efforts

  93. It’s OK to STEER BY FEEL (and crash)

  94. 3 things I learned

  95. 1: You can opt out of the cycle

  96. Skill Connection Vision 2: your preferences are your friends

  97. Playing to strengths vs. Working on Weaknesses

  98. 3: Build the platform you want to live with

  99. 3: Build the platform you want to live with

  100. achievement unlocked: Overcoming achievement

  101. be a polyglot craftsperson. Run a popular open source project.

    quit your job and start a company.
  102. None
  103. Overlap between what you want to do & what you

    actually do SO WHAT IS SUCCESS?
  104. None
  105. None
  106. None
  107. Lastly...

  108. I’ve received a tremendous amount of help from a ton

    of people. The last 6 years
  109. I had help making the app for this talk! Thanks,

  110. Please recognize and take advantage of the opportunities you see

    to help others build their own platforms. Extending a hand
  111. None
  112. @tehviking THANKS! The Frontside

  113. None