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Soft Skills Engineering
25 minutes | Oct 18, 2021
Episode 274: Announcing resignation too early and why are my ideas rejected?
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions: Questions I’m a technical lead and I’m planning to take the usual advice and quit my job. The catch is, I have a not-yet-vested interest in staying until the new year. My manager mentioned in passing that he’s doing resource planning for my team for next year. Should I indicate that I’ll be looking for work in the new year? I feel like I have a guarded relationship with my manager, so I don’t feel like it’s a safe space to say just anything. But I know it would be helpful for him to know that I’m leaving. I work at a consulting company and I’ve been outsourced to one of the biggest banks to work on their iOS application. My problem is every time I propose a solution, it bounces back and is never accepted. In my opinion our way of doing things is wrong and I lost motivation and enthusiasm to work on the project. I shared my concerns and thoughts and always got the pat on my back but never found a solution. In these kind of situations, how do you motivate yourself to keep going? Should I look at it as improving my people management skills or should I quit? Thank you both of you. I don’t feel alone when I listen your podcast and I’m simply thankful your existence.
25 minutes | Oct 11, 2021
Episode 273: Influencing people and getting a raise in a flat org
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions: Questions Listener Anonomomonous asks, How do you influence people and change minds? I work on a team where things often happen by inertia. I have a lot of ideas about how to improve our process, scope our work better, collaborate more effectively etc. I’m comfortable with sharing my concerns and suggestions with my manager and the rest of the team but the opinion of any single developer is usually politely noted and ignored. As an individual contributor, what’s the best way to influence the rest of your team and your manager without being the overly critical toxic person who tries to shut down every idea? For those who work in a “flat” hierarchy structure, is it unreasonable to ask for a 30~35% pay raise? Normally that would sound like an absurd ask. However, given the fact that everyone is considered an “engineer”, the higher compensation that comes with a promotion isn’t available any other way than explicitly asking for it (as far as I know). Not looking to jab an employer for more money, especially since I like my current one, but since what I’m doing on a daily basis sounds an awful lot like the senior engineer positions I hear about, I naturally would like my pay to reflect what I do. What do you suggest?
31 minutes | Sep 27, 2021
Episode 272: Consistent or shiny
31 minutes | Sep 13, 2021
Episode 271: Too quiet and quitting too much?
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions: Questions Listener Lisa asks, Hi Dave and Jamison! How do you answer the statement “You’re very quiet. Like really quiet”? Me? I tend to give a small smile or recently, I said “I know.” I’m a software developer in a large defense company and I’m on my third and final year of my rotational program. I just rotated back to the same area as my first rotation, so I know a couple of folks. However, I’m not SUPER close to these people. My team is fairly new, but most of the members started at the same time, unlike me, who started just three weeks ago. I want to try to know people and get close to them, but at the same time I know my energy lowers after a couple interactions. I have always been known to be quiet, but I don’t want to be known as the odd developer out on my team. The team seems to already know and like each other. I still talk, but only when I have things to say. I tend to stick to doing actually work, while others walk around and talk to people. Especially in the environment I work in, I assumed that we should limit ourselves to mostly chargeable time because we would have to make up the time we spent talking about unrelated work topics. It also doesn’t help that most of my team sit around each other, while I’m in a separate area. I think it would just be awkward for me to stand over their area just to talk, then having to make up that time later on. Should I just accept that I’m mostly an introvert even though I want to belong/to be part of the team? I feel like I want to talk to everyone, but at the same time I sometimes can’t relate to what they’re talking about or I’m just not interested in some of their topics. Aside: I feel like there’s a lot of extroverted developers here and it’s different from what I’m used to. Hiya! I haven’t listened too all your episodes, but out of the ones I’ve heard, it seems like you both suggest quitting our jobs. How many jobs have you quit? My dad had told me a couple years ago (when I was looking for a job) is that if you quit too many times, potential employers would think that you aren’t committed or are only looking to get more money. Is this the case? Will companies think that if I quit multiple times?
31 minutes | Sep 7, 2021
Episode 270 (rerun of 227): Junior expectations and manager flakiness
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions: Questions What should I expect from a junior develop, and how can I help them grow? A junior developer joined my team of 4 a few months ago. He has learned things at a reasonable speed but it is still hard for him to implement new features without any help or existing code to copy. In past jobs, I usually gave juniors simple, easy tasks, but we don’t have that simple tasks in my current job because we’re working on complicated internal systems. Also other junior developers spent lots of their private time learning. I don’t think this junior has spent any time learning in his private time. I don’t want to ask them to learn in their private time, but I just can’t help feel annoyed about the fact that he still cannot pick up a well-defined task in our backlog and complete it by himself. I think he really needs to take some time learning some basics like networking and some skills like keyboard shortcuts of text editors. I know there is lots to learn. However, sometimes I lose my patience when I have to repeat myself. In addition to lack of knowledge and skills, I feel that he always waits somebody to tell him what to do and explain everything to him. I tried to tell him the whole picture of the project before explain a specific task, but I couldn’t see any improvement. What could I do to help him (or make myself feel better)? I’ve worked with 3 managers in the past 2 years at my first company and all of them seem to have trouble producing results from team meetings and one on ones. More specifically, my managers have mentioned things/events/changes they would plan to do with the team or me and several weeks/months go by and the idea is never mentioned again. At times it felt like maybe it was me that was unable to produce the outcomes of said ideas or that maybe I was some sort of a lost cause. However, my most recent manager doubled the ratio of ideas:results, so I don’t think it’s just me. For my one on ones, we have a long running list of things we talk about and even the trail there doesn’t seem to amount to anything. How do I hold my manager accountable for things they say or plan to do? How do I bring up these conversation on one-on-ones without making it seem like I’m the one managing them?
28 minutes | Aug 30, 2021
Episode 269: A bad product and running the meter down
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions: Questions How should I deal with the product I am building being called “the worst tool in the domain I’ve ever used”? The product I’m working on is quite old, has many customers, but by no means is a product everyone loves or even talks about. Most of the public feedback I see is negative, with very little praise or even good words about it. Lately, it’s been straining me and affecting my motivation to work on this product, even though otherwise I like working on it, with the great team, good tech stack and so on. Thanks! Hi! I miss going to the gym (because of lockdown) and listening to your podcast while I do cardio! My question: I’m a freelance developer working remotely in a team of other freelancers. This is my first full remote and freelance job setup. Recently, I’ve been feeling like the other developers are “just letting the meter run”, as it takes them a long time to complete tasks (without writing unit tests or documentation), the tickets they work on don’t pass initial QA, they log in late in the day and disappear in the afternoon usually without leaving a slack message or status. Is it understandable to think so negatively about them all the time should I just mind my own business and just manage my feelings? Help appreciated - I have been thinking of leaving this project because of them, which is unfortunate because the company and their product are interesting. Thanks!
22 minutes | Aug 23, 2021
Episode 268: Title inflation and solo remote engineer
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions: Questions I have a question about ‘title inflation’, where you get promoted faster than your experience would normally suggest for that specific title. If I’ve been a ‘Senior Software Engineer’ for all of a year, and am now getting recruiting offers for Director and VP of Engineering jobs, is it worth interviewing and seeing where it goes? I don’t really see myself at that level, but I… might be able to level up to it quickly! Should I take a remote work offer or find a new job in a new place? I am moving to another country with my husband in 2 months. I am the only frontend developer in the team and my company has been having difficulty hiring people, so my boss asked me if I could work for the company as a remote employee. I am reluctant to the offer because my plan has always been to find a new job so that I can blend in with the local community. Not to mention the 12-hour time difference and lack of new challenges. Sadly, I find it difficult to reject him and leave my colleagues behind. What is a better action to take?
29 minutes | Aug 16, 2021
Episode 267: Cheap promotion raise and live coding blues
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions: Questions I work for an all-remote company and I’m about to get promoted. The company says they target a salary increase of 5-10%. Assuming they come to me with an offer on the low-end (5-6%), what’s the best way to go about negotiating a higher raise during promotion? I want to stay at the company and also want the shiny new SENIOR job title, so I feel like I don’t have much leverage in this situation. Any advice is appreciated! Rachel asks, Live coding makes me choke. As soon as someone else is watching, my brain immediately goes to mush and I’m like a chicken with my head cut off. Actually recently I learned it’s not just live coding – it extends to live spreadsheet-making and live cooking as well! I guess I’m not into performing? Anyway, this has come up because it’s impacting my career in real ways. For interviews I offer to do takehomes, which I’m great at, but sometimes I’m told live coding is the standard they apply to all applicants. What’s a non-live coder to do? Show Notes Consumer price index: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm @Channel Twitter account: https://twitter.com/Channel https://interviewing.io/
25 minutes | Jul 26, 2021
Episode 266: Switching tech stacks and awkward zoom silence
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions: Questions Should I change tech stacks every few years in order to not get pigeonholed? Is it a good idea to stick with a tech stack for as long as I can or should I follow the market trend and try to learn another promising tech and then try switching into that? Would you advise me to be more of a specialist or a generalist early in my career, and what about later when I’m more experienced? I’m a full-stack web developer who’s just starting out my first job (if that matters) I love this show so much, I’m even trying your goto advice - quitting my job! But not untill I’ve got another lined up so shhh about it already. In the mean time, I work for a huge agency as a senior(ish) developer and have recently started work with a new team. However, they have issues: no one turns on their camera for video calls, which I’m ok with, but it makes the next bit worse somehow - most say the absolute minimum in response to any questions and offer no opionions / thoughts / ideas. It makes things like sprint retro meetings very awkward. We have a scrum master running our meetings who is clearly struggling to engage the team, I try to hold off to let any of the others answer questions but I always seem to end up picking up the slack. I’ve even started timing how long I’ll let the slience endure before jumping in to answer, I’m now waiting 15 seconds. Have you come accross this before? How can I get people to engage more?
32 minutes | Jul 19, 2021
Episode 265 (rerun of 216): One-on-ones and inter-team power struggles
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions: Questions I have a weekly one-on-one with my manager. What should I talk about in them? Things like feedback and career goals become old and repetitive real soon, and I end up discussing current work items. I understand that a one-on-one is my time to ask questions and don’t want it to be a longer daily-standup. My front-end team mates are in a power struggle with my back-end team mates and my design team mates. They’re intentionally making technical decisions that artificially constrain the choices of other teams. For example, design wants a certain interaction for a new feature, and my team says “nope, it can’t work that way, cause the components we built don’t allow that”. Or, they make tickets for the back-end team as in “endpoints have to work this or that way, because our components assume that structure”. This often seems detrimental and confusing to other teams. When I push back against my team they are angry. When I defend my team other people are angry. When I try to strike a compromise I feel gross because I usually think my team is wrong. I’ve tried talking with other teams and managers about the problem. I feel gross about that too because I don’t want to point fingers or throw my team mates under the bus. Where should I even start?
29 minutes | Jul 12, 2021
Episode 264: Finger pointing and getting recognition
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions: Questions Hi Mr.Smith and Mr.Dance, I’m a software engineer at a big software company. I recently learned to self-evaluate and found that I’m really bad at being finger pointed. I am normally an easy-going team player with an open mind. I accept that I can be flawed sometimes, and I would never blame anyone. But whenever someone points their finger at me and says “this bug is caused by YOU!” or more commonly “this bug is caused by YOUR systems!” (sometimes with facepalm emojis or this emoji 🤷), I suddenly become super defensive and frantically try to find counter evidence to prove that it is indeed THEIR system that is at fault, or at least some OTHER systems that is at fault, but definitely NOT MINE. After I cool down for a few days, I regain my composure and realize that what I have done was wrong and not useful to the discussion. This is specifically in the context of informal issue debugging between teams, not strictly a blameless postmortem meeting. I think blaming others is not a good behavior and makes the workplace toxic and unproductive. I would like to improve myself (and others). Any suggestions and recommendations? First of all I have to say a big THANK YOU to the work you’ve been developing, it’s helping me a lot to set my expectations and pave my career path. So, to the question… I’m currently working for a large Brazilian fintech and I’m starting to get a little bit annoyed by the lack of acknowledgement. I’ve already made it clear to my managers a couple of times and I always received great feedbacks and always performed “above the expectations” for my level. But in the last 1:1 we had I was a little bit more insistent about it and the explanation they gave me was “we know that our developers are above the average, we know that a Junior here can easily get Mid-level or even Senior in other companies, but we want to be a tech reference in the country and we don’t want to spoil the devs by promoting them a couple of times in the same year”. I understand this ambition but it got me a little bit frustrated. Of course I don’t want to be a mercenary nor a mediocre developer, but if this is the objective they’re aiming they should at least pay a competitive salary. This conversation really demotivated me, it seems to me they just want a high specialized work-force for a cheap price. I really appreciate everything I’m able to learn inside the company, for sure everyone is above average and being there is like being in school and it’s been really cool. But I’m starting to question if this “trade-off” of low pay and high learning makes sense once you’re already in the Mid-level corporate world. I’m pretty sure I can double my salary in the next month if I wanted to - a couple o recruiters contacted me in linkedin and I also made some interviews -, but this “tech reference and always learning” thing keeps bothering me and I wonder how much of it really makes a difference in the long run.
29 minutes | Jul 5, 2021
Episode 263: Why am I bored and ver-boss-ity
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions: Questions I’m feeling bored and disengaged with my job lately, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of the best jobs I can find: my manager and teammate are great, my compensation is very high for my area, worklife balance/benefits etc are excellent, and the mission and product the company make are awesome and help the world! On top of all that I think the work is technically interesting! But still I’m bored and disengaged :( I can’t tell if I’m just burned out from the pandemic and this is how it’s manifesting, or if I just have a serious case of “the grass is always greener” and now that I’ve been on this team for 2 years I’m ready just for a change of scenery. I want to fall back in love with this job, but how can I do that? Do you have any advice? Changing teams isn’t a great fit as this is a small office for the company in a ““satellite”” site, with only one other team that I’m not super interested in. I could of course take the patented advice and find a new job that might be equally great, but what else can I do? Listener Very Verbose asks, Love the show! I’m rapidly working my way through the backlog and dread the day that I reach the end and have to wait a whole week for the next one! :) Whenever I write a message to a coworker I tend to start with a huge wall of text, then revise it down to something smaller and hit send. I do this with emails, slack messages, code review feedback, you name it. Even this question I’ve re-written a few times! I feel like I’m over-thinking things, and trying to make sure there is no misunderstanding in what I’ve written. For example, a relatively small piece of feedback for a code review might be re-written many times, because I’m concerned that I will come across as overly negative or condescending if I just send through my first draft. Often, the feedback is positive and they agree with the points that I’ve raised. But they’re only seeing 2 points, when I probably started with 10 and deleted 8 of them that I later deemed to be ‘too nitpicky’ before sending it through! Naturally, all of this takes time and I’m often wasting more than 20 mins, only to end up sending 2-3 sentences at the end of it. Do you have any tips for helping me get to the point, so that I can be more productive and move on with other work? Do I just need to care less about what they think of me? Should I just skim over the code, say “LGTM”, and suppress the fear that I may have just approved a critical bug to go to production? Appreciate any advice you can give. Unfortunately, I don’t think inventing a time machine to go back 18 minutes after spending 20 minutes writing a message is a reasonable option :) It would take me several decades to be happy with the time machine before I turn it on!
20 minutes | Jun 14, 2021
Episode 262: I'm too popular and too much turnover
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions: Questions Hello!! This is maybe the opposite of a problem, but I’ve found myself stuck - how do you navigate too much interest from outside parties? I work in a pretty niche subsection of software dev, so I field a lot of job offers/recruitment when people start to put together a new team. These are usually coming from managers/people I would be working with directly (and admire!) rather than recruiters. Generally the opportunities are something I could see myself doing one day, but I’m perfectly content in my role as-is for the time being. Where’s the line between expressing interest in future opportunities (emphasis on future) without stringing people along? How many “catch up” conversations are reasonable before it shifts from maintaining a relationship to active recruiting? Apologies if this comes across as a humble brag but I’m getting overwhelmed. Love the show, you rock 🤘 I recently started a new position at a startup after being recruited by one of their senior leaders. Being a startup the company has had its ups and downs, including some layoffs within the last year. I am really loving the company so far, the people, the culture. They really seem to care about correcting past mistakes and listening to feedback from everyone. There is still a good amount of turnover among engineers and engineering managers. I’m sure some turnover is normal especially at startup. But at what point does it really become something I need to be concerned about? What questions should/can I ask to help me get a better picture of what is going on? Is there anything specific I should look out for that might be my cue to start creating a backup plan?
24 minutes | Jun 7, 2021
Episode 261: Anxious about work and senior imposter
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions: Questions Hello, I have been working as a software developer for 10+ years now and recently took a job at a non-technical company. I was recruited to craft a web app for this company and thought they had an idea of what it means and the changes it may require. I am the only developer on the project. I feel like, either I’m not communicating well/at all, or they just simply don’t care about the work they recruited me for. I don’t have a good work/life balance since I’m always anxious when I receive an email from the company fearing someone will complain about the quality of my software. I feel isolated and unable to show how my work positively impacts the company Since I know my work is not perfect, I feel like I should not complain at all and just make my software bug-free. I’m doubting my abilities and starting to think I actually don’t know anything about Software Engineering. Because the company is non-technical, do I have the right to say that my work is that essential? What should I do so I don’t feel like crap every morning before going to work? In your last episode, you brought up a listener question about a developer of eight years accepting a senior developer position. I’m in a similar boat, but with far less experience. How much less? Well I’ve worked as a developer only for THREE. This is by no means a flex, but I’m kind of worried that I’m in over my head. There was little due diligence on my new supervisor’s side, so my trepidation is that I’ll be two/three months into my new job and they’ll look at my perf and see “this kid is not a senior at all”. I know, the classic imposter syndrome. I’ve been straight forward with my new supervisor about my experience level—or lack thereof—and they seemed not too worried about it. Do you guys have any advice for me going into this? What can I do to maximise this opportunity I’ve been given this early in my career? Love the show!
34 minutes | May 24, 2021
Episode 260: Pay cut after hired and new job ramp-up
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions: Questions Hey guys! I’m a long-time listener and like many of your other listeners have listened to each episode! Until now I didn’t have anything to ask, however, I have a story to tell and I was hoping for your opinions on this. Someone I know is a somewhat junior dev, they left their first job for a new job that had better pay. They were pretty good at negotiating a good salary, while still being transparent about their work history. But a few months ago management said they were underperforming compared to other coworkers and their pay would have to be cut. At first, they said at most it would be 10%. However, it ended up being 23%, which way less than even their prior job. Needless to say, they’re taking the softskills option and looking for a new job. My question is how commonly does this happen, and what are some telltale signs that this could potentially happen? Thanks for your time and a have great week! I’m 8 years into a career in software engineering and I just accepted a senior engineering position at a well respected tech company in Silicon Valley. While I believe I am qualified for the position, it will be a big step up for me in terms of the caliber of engineers I’ll be working with as well as the overall scale of the system compared to my previous jobs. The standards of engineering and general productivity will likely be higher than I am used to, though I’m excited to level up. I’m not looking for advice about my specific situation, but I’m curious: what are your guys’ priorities during your first days, weeks or months at a new but senior-level job, to ensure you hit the ground running and set yourself up for a successful tenure at the company? Anything you used to do that you don’t anymore? Any common mistakes you see engineers make when they join new teams?
23 minutes | May 10, 2021
Episode 259: Moving up to meetings and will remote work stay a thing?
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions: Questions This question came with a delightful ASCII-art diagram that I will now dictate as follows: “pipe space space space space” JK TLDR: I want to move up the ranks but I’m not sure what might await me… except meetings. What should I expect? And how do I get there? Too Small, Want MOAR! I work in a big enterprise as a Tech Lead in an ““agile team””. So day-to-day I focus on getting our team to build the current feature we’re meant to be building (eg by helping other devs, attending meetings, and sometimes writing code). The next step for my career would be what we call an “Engineering Lead” but I’m having a hard time figuring out what that role actually is and our “EL” is so slammed with meetings I’m afraid to take any of their time to ask… SO - Dave & Jamison, can you enlighten me? What might the goals and life be of someone at that level and how would someone who still codes every day(ish) start figuring out what to do to get there? P.S. It’s taken me about 4 years but I’ve finally managed to listen to every single SSE episode! (I have a kid, binging podcasts isn’t possible for me). P.P.S. In an interview recently I was asked ““What’s the most valuable piece of advice you were ever given?”” to which I replied ““To negotiate for better benefits in job interviews, got it from a podcast called ‘Soft Skills Engineering’””. The interviewer thought that was cool, subscribed to your podcast during the interview then REFUSED TO NEGOTIATE ON ANYTHING! >:( Living in a small town my options as a software engineer have been limited to working for one company straight out of uni for 7 years. Wanting to develop in my career, and knowing you have advised others in the past to move on from their first job out of uni. What is your opinion of seeking out and switching jobs into remote work? Will this provide the same development value found in a traditional job switch, especially after the impact COVID has had on the way companies see remote work.
31 minutes | May 3, 2021
Episode 258: Addicted to scrolling and underpaid with equity
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions: Questions Listener “Scrolly McScroll-Face” asks, Hi Team! Love the show. Keep up the great work and congrats on 256 episodes! I think I’m addicted to my phone? Every time my code goes to build, or something I know I need to wait on, I open my phone and start scrolling. 40 seconds later when the build is done, I’m still scrolling. In between thoughts, I also open youtube in new tab fairly regularly. It’s definitely gotten worse while working at home during these times. I’m surely not alone in this slipping of discipline…. I’ve tried to put my phone in the next room and that has some success, but I don’t always remember to do that. Do you have any tips? Anything you’ve seen while managing folks? I love my job and I love the work, so I dont think I’m not engaged enough, and I struggle to see how a different job would engage me more. Hi I am the under-leveled engineer from episode 240, and I want to provide an update and ask a follow up question. I was promoted in this cycle, and because of my shyness I used Jamison’s favorite problem solving technique of doing nothing prior to my review, my compensation in the new level is also underwhelming. Or is it? Comparing my pay with some data point on levels.fyi, my salary is slightly below average. As part of my promotion, I have another equity award, and that is also slightly below average compared to the data points on the site. However, I already have an existing equity award granted to me when I started at my previous level. It is unclear to me if the data points on the site have taken into account for an internal promotion vs an offer extended to an external candidate. If I add in the previous equity awards and my compensation in this new level, then my total seems too be way out of band, on the good side. Digging into it more, there are other sites and blog posts that talk about things like refreshers and bonuses. These are brand new concepts to me since my previous jobs only pay salary, event the tech jobs in middle America. Could you talk about how compensation is structured in the big leagues?
25 minutes | Apr 19, 2021
Episode 257: Oops I didn't negotiate and really another raise question
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions: Questions I’m currently in my first job as a software engineer. Before working full time, I worked at the company as an intern, and during the last few weeks of my internship the engineering manager asked ““We want to bring you on full time. What are your salary expectations?”” Naive me, not wanting to cause any trouble, responded with a very moderate number. They give an offer that was 10% less, but with ““really good benefits,”” so I accepted. Just over one year later, I feel like I’ve proven my value to be substantially more than what I asked for, and I know I’m making 10-30% less than my peers. A couple weeks ago, I had my salary review, and rather than the management being open to negotiation (which is what I had expected going in) they just told me ““You’ll be making 4% more this year.”” After the meeting, I mentioned to my manager that I felt that the raise wasn’t representative of the value that I would be giving the company. He responded that they pay ““Within expected ranges for my job title and experience.”” I was a little hurt by this, because I want to be paid based on the value that I provide, not based on my title or experience. I don’t think I should quit the job, because I get along well with the team, enjoy my work, and they are paying for my master’s tuition on the side. What should I do? Hear ye hear ye, Gods of podcasts, I have a question for thees! I think my salary is ok, £60k (UK) and I’ve brought up the subject of raises a couple of times with my boss (2 years ago and 1 year ago) - both times I was told I’m doing pretty well but they’ll look into it. So far no sign of a raise but I’m not annoyed, I really like my job and the people I work with are great. I’m now on paternity leave and have taken the time to do some interviewing to see what’s out there and keep my skills sharp. Turns out I could earn a lot more! Who knew!? I’m now caught between going back to my boss with these other offers to say ““actually no, turns out I’m not doing great, gimmi more money”” or quitting my job for more money but a potentially worse job… help! How do I say ““more money please or I leave”” but nicely?
31 minutes | Apr 12, 2021
Episode 256: No degree ceiling and reverse whippersnappers
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions: Questions Hiya, thank you for the show. It’s very insightful and both of you are pretty charismatic. Without getting too much into details I had a number of difficulties when I was younger which caused me to never finish my computer science degree. I took a job as a Business Intelligence analyst because I needed to move out. Fast forward a few years and I am now an Engineering Manager for one of the biggest companies in the UK - nearly 2000 engineers and around 100.000 employees overall. I consider myself incredibly successful for my age, just turned 30. I manage two teams(11 and 4 ppl) that are seen as the top performers in the Data Engineering department, and that is credited to my leadership. I’ve always been very self conscious of the degree situation. I’ve tried to finish it online a couple times but I simply can’t find how. I am now being asked to apply to my boss’ position as Senior Engineering Manager, which could mean being responsible of 6 teams of around 10 people average and a sizeable budget. I live in constant anxiety from the possibility of hitting a ceiling or being confronted about the degree situation. While I didn’t hide it on the interview process It’s not something I advertise at all but I got to a point where I just don’t know what to do about it. And so that would be my question: What would you advice for someone in my position? I’m working at a small company where we used to have 2 developers. Both of us had at least 10 years of professional experience and both of us are around 28 years old. A few months ago, our bosses decided to hire 3 new FE devs and all of them come from bootcamp. That wouldn’t be so unusual, but all of them are 35+ years old and have families and basically just 6 months of experience. This causes a lot of friction in our team. We’re trying to “mentor” them in best practices and experience we’ve gained over time, but sometimes they don’t accept it, because we’re just too young for them (in one case 10 years younger). Do you have any tips how to approach “mentorship” when it comes from younger to older dev? And how to overcome the 10 year barrier? Show Notes https://www.simscale.com/blog/2017/12/nasa-mars-climate-orbiter-metric/ https://money.cnn.com/2012/05/13/technology/yahoo-ceo-out/index.htm
25 minutes | Apr 5, 2021
Episode 255: Only positive feedback and overworked and siloed
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions: Questions Hey there! Thank you so much for the amazing podcast. In my current job I work with an incredible (and very strong technically) team, and I like working with my manager a lot. BUT, during all 1:1s, and annual reviews the feedback is always that I am doing a great job and there is never a negative nor constructive criticism. However, I have been waiting for a promotion for more than a year, I never get assigned to the shinier and more challenging tasks/projects, and for the merit review I was put in the “good” bucket (not great, not the best). So, if I am always doing a great job, what else can I do to get this promotion and be trust worthy of shining projects? Jon asks, I’m having a hard time at work. There is so much to do my team can barely spare the time to collaborate on anything. Even when I ask for help, the overwhelming stress usually results in a snarky response. I’ve been working here for a year under these conditions and I’ve learned a lot but we never talk to each other…I feel like I still don’t have the whole picture because I’ve basically never been onboarded. I want to collaborate with my team but either the organizational structure or sheer amount of work is keeping us in silos. Trying to break them down usually lands me in the dog house. What the heck do I do now? I feel like if I stay I’ll only ever get year 1 dev experience, but I also feel like I’ll be totally useless to any real development team.
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