Jump In

Change is scary! Three months ago, ahead of my first day as a Developer Advocate, I had the same pre-first day butterflies in my stomach that I do with every change. Would I be good at this? Was it the right decision?

Despite my strong preparation and research ahead of taking this role, there were a few surprises I found along the way. Here I share five surprises I’ve encountered in my first 3 months as an advocate, for anyone curious about jumping into advocacy, or even those interested in movement from regulated industries such as banking to tech.

Should I Stay or Should I Go? (Na na na na na na na na)

Should I stay or move to a new company? That is a question that many engineers and individuals working in the technology landscape today ask themselves when figuring out their next career move.

I wouldn’t call myself an expert on developers resigning, but I do have a few thoughts on the resignation versus mobility debate. In my 10.6-year tenure, I’ve resigned twice, retracted a resignation once, moved teams twice, been promoted once, and moved roles several more times within teams. This experience has moulded my viewpoints on tech careers.

In this piece, I’ll cover the reasons people, and more specifically engineers, quit; when a move might be a better option for you; and tips for managers on how to handle resignations with grace based on my own experiences on both sides of the table.

Speak Your Mind

The Differences Between Conference Attendance Experience as an Advocate versus Speaker and Attendee It’s tech conference season! I’m starting to find that there are two busy periods in the year for tech conferences: April-May and October-November. It’s kept me busy as a new developer advocate starting in April 2022. It’s more of a learn-by-doing approach,Continue reading “Speak Your Mind”

Get Off the Phone

In the world of always connected it’s often difficult to disconnect from work. Especially in the age of bring your own device, where many organisations give employees the ability to have work on personal devices.

After a year of having my personal device work free, I reflect on the benefits this has given me. Here I share the drivers that caused me to refute Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, as a productivity driver, and share tips and tricks to help you decide whether unplugging from the work Matrix will work for you.

People Power

As both an agilist and software engineer, I enjoy attending a mixture of conferences. Yet in discussion with developers I sometimes am asked what kinds of topics are normally covered. Or even hear jokes about which methodology won in the battle of Scrum vs Kanban (sigh).

The reality is that Agile conferences cover a myriad of content encompassing various domains, including but not limited to psychology, sociology, agile theory, leadership, testing, software engineering and others. Here I reflect on some of the amazing sessions I watched and presented this year at Lean Agile Exchange 2021, and what I learned.

Coming to the Stage

With many meetups and conferences taking place online through pest past year, all my experience is based in the online world. Often, I would stand in my spare room, talking at an empty screen. That is vastly different to the in person experience I have just described.

In the hopes of dispelling some fear and myths of those others who, like me until recently, have only presented online, I regale the experience of my first in-person meetup. I will discuss the key differences between these two formats. Finally, I will give some useful tips to help you prepare to step out into the physical spotlight and give your first in-person talk.

Let The Record Show

Recording yourself is hard! Recording yourself is downright uncomfortable! Nevertheless, with us all working from home for the past year it has become a more common format for conference talks. Here I regale the lessons I’ve learned from creating my first pre-recorded talk, as well as some right daft tales of getting it wrong, to ensure that your first recording experience goes more smoothly.

The Great Impostor

When we were young, we relished the opportunity to pretend to be someone else. In our current roles, being someone we think we are not feels far more stressful.

Through my own career journey, including breaks from active software development for maternity leave and roles in Scrum Mastery and tech management, and discussing similar experiences with others, I’ve found there are points where the presence of that lurking impostor feels more prominent. Here I discuss the times where impostor syndrome can be particularly hard to manage, using my own and others experiences, and some learning tips to help silence the faker.

All Together Now

Two heads are better than one. But what about three heads? That is indeed the question I was pondering ahead of a recent mob review.

Here I regale the tale of using a mob review to educate myself and other developers in review standards and best practices, and how they can be used as a health check for team review behaviours and psychological safety.

Mix It Up

Sometimes in life, two unexpected elements can combine together to form something better.

Here I discuss how combining behavioural specifications from BDD and e2e testing can help provide a common testing understanding between developers and non-technical stakeholders. I also showcase a brief example to reinforce how behavioural specifications make the user perspective clearer within your tests.