Career

A Tool for Every Job

A Tool for Every Job

I’m a fixer. A tinkerer. As a kid, I would take my toys apart just to see how they worked, and to prove that I could put them back together again (and these experiments often had mixed results). Even today, I’m still kind of a shade tree handyman. In fact, earlier this week I had to fix a broken safety…


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On Failure: On Being a Screw-Up

“He’s a screw-up. Always trying things that don’t work.” I’ll be honest: I used to be afraid of being the person described above. I didn’t want to be known as someone whose ideas didn’t work. And to that end, I was successful: most of what I tried was successful. The bad news was that I wasn’t doing much. I was…


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Why I Want to Have Coffee With You

Yesterday I read an article entitled “Why I Don’t Want to Have Coffee With You”, in which the author writes that he doesn’t have the time or the desire to simply “have coffee”. While I empathize with some of the author’s justifications for his position, I was disappointed at the hard line he took on this. Personally, I prefer a…


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The Idea Book

How many times have you said to yourself, “Someone should build an application that does [x]…”, or “Wouldn’t it be easy to add automation to [y]”, or “It would be a lot of fun to work on a project to build [z]”? For me, this has happened a lot, and seems to occur more frequently the longer I’m in this…


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On Failure

The first rule of blogging is that you should write about topics you know a lot about. And I know a lot about failure. This post will be the first in a series on the topic, through which I’ll share a few of my own failures and how I’ve done my best to use them to my benefit. In almost…


Tips for social media success

Six practical tips for social media success

Social media is the new résumé.  In many ways, it’s even better than a résumé – a person’s social media stream can reveal attitudes, biases, and deficiencies that wouldn’t dare appear on a résumé.  Your online thoughts – blogs, Instagram pictures, tweets on Twitter, posts on Facebook, among others – help to make up the digital you, which friends and…


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On Perspective

Perspective can make or break a career.  Maintaining a proper perspective is very often the differentiating factor between a good technologist and an incredible one. In my 15-ish years in IT, I’ve said a lot of dumb things.  Many of them I’ve forgotten, but I can’t shake the memory of one particular phrase I uttered more than a few times…


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Eight Words

I remember a lot of things about that day.  It was July in Texas, which is to say, it was unbearably hot.  For the work I ended up doing that day, I was way overdressed in my long-sleeved blue button down and khakis.  I was training a new guy – Andy – who had recently been promoted from Service Agent…