As part of my goal to help increase your value to your employer, I’m starting a new segment called “Prodigy Developers.” I’ll be interviewing successful developers still in the early stages of their career. Digging into what has helped them succeed, their suggestions, their experiences, their thoughts on the future of software development and more. My hope is that you’ll learn from the experience of these success stories and get motivated to expand your skill set. I’ll do brief reviews of their background and focus on one or two main suggestions career success points. I also hope to add some audio clips of each interview.
My first interview is with Justin Chase – Currently a software developer at Microsoft (Minneapolis, MN) on the Expression team. I was lucky enough to meet and place Justin back in 2005 just as he graduated from the University Minnesota Duluth. (In the future I hope to record these conversations and add that to the post. In this case I don’t have a recording so this post will be a short one.)
Justin is an extremely talented developer. I’m going to use him to make a point about one of my crusades – Building your personal network to expand your career.
Justin’s success can be expressed by being ready to take advantage of opportunities.
Here are some actions / suggestions Justin took at work to help his career
- Making connections with key figures at work. -
- Take deep interest in what others are doing
- Take proactive steps to go further than what was asked
- Asking a lot of questions, get interested
- Being visible in the community
Justin’s career suggestions
- Don’t just look at $$$$ – “Be in it for the love of programming”
- “Surround yourself with people are smarter than you.”– no ego.
- “Don’t be afraid” – “don’t have an ego” – “be passionate”
Where is Justin spending his time when being visible in the community?
- XNA user group,
- Twin Cities Languages User Group
- Open source project - Boo Programming Language
- Oslo forums
One more thing -
I get a lot of questions from developers asking if they should or need to start a Blog. It’s really up to you. Here is what I got from Justin.
What do you get of maintaining your blog?
The time and effort put into https://justnbusiness.com/ is helpful as a Dev journal. It’s a place to put thoughts. It’s not monetized, it doesn’t have a huge following, but he maintains it out of the passion for the craft (Scott Hanselman).
If you have been a reader of my blog you will notice a continuing thread.