What modern day engineers can learn from ... Leonardo da Vinci

What modern day engineers can learn from ... Leonardo da Vinci

TL;DR I've asked myself a question - what has made Leonardo da Vinci so exquisite that his fame lasts for half a millenium already - answer (based on biography & known facts) doesn't differ much from what depicts best software (& not only) engineers of modern times. Years pass, even whole centuries do, but some of universal personal traits remain as the ones who separate accomplished, successful craftsmen from these who never stood out from the background. I hate reading biographies, but I do make exceptions for the ones of people I find truly unique & fascinating. I do…

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What makes a Software Engineer (feel) successful?

What makes a Software Engineer (feel) successful?

TL;DR We spend ridiculous amount of time on verifying job candidates' technical proficiency, analytical thinking, communication skills, but we rarely ask them for what they really aim for. Companies enforce their career models & internal goals / definitions of success w/o examining what really drives a potentially new hire, what are their ambitions, what impresses them and lights up sparks in their eyes. It's a gross oversight as nothing unites & strengthens the team as much as the common goal & shared motivations. I've never have hidden (especially on this blog) that fact that I'm totally fascinated by the…

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Who should pay for your training?

Who should pay for your training?

TL;DR Effectiveness of professional training depends on several factors, including trainee's motivation, interest in the topic, its usefulness & relevance (now & in future), but also how rare (scarce) it is (training itself or the knowledge), how hard was it to obtain it, whether it was picked up by trainee's personal decision or not. What IMHO works best is to make it (training) as much a joint initiative as possible - one of the key elements here is sharing the cost: employer should be just co-funding the training, but in return he should also leave the trainee much more…

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Learning as a dangerous form of procrastination

Learning as a dangerous form of procrastination

Disclaimer: even if this article is based mainly on my own experience & thoughts, this concept was very well formulated & articulated before I've managed to do it myself, in a blog post that you can find here. I advice you to read it first as I'd like to avoid repetition (or taking original author's credit) as much as possible. TL;DR Theoretical knowledge maybe a foundation of self-development, but acquiring theory w/o validating it in practice is a subject of the law of diminishing returns - gain to effort ratio drops significantly in time. However, we tend to…

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Quit "playing with". It's the goals, that drive us.

Quit "playing with". It's the goals, that drive us.

August 2015 Me: Hey dude, how's it going? Whatcha doin'? Dude: Playing with Docker, cool stuff. Sniffing around, trying to figure out things. December 2015 Me: Hey dude, how are things? Doin' anything interesting lately? Dude: Playing with Docker, neat thing. Hard to grasp, but very promising. April 2016 Me: Hey dude, what's up? Cooking something up? Dude: Playing with Docker, truly impressive plaything. Amazing potential & seems getting mature. August 2016 Me: Hey dude, long time no see. What are you up to these days? Dude: Playing with Docker, amazing tech with steep learning curve. Evolves so swiftly, I…

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Grit. Because talent is overrated.

Grit. Because talent is overrated.

One of the things I'm truly & fully proud'n'happy is the way I'm managing my own self-development. I never had problems with: declining motivation making decisions on what to do next lack of focus burning out losing ability to reach the state of "flow" dispiritedness or anything like that Invariably, I'm having fun learning new stuff, getting experiences, breaking next barriers - it makes me feel more capable, more skillful, more prepared to make a difference once next need materialises. My kung-fu But I know that keeping myself at the raising curve ain't trivial. I've met plenty of…

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Ritualization - develop your good habits

Ritualization - develop your good habits

Personally I'm a huge fan of information radiators - I love the idea of full transparency & exposing vital, key information on continuously updated, automatically generated (from the single source of truth) dashboards. The benefits of information radiators have always been striking me with their obviousness: building mutual relation of trust on being fully transparent sharing the big picture on varying levels of detail, so everyone can feel comfortable by getting acknowledged with (s)he cares about no last-minute surprises -> if something doesn't go according to expectation, it's visible pretty much immediately etc., you should've got the idea…

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How to spend you training budget (if you have some) weasely, ... erhm, I mean 'wisely'

You all know how this business is alike: if you’re not learning, you’re getting out of the game quickly - knowledge that is more than 3 years old is pretty much worthless. That’s why you should use every possible opportunity to invest in your self-development: fortunately many companies understand that pretty well already. This blog post is just a collection of hints - these are the rules I follow personally. Enjoy and feel free to comment: If your current employer doesn’t have anything like a training budget (or an equivalent) - make…

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