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Software Engineering Unlocked on Smash Notes

Software Engineering Unlocked podcast.

February 26, 2020

In this show, I open you the doors to companies and thought leaders around the world. With my guests, I discuss software engineering best practices and pitfalls, and how they strive to build software people love.

Episodes with Smash Notes

In this episode, I talk to Nicolas Dular, a senior full-stack engineer at GitLab, about his experience of becoming an engineering manager. We talk about: - how he became an engineering manager - what he liked about this role - what he did not like about being an engineering manager - and why he decided to move back to an individual contributor role.

From workplace dynamics to code reviews, misunderstandings can arise for a variety of reasons. People have different interpretations of things or of what is said, different assumptions of others' motives, and simply miss out on the information they need to understand something. This can lead to conflict building up over time. But what if there’s a way that people could come to a common understanding through common knowledge and similar wavelength?

Jess Rose joins me in today’s episode to share her insights on creating better workplace experiences and how managers can balance contractual duties to the company and the individual ethical responsibilities to the people they manage. We also talk about learning: the process itself and how it’s different for everyone, and how Jess is fostering more equal access to technical education in digital spaces.

Jess founded the Open Code meetup series, an international series of weekly mixed-level, language-agnostic study sessions for programmers and aspiring programmers. She also co-founded Trans*Code with the incomparable Naomi Ceder, resulting in a series of community-building hack days for the Trans* community, allies, and well-wishers that have stretched across 4 countries and 2 continents. A developer relations strategy specialist and leader with extensive work in open source spaces, Jess is an established keynote speaker with an education background as well.

We’re bringing you another value-packed episode, so tune in till the end!

For engineers feeling stuck and unfulfilled, my guest Dagna Bieda has valuable advice.

Dagna is a software engineer turned career coach who has mentored 50+ clients, some of whom worked at big brand names (such as LinkedIn, Amazon, Google, Disney), as well as much smaller businesses. Whether it’s for promotion, salary increase, landing a new job, or becoming a CTO, she’s committed to helping her clients reach their full potential.

In this episode, Dagna talks about hitting a wall in her engineering career and eventually finding a passion for coaching. She also discusses her perspective on how to navigate cultural differences in the workplace and how engineers can change their mindsets to set themselves up for success.

In the software world, there are a lot of opportunities. You just have to have the right mindset, preparations, and systems.

In this episode, my guest Avdi Grimm shares how he found his independence by running a training and consulting business for over ten years. He reiterates the importance of time efficiency, task delegation, and why you should remove yourself as a bottleneck from your business. He also goes in-depth about the work he does on Graceful.Dev and how he is utilizing WordPress for the website.

Avdi is a consulting pair-programmer, the author of several popular Ruby programming books, and has several courses on his website Graceful.Dev (formerly RubyTapas.com).

There is a simpler way to reduce complexity in our systems, and it starts with rethinking data.

This is the core of Data-Oriented Programming and, in this episode, my guest Yehonathan Sharvit, answers our questions about the paradigm. As an expert in the field, Yehonathan breaks down the basics of Data-Oriented Programming, how it compares to object-oriented programming and functional programming, and how we can apply it in our codebases.

In this episode, I talk to Emma Bostian, who recently started as a software engineer at Spotify. And Emma is the kind of person, that not only applies and interviews for jobs, but at the same time writes a complete book about her interviewing experience hunting for this dream job. This book sold so well, that she could pay back all her medical debt. Before joining Spotify, she worked for LogMeIn, and IBM. She won competitions and moved countries several times.

We talk about: - her interview experience with Spotify and Google, - her experience moving countries during a global pandemic, - what makes for a great onboarding experience and - how we can take action to make sure workplaces are friendly and welcoming.

In this episode, my guest, Paige Bailey, shares her experience as a director of machine learning and machine learning operations. We discuss how we can ease the processes of reviewing data science codes through GitHub's codespaces and Copilot.

What does it take to foster a workplace culture where employees, specifically coders, have the liberty to learn without feeling punished for it by the system? Innovation is impossible without failure, but most work cultures suffocate creativity without realizing it.

We talk about: - how she deviated away from a traditional path of a researcher to start her company, Catharsis Consulting, - how to foster a learning culture within your engineering team - what learning debt is and - how learning debt hinders software engineering teams from reaching their full potential.

In this episode, I talk to Bekah Weigel, who runs the virtual coffee community about community building.

Bekah graduated from a Bootcamp in 2019 and quickly created a striving and very special developer community in just under two years.

We talk about: - how she kick-started the developer community virtual coffee - what it takes to run the community - how sponsorships make it possible to be sustainable, and - how community members take over a large part of running the community.

Daniel Vassallo left his cushy job at Amazon, where he made over half a million per year, to start his own business.

We talk about: - anxiety when start-up attempts do not work out as planned - how he overcame failure - his strategy of small bets to reduce uncertainty - and all the little products that provide him with an average of 23K USD of profit per month.

Alvaro Trigo is a web developer who could quit his full-time job due to his popular open-source software FullPage.js.

We talk about: - how to use open source to make a living - how long it took him to build software people want to buy - what he does against fraud - and his advice for developers that also want to go independent with open-source software.

Let’s look at some research studies together to see whether “happy developers are more productive”. I will let you know my take on it, and how it relates to the study I did on developer experience.

We talk about: - whether happy developers are more productive - what makes developers happier at work - with which negative consequences do you have to reckon if developers are unhappy - and what are the most important factors that make developers more satisfied at work.