Tag Archives: Career Development

How to Build a Successful Team

This Post was written by Scott Deutsch
Date posted: April 23, 2018

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Building a successful team is about more than putting people with great talent together. It’s a detailed process involving clear communication and getting to know your members. Moreover, the longevity of a team stems from your ability to stand out as a strong leader. As you begin assembling your group, read our tips on how to build a successful team:

Establish relationships
As the leader, it’s your job to know each member of the team. Figure out their skill sets, their strengths and weaknesses, and their professional goals. Once you understand these, you can place each person in a role that will make them shine.

You need to understand each member individually before you can begin to help them grow close to one another. Learning more about your employees helps you find ways to motivate them, individually and as a group. From there, you’ll be able to foster the relationships between each member.

Set goals and provide incentives
Setting short and long-term goals does wonders for team productivity. It establishes a foundation with which to work off of and makes daily tasks easier to manage. Consider recommending an agile approach. Continuously check in with everyone to evaluate and discuss their progress toward the higher goals.

When certain goals are met, try providing incentives where possible. This could be bringing in breakfast, offering a day where they can work from home, or giving out gift cards. It’s no surprise that incentives like these are an effective motivator.

Additionally, go the extra mile to explore what doesn’t work with motivating your team. Remember, it’s just as important to understand what demotivates people as it is to know what motivates them.

Create a culture
Just as your organization has its own culture, your team will develop one as well. As the leader, investigate what your team members consider to be important beliefs and behaviours. How do they picture working together? What do they expect when they enter a group setting? By diving into this, you can help spearhead your team culture. Create your values and expectations together so everyone is on the same page and satisfied with their work environment.

Promote transparency
A successful team communicates clearly with one another. Not only do your members keep you in the loop, but they keep each other involved as well. Don’t forget to offer feedback on a constant basis. It’s a mistake to wait until something has gone wrong to then sit down and discuss the issues. To avoid feelings of constant scrutinization, communicate frequently and informally.

With these steps in mind, remember that every successful team is different, and you need to be aware of the nuances and dynamics of your team. Be flexible enough to adapt to what they need while still maintaining your role as the leader.

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The Most Interesting Software Development Accounts to Follow

This Post was written by Darcy Uustal
Date posted: April 9, 2018

Collaboration and sharing knowledge is a staple of the programming community. Software developers share open source projects and contribute to forums as a way to better themselves and others in their field. Since this is the mindset of many programmers, Twitter is the perfect medium to engage with other technical professionals. If you’re looking for insights from other developers, check out my list of who to follow on Twitter:

Paul Buchheit @paultoo As the creator and lead developer of Gmail,  it’s pretty easy to understand why Paul made the list. Follow him for lighthearted tweets and informative retweets.  He also coined Google’s former motto, “Don’t be evil.”

 

Federico Cargnelutti @fedecarg Federico is a Senior Software Engineer at BBC who blogs about software architecture and PHP. Follow him for tech news, tutorials, and other helpful links.

 

Vanessa Hurst @DBNessFounder of Girl Develop It, Vanessa is a strong advocate for inspiring and empowering people to “use computing to improve the human experience.” Follow her for informative retweets from women in the computer science field.

 

Reto Meier @retomeierReto is the author of Professional Android Application Development and a Developer Advocate at Google. He also makes frequent appearances on Google Developers YouTube series, Build Out. Follow him for tweets on all things Android.

 

John Resig @jeresig John is an expert in JavaScript programming and the creator of the jQuery library. He works full-time as a Frontend Architect at the Khan Academy. Follow him for JavaScript tips.

 

Jennifer Dewalt @JenniferDewaltJennifer made her claim to fame by making one website a day for 180 as a way to teach herself to code. Since then she’s founded multiple startups, one of which is Zube. Follow her for technology news and inspirational retweets, like this one:

 

David Heinemeier Hansson @dhhThis Danish programmer is the creator of Ruby on Rails as well as the founder and CTO of Basecamp. He’s also a racing enthusiast and even won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, one of the oldest active sports car race. Follow him for business and Ruby on Rails tips.

 

Jeff Atwood @codinghorror – Jeff is one of the co-founders of StackOverflow and Discourse.org. His blog, Coding Horror, covers software development topics and his experiences with them. Follow him for an entertaining human side of software development.

 

Jesse Stay @JesseJesse is regularly featured on Techcrunch, Mashable, Venturebeat, Readwrite, AdWeek, Forbes, USA Today, and The New York Times. He used to work as a software developer for Facebook and now spends his time speaking, writing, and reviewing tech. Follow him for technology news and events.

 

Paul Irish @paul_irish Paul works on web performance as a Frontend Developer at Google. He’s passionate about making the web tools better for developers. Follow him for updates on web and app development.

 

Who is on your feed? Let us know who you love following and why!

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Advice from the Experts: Three Skills for Software Developers

This Post was written by Darcy Uustal
Date posted: March 20, 2018

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Today, there are countless skills and specializations for technical professions. Because of this, it’s important to be aware of what you should know. Every profession has those core skills that are must-knows in order to be successful. In fact, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the business. Without a doubt, it’s just as important for seasoned software developers to stay current as it is for those just starting out.

After scouring the Internet for blogs from fellow software developers, I’ve outlined three concepts that all software developers need to know, and know well:

Cloud Computing
Software developers have turned to cloud computing services for a number of reasons. Mainly, because it has changed the way we execute large-scale web applications. To illustrate, there are many positives to the elasticity and scalability of testing environments that cloud computing services provide. Many services offer the option to generate synthetic test data, and more of the environment build is automated. Additionally, you no longer need change requests. An internal system limits you to the hardware you have. By contrast, cloud computing speeds up projects and you pay on demand, meaning, you pay as you go so you’re only purchasing what you’re actually using.

There are multiple facets of cloud computing, all of which any software developer should understand inside and out. For more specific explanations on these types of cloud computing, check out this article from InfoWorld:

  1. SaaS – software as a service
  2. IaaS – infrastructure as a service
  3. PaaS – platform as a service
  4. FaaS – functions as a service
  5. Private cloud
  6. Hybrid cloud
  7. Public APIs – application programming interfaces
  8. iPaaS – integration platform as a service
  9. IDaaS – identity as a service
  10. Collaboration platforms
  11. Vertical clouds

Least Privilege
Next up, security. In regards to security, developers should understand that users only need access to do their job and nothing more. The Simple Programmer outlines this concept, well, simply:

For instance, is your application connecting to a database using an account that has superuser access, such as dbo in SQL Server? This can open you up to exploitation. If your application has a SQL injection vulnerability and it is exploited, the attacker could drop tables and do all sorts of nasty stuff to your application’s database or hop to another application’s tables.

A more secure approach would be to create an ID just for your application (often referred to as a service account) and only grant the permission to that ID absolutely needed by your application to do its work. If your application’s ID has only read-and-write access, then your tables won’t be destroyed (or worse yet, another application’s tables) if the worst happens.

Scripting
A script consists of a series of commands within a file that doesn’t require any compiling in order to execute. Python, Perl, JavaScript, or PHP are some of the languages which support scripts. Scripting is helpful with automating the compiling of code and in testing. Software developer, Ryan Chadwick, concisely explains a Bash script on his website, Ryan’s Tutorials:

A Bash script is a plain text file which contains a series of commands. These commands are a mixture of commands we would normally type ourselves on the command line (such as ls or cp for example) and commands we could type on the command line but generally wouldn’t (you’ll discover these over the next few pages). An important point to remember though is:

Anything you can run normally on the command line can be put into a script and it will do exactly the same thing. Similarly, anything you can put into a script can also be run normally on the command line and it will do exactly the same thing.

What else would you add to our list? Let us know on LinkedIn and Twitter!

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Best Practices for Using LinkedIn

This Post was written by Rocco Santopietro
Date posted: March 13, 2018

Even if you aren’t currently on the job hunt, LinkedIn can be beneficial to your professional growth. You can expand your network and establish yourself as a knowledgeable source in your field. To do so, I’m sharing LinkedIn best practices to increase your engagement.

Make your profile stand out
Before you begin engaging on LinkedIn, it is important that your profile summary is effective and relays your goals to anyone who views your profile. Clearly determine who your summary should attract and what you want it to achieve.

Most importantly, have a profile picture and make sure it’s professional! Avoid using selfies or low quality images. It’s best to include a headshot where you’re wearing professional attire. Find a neutral background and have your face take up at least 60% of the frame.

Keep your information up-to-date
It looks unprofessional to have outdated information and incorrect contacts. Double check your email address and phone number if you’ve included it. This also applies to job titles. If you’ve received a promotion or moved to a different company, change this as soon as possible on your LinkedIn profile. Even if you haven’t changed positions, review your job responsibilities and add or remove bullet points as necessary.

Take advantage of personal messaging
When you first reach out to connect with someone, personalize the message. People are more likely to respond that way. Don’t forget about your existing connections. It’s a good idea to reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in awhile so you can keep the relationship strong. It may help generate more conversation the next time you see them in person.

Join groups and publish your own content
In order to establish yourself as a trusted professional, try publishing LinkedIn articles. This is especially helpful if you don’t have your own blog. Content like this should elaborate your professional point of view. Engaging with groups is a fantastic way to find new connections and stay current with industry trends.

Post status updates
Posting status updates helps draw attention to your profile. However, avoid posting about personal and political topics. While LinkedIn is indeed social media, it’s meant to act as a professional social network. Save anything else for Facebook and Twitter.

Daily Checklist

  • Like at least five posts you see on your feed, but do this at different times of the day. Content is always changing, and you should engage with your network.
  • Share other posts. Whether it’s an interesting article you read, an infographic, or a favorite quote, sharing posts helps draw attention to your profile
  • Follow your company and visit their page to share updates
  • Research new groups to join, or engage with the ones you’re already a part of

Following these LinkedIn best practices will increase your profile’s engagement. It’s helpful for job seekers and non-job seekers alike. A carefully crafted profile can help you find new connections and you may be surprised at how much you learn by spending at least five minutes a day engaging on LinkedIn.

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