Category Archives: Career

Life at a Start-up : Hiring Developers

In a previous post I said that at Buying Butler and RightIndem we have been growing quite rapidly across the board, but in this post I want to talk a little about our hiring process for developers. Hiring good people is hard and Me, and our CTO Steve Weston, have worked at many companies that have had horrible hiring processes, so we are keen to not replicate some of these other companies.

Interview Preparation

Interview Preparation

When we hire developers, and if you are due to interview with me and have landed on this post as part of your research (hello), there are 4 main things we are looking for in a developer. These are

  • Have you got the base skills to come in and be productive straight away?
  • How passionate are you about software development?
  • What is your approach to learning and picking up new skills and technologies?
  • Will you be a good cultural fit for the company?

By knowing this bit of insight you are not cheating our recruitment process, but by understanding these 4 areas you will be in a position to wow us in the interview. Lets cover these off one by one.

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Different Perspectives : Developer to Manager

Recently a company called Plan.IO, which is a company that produces online project management software wrote a blog article about becoming a manager from a software developer background.

Developer to Manager

Developer to Manager

I was interviewed as part of this article and provided one of the perspectives out of 3. It’s an interesting ready, so I recommend heading over there. It is a subject I care a lot about as it is a jump I made my self. I wrote an article on this very subject back in 2014, and it was also the subject of my first Pluralsight course called Developer to Manager.

Practical Tips for Talking at Usergroups and Conferences Part 1

Since becoming a Pluralsight author in July 2014, I have been working toward increasing my own personal brand. Part of this has been about getting out into the programming community and talking at User groups. I did my first talk in January of this year and have since done many talks. I was initially quite nervous about public speaking but I have enjoyed the process very much and I intend to increase the amount of talks I do in 2016.

Stephen Haunts talking at the Leeds Sharp Usergroup

Stephen Haunts talking at the Leeds Sharp Usergroup

I have learnt many things along the way whilst preparing and delivering talks so I thought I would write this post to talk about what I have learnt. If you have experience in this area and also have your own tips from public speaking it would be great to hear them in the comments for this post.

I have split this into two posts. Tips for before you deliver your talk, and the actual delivery itself.

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Your Rights in the Workplace

In this article I want to cover what some of your rights are in the workplace. With this I don’t mean things like the right to regular breaks and access to coffee etc. What I mean is your professional rights when working on projects in a team, and these rights are very important if you are ever in a position of conflict with another person on your team. It is in times of conflict that rights are very important, so they are described below from that perspective.

Your Rights in the Workplace

Your Rights in the Workplace

The rights are:

  • To be treated with respect. No matter what you dispute is, you all deserve to be treated with respect no matter what the outcome is.
  • To hold my views and have them heard. You have the right to an opinion just as the other people in a conflict do, and it is all your right to express these viewpoint as long as you treat each other with respect.

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The Evolution of the Employee

I was reading an article over at Troy Hunts blog about him hitting a personal milestone by getting made redundant and now going full time on creating courses for Pluralsight, and he had a really interesting infographic in his post which was taken from the book the book called “The Future of Work” by Jacob Morgan.

The infographic is about the evolution of the employee and it struck a real chord with me as it aligns with how I have been thinking recently and highlights pretty much everything I have been striving for and want to achieve in the future.

The Future of Work

The Future of Work

I’ll just highlight a few that are really important to me.

Works Anywhere / Any time : The focus of my career is changing and for me the ability to work anywhere is really important. I also find I am my most productive when I change my work environment, be it working from home or a coffee shop. Recently in the office I had to give up my desk and start hot desking. Initially I wasn’t too keen on it, but actually I am really liking it. There are many hot desks all over the building and I change where I work frequently. This not only gives a change of scenery, but I meet more people.

In another article about retaining software developers, I stated that it is important for a developer to have a desk they call their own, and I still believe this is very important.

For my own purposes though, I don’t write code in my current job, so hot desking is more suitable to my needs.

As for working any-time. I find the 9-5 grind a little restrictive. I have 2 kids in school and childcare and to help my wife out I have to be flexible with work times. Sometimes this means working a shorter day in the office as I have to both drop off and collect the kids. Even though my employer is OK with this, I always feel a little uncomfortable about it. As for my out off the office work, like Pluralsight courses, I tend to be most productive with them when I work late at night.

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