In today’s world of rapidly-changing technologies and job descriptions, it can be difficult to know which path to pursue. As a result, it often feels simpler to fall into a pattern where we are funneled down the path of least resistance, rather than taking ownership of what we truly want. That’s where career clarity comes in. Today on the show we are joined by the fantastic Jeff Perry, a talented engineer, leadership coach, career coach, and founder of More Than Engineering, a company that helps engineers make intentional career transitions. In our conversation, Jeff breaks down the concept of career clarity, how it can help you uncover your ‘genius zone’, and how each of us can reflect and uncover our true goals. We also delve into how developers are typically expected to become managers as they progress in their careers, how to develop your skills as you proceed, and why management isn’t for everyone. Today’s conversation is a must-listen for anyone looking to gain clarity in their career and take ownership of their development. Tune in to hear all of Jeff’s excellent advice and insightful tips on how to get started!
Key Points From This Episode:
- Get to know today’s guest, Jeff Perry, founder of More Than Engineering.
- Learn about Jeff’s experience as both a mechanical and software engineer.
- How Jeff is helping people make intentional career transitions and level up.
- The concept of career clarity and how having a ‘North Star’ can guide your decision-making.
- The importance of taking ownership of how you want to grow in your career.
- How your mindset can aid or hinder your career clarity.
- The difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset.
- The challenges developers face when they become managers.
- Why being a developer and being a manager require different skills.
- How to find avenues outside of management where developers can continue to grow.
- The importance of collecting data and running tests to help you understand what you want out of your work, especially during the earlier years of your career.
- Understanding how your ‘North Star’ can change throughout your career.
- Why Jeff loves helping people uncover their ‘genius zone’.
- How Jeff discovered that he was more interested in leadership, and people, than coding.
- How journalling can help you find your ‘genius zone’.
- The Five Whys exercise and how it can help you uncover your motivations.
Transcript for Episode 279. The Definitive Developers Guide to Career Clarity with Jeff Perry
[0:00:01.9] MN: Hello and welcome to The Rabbit Hole, the definitive developer’s podcast, living large in New York. I’m your host, Michael Nunez and today, we’ll be talking about getting clarity on your career.
I know that there are individuals out there who may not know where they stand or what is the path for them moving forward, whether they’re brand-new engineers going into internships, people who have been developers for five years, 10 years even but I’m not alone here. I have a guest with me, we have Jeff Perry.
[0:00:31.6] MN: What’s going on Jeff, how are you?
[0:00:32.7] JP: Michael, so glad to be here with you, so excited.
[0:00:35.4] MN: Awesome, yeah. Jeff, tell us a little bit about yourself?
[0:00:38.8] JP: Micheal, we’d get into a long story, we talk about all sorts of things. I mean, fun stuff, I’m a father of three with another one on the way. So we’ll be pretty well outnumbered in our family with my wife and I and I got a varied background in the technology space. I actually did mechanical engineering, went into software for a few years.
That was my foray into Agile and software development and everything. I went back actually into mechanical engineering manufacturing, engineering leadership and operations and for the last three and a half years or so, I’ve been running my own company called More Than Engineering, which is focused on helping engineers and technology professionals, really level up their careers and lives in multiple different ways.
So I do leadership and career coaching, helping people make intentional career transitions, level up in different ways, work on mindsets and career clarity, we’re going to talk about a lot of these things today. So just so excited to talk to The Rabbit Hole listeners here and hopefully share some things that can be really helpful for them as they think through their career planning and things.
[0:01:38.2] MN: Awesome, yeah. I’ve mean, we should start with the idea, what is career clarity? I’ll mention that often times, it’s just like, “Hey, I got to deliver this feature and this programming language, I got to eat this book so that I understand the programming language, get better at it and then continue.” What is career clarity first off, Benjie, what that’s like?
[0:01:57.2] JP: Yeah, first of all, we got to be able to say career clarity clearly, right?
[0:02:01.1] MN: Exactly. You know, it’s a tongue twister for me for some reason.
[0:02:04.3] JP: Yeah, for sure. So when I think about career clarity, sometimes people are thinking about, you know, you get those questions like, “Hey, where do you want to be in three years, five years, 10 years?” right? So many people just clam up when they get those questions, they’re like, “I have no idea, I’m just trying to live for today, just get through this week, just try and get to the weekend so I can do what I want to do” like, whatever that looks like, right?
So what I don’t think career clarity is and let’s go there first, is it’s not like you’re going to have this magical treasure map where X marks the spot like, “Hey, this is the exact place that I want to be in my career in five or 10 years and I know the perfect path to get there. I’m going to do this and I’m going to do this and I’m going to do this” and like, it’s all laid out for you like the yellow brick road and where is your adviser or something, right?
[0:02:49.2] MN: Right.
[0:02:49.7] JP: It’s not quite that straight forward but what it could be, just a couple analogies here. I really like thinking about career clarity in terms of, “Hey, what…” maybe like a north star, right? Like a guiding light as far as like, “This is the direction I want to head and I can make decisions based on those things that I have identified are really important to me and the areas I want to grow, the things I want to learn, the new experiences I want to try out” right?
Because developers and engineers, there’s so many different paths they can take in terms of role and function. Certainly in technology, there’s plenty of unknowns as technology continues to grow and change and adapt, right? And so being able to get clear on what are those things that are important to you as you map out your career in terms of lifestyle, areas of growth and things like that.
Because what I don’t want to have happen and I was talking to one of my clients the other day, he actually started his own engineering company and he’s been running it for like 20 years and we started doing some work and kind of digging into things that are important to him and he’s like, “I did not know how dissatisfied I was with what I was doing” and how stagnant he had felt because here’s your sort of like, letting work and things come to him.
So he’s being very reactive in his approach to his career and his business and now he’s like, “I got to figure out how to revisit this.” Instead, on the other side, getting career clarity, establishing those things that are important to you, allows you to be proactive and intentional about who you want to become and where you want to go and certainly, that’s going to change as things adapt, so that’s fine but you want to be intentional about you growing your career than just having your career happen to you.
[0:04:33.7] MN: Right and I think that is a good point you mentioned that it’s like, a north star, right? Especially with the infrastructure that we currently have. If you were to look at the north star, you probably wouldn’t be able to walk straight, right? Because there is a building, there is a road in the way. So you’re going to go in different paths that will lead you there but not directly there with where it’s laid out for you and a nice plan to have and I think it’s a good call.
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen there’s a website called, Dungeons and Developers, where it’s like, they gamify with like a skill tree and all that stuff but it’s bigger than that because sure, I want to be a manager, say for example, right? There are steps to doing that, it’s like, “Oh, well, you need to have empathy and compassion, you need to be able to read this book and have hard conversations” right?
It’s different when you have a north star like, “Oh, I want to improve the developer and skills of my fellow engineers” versus “I just want to be a manager where I get paid more” right? They are very different ways of drafting that career like, what would you call that? Like, the rainbow over someone of what they want to be. Is that the career clarity you were referring to?
[0:05:38.4] JP: That would definitely be within the realm of what I call career clarity is like, yeah, you know, what you want to be or become, right? Because this path of you know, we’ll just get a little more existential, this path of life is a path of becoming, transformation, right?
[0:05:50.5] MN: Right.
[0:05:51.2] JP: We are changing day by day, week by week, year by year and so again, are we doing that with an eye to what do I want to become, am I doing the actions, doing the things, learning the things, meeting the people that are going to help me become where I want to become or is just everyone else, my boss, my coworkers, my company and the people around me, are they dictating who I become, right?
[0:06:15.1] MN: Oh, I see. Yeah, you take ownership and the way you want to grow and rather than just like, piling on like check marks of things you need to do, it’s like, “Oh, I want a value and I’m going to follow my value and I’m going to get there by following the things that I need.”
[0:06:30.1] JP: Absolutely.
[0:06:30.7] MN: I think you mentioned earlier, like, there is a mindset to it. So is there like exercises that you may have, that people will have to get into the mindset of things? I’ll tell you right now, I’m always caffeinated and very anxious, I got to move fast. So I love to hear more about the mindset in which someone can get clarity on their career.
[0:06:48.0] JP: Yeah, so you’re asking about activities and different things like this and I know if people are like me when they’re listening to podcast are usually doing something. I actually created a resource just for the Rabbit Hole listeners, they can go grab. It has a bunch of activities around career clarity, I call it the career clarity checklist.
They can go grab that at, www.engineeringcareeraccelerator.com/rabbithole and make sure to put those W’s in there so that the URL works but…
[0:07:12.1] MN: Yeah.
[0:07:13.0] JP: Just one of the things inside there because, you're talking about like that Dungeons and Developers, which I think is funny. You know, like these career paths and in terms of like, you know, skills, languages, you might want to learn and things. Often that’s where people focus so much in terms of, “What do I want to become?” “Okay, what are the skills, the technologies that I want to learn?”
That’s important, certainly in this day and age of development and technology and things like that. Like, we need to build those skills but in terms of like developing as a person, those technical skills are one thing but there are other sorts of skills that are developing us and our emotional intelligence and mindsets and things like that, which we can get to here now that really are important to us really developing to be able to handle increased complexity, ambiguity, change, right?
Because as you grow in your responsibilities as a senior developer, as a lead, as a manager or a senior manager, whatever that path looks like or if you just go more technical and architecture and…
[0:08:17.4] MN: Like a tech lead.
[0:08:19.0] JP: Or really that SME kind of a thing, you’re dealing with and needing to own increased complexity and uncertainty, right? And the products that we’re working with and what not and so our mindsets of how we approach those things are critical. So just a couple examples.
First of all, I mean, in terms of mindsets, probably the most popularly known mindset is that of the growth mindset versus the fixed mindset, popularized by a researcher by the name of Carol Dweck, wrote the book called Mindset and gave one of the most widely listened to TED talks of all time.
Just real quickly for those who are unfamiliar or review for those who have heard of it, a growth mindset believes that you and the people around you, have the ability to continue to adapt and change and grow whereas the opposite of fixed mindset believes like, “Hey, this is kind of who I am now and who I’m always going to be.”
So if I suck at something right now, well, I’m probably always suck at it and I don’t think I can actually improve there, right?
[0:09:17.5] MN: Right.
[0:09:17.4] JP: Where a growth mindset says, “Hey, you know, there’s something right now that I don’t think I’m very good at but if I put in the time and effort and energy and focus into growing that in that area, then I can do that” and that be a technology but it could also be your ability to handle conflict and work with people and define big projects, whatever that looks like, right?
Work within the Agile frameworks and how do we iterate through that effectively. So, all sorts of different things. So our mindsets are kind of the lenses that we see the world and they drive our behavior, which drives our results.
So instead of me or anyone else just defining, “Hey, if you want to make a change, here. I want to prescribe a bunch of behaviors that I want you to do differently” let’s say, “Hey, maybe there’s some deeper level things that you need to change about what you believe and how you see the world” that can actually hugely influence how you then change your behavior.
Because often times, we just prescribe behavior people are then still, they try for a little bit and they’ll revert right back to their old way of being because they haven’t actually changed their mindsets and beliefs.
[0:10:20.2] MN: Right and I think this sounds very similar to even the last thing we were discussing where a fixed mindset will think, “Oh, I just need to get these chunks of bullet points in because I know I can do these things and that’s it.” as supposed to like a growth mindset where you can experiment on something, you know, retrospectively look at the results and say, “What could I do better, how can I become better?” versus “I’m garbage in this programming language and I need to do something about it” or “I’m just not going to learn it anymore because I’m good at this one and that’s all I’m going to stick to.”
So having a growth mindset and working on that behavior of thinking in that way is like the beginning of the conversation of career clarity is what you're saying.
[0:11:00.6] JP: Yeah, totally and how you operate within the areas that you’re working now too, but thinking about like, “Hey, do I believe that if there’s something that I’m unhappy about, where I’m at now” like, I talk to hundreds of people over the years since I’ve been doing this and so many people feel like they’ve gotten pigeonholed into a certain situation and they’re like, “This isn’t where I want to be, this isn’t where I want to continue to grow.”
But they don’t see right now or they have a hard time believing that they can actually move in a different direction. They’re having a hard time believing in themselves in that way. So they’re kind of in this fixed mindset saying, “This is kind of all I know, all I’ve known so far in my career” or “What I’ve known for so long. How do I even think about delivering value or doing something different?” right?
But no matter what you’ve done, there are ways to translate that value and what that looks like in a different context and so to first of all, take that mindset approach and say, “Hey, can you really start to believe in yourself that that’s possible for you?” and then we can start mapping out the specific strategies and how you take what you’ve done, maybe there are some skills that you need to grow.
Okay, certainly but plenty of people can take the skills that they have right now and take the next step in translating that into something different or adjustment, whether in their current company organization or somewhere else if they believe in themselves and can present themselves in the right way.
Then that gets into some topics around personal branding and things hat we can certainly talk about especially for those who are trying to make career transitions and upgrades, there’s a big deal and sometimes they’re just leveling up in seniority but sometimes, work with people are changing industries, complete roles and functions and there are ways to do that and it’s kind of fun to see when people are able to do that.
[0:12:44.3] MN: Yeah and I think one of the things that you’ve mentioned just now is the, like, developers in their career at some point or time get the opportunity to become managers. We’re like, that’s like the natural step that normally happens and some people take that up because you know, often times managers get paid more and stuff like that.
What I’ve seen at different clients would be, you have a person who became a manager, who then does the management portion from nine to five, feel that because they’re stuck in meetings, that they’re not contributing in some way, shape or form and then they work that over time from five to nine because they feel like they’re productive doing the programming aspect.
So it’s like the mind can be fixed for that particular person, being a manager, so much so, that they’re like, “Oh my God, I’m not good at this so I’m going to do the thing that I am good at” as supposed to, “Hey, what could I do to empower y team to be better because I am the manager and the positions to be able to do that?”
[0:13:40.4] JP: Yeah, certainly. I mean, very often, the best developers kind of get picked out as, “I tell you you’re a great developer, we’re going to put you on a management position” but it’s not necessarily true that being a great developer and the skills that are involved there translate perfectly into being a great manager, right?
And often, those skills are actually quite different and so that shift, moving into a management space and your responsibilities are significantly different when you go from say, senior developer or lead developer to actually formally managing people.
That’s a difficult thing because for a senior developer, their value and what they’re delivering is the higher level, technical knowledge and implementation and technical strategy and things like that and then actually, implementing that, delivering that in code in the software, right?
The manager’s job is no longer to be the person that’s usually focused solely on creating the technology but to actually enabling the team to do so and so to let go of the ownership of, “Hey, I need to know every single piece of what’s been put together in the code” and being able to let go and trust your team to do that in a bigger way.
Now, some companies do that a little bit differently, plenty of managers still will code in some respects and some say, “Hey, you will need to get out of that almost completely and just do more technology coaching.”
You know, different companies will structure that a little bit differently but still, the main focus is completely different and either way, there’s an element to that technological ownership that you need to let go of. You need to own the project and the team development and everything. So instead of developing software, you’re now developing people.
[0:15:33.0] MN: Yeah, exactly and I think that gets missed in managers because they think that they need to develop software alongside people, right? And that’s the big difference of individuals who become managers and may not realize as you mentioned, there’s a different skill of a full…
I personally like to be a manager because I like the ability for me to help folks in their career figure out what their weaknesses and strengths are and lean onto those, so that they are their expertise and their particular part of the codebase, so across the entire thing and for me it works. I am glad to have been in that position to help folks do that but other folks I have seen is just like, “Oh man, no, I got to get back to coding.”
It’s like if that’s not your true responsibility and so the problem that I see right now is that developers or developer managers who like to be developers, sometimes they’ll feel like they can say, “Hey, I don’t want to be a manager.”
[0:16:28.8] JP: Yeah.
[0:16:29.1] MN: I think that is something that we can talk about.
[0:16:32.1] JP: Absolutely and I think for a company, there should be a path for people to continue to grow in their careers that isn’t necessarily management because not everyone is going to be interested in that.
There are plenty of people who just want to stay very connected to the technology and don’t want to deal with the people problems and that needs to be okay and in fact, you are probably doing your company and the team a disservice by moving them into management because their greatest skills lie in dealing with the technology day-to-day and they can still have a mentoring piece to that, right?
To mentor and bring other people up into those technology skills without formally managing some of those other aspects and whatnot, right? So I think that companies and some companies see that better than others as far as giving that continued growth path because that is one of the reasons why some people feel like they have to go there is because hey, that’s where there’s going to be more money or growth or whatever that is, right?
But you don’t have to set things up that way, there should be other ways to grow on the technological side and then for those who have those skills and those desires or want to grow those skills as a leader and they can do that too and so I have seen plenty of developers who weren’t initially very good at that and myself included as I have moved into management, I was pretty bad and I had to get some pretty stark feedback.
I sucked at listening to my team and I got that feedback in a number of ways. So there’s always going to be learning and growth there but you’d been willing to be vulnerable and move through that process to grow this new skill of leadership is a critical thing.
[0:18:06.1] MN: Right, so I think you pointed out earlier like the best way to start on career clarity is to have the right mindset to be able to learn and grow along moving forward towards your north star. Do you have examples of like what that north star will look differently for a new developer, you know, maybe on their first year of software development versus someone who has ten years of experience and how they differ and how are they the same actually?
[0:18:34.1] JP: Yeah, obviously context is a little bit different because someone who’s got more experience has more insights into the things that they like or don’t like, the different types of organizations that they wanted to be in and so it just kind of context but no matter what like as far as like what’s the same, I like to think about careers like put in the context of Agile, right?
Like we’re going through sprints, we’re iterating, we’re shipping code and whatnot like you are doing a bunch of MVPs or prototypes or releases, think about careers in that similar vein, right? So what’s the next career sprint that you can go through, right? How do I think about the next MVP or release or prototype that I can build of my career and maybe is there a test that I can take to get me some data that I want to collect and understand about what might be next.
You know, where that north star wants to be because if I am not sure especially early in my career, there are so many things I haven’t tried, right? So how can you expose yourself to more things, talk to more people and really be a sponge in that way to just collect data. You are in deep data collection mode in that realm and so for you to think that you are going to have an all map data, I want to work at this company or be in this role eventually like very few people can really get clarity on that because there’s just a limited amount of exposure that you’ve had so far.
Someone a little bit later maybe has more refined understanding of the ways that the skills that they’ve built and the ways that they can operate and doing their best work, so I love to help people kind of find what they define as their genius zones not just like expert zones like things are good at but where do I do my absolute best work, find those times where I can be in flow, right?
Where it is almost like times passing but I am doing my absolute best work, what is it that you are doing there? How can you potentially do more and more of that so that you can deliver more value and impact to the organization and team and also that brings fulfillment? Like you’re happy when you are in that state, right? Like we really enjoy that so it’s a win-win all around. You can find ways to do that, put those genius in some sort of develop overtime, right?
So someone ten years into their career might have a better sense of being able to identify when they do those things. Someone earlier in their career it might be harder, maybe they can find some areas that they really enjoy. How can I build upon that, right? But continuing to be in this I’m just in an iterative mindset like, “Hey, I’m not just stuck doing what I’m doing right now forever” and that’s totally cool.
How can I think about what’s the next iteration, what’s the next sprint I can do? What’s the next test I can run in my career, try something out, learn a new skill and see does this fit? Does this feel right? If so, like try and do it again or try and make a move. If not, cool, now I know. Like for me, I did software engineering for a few years right out of school after a mechanical engineering degree. I actually realized that writing code all day was not my – was not where I love to be, right?
[0:21:40.4] MN: Okay, yeah.
[0:21:41.3] JP: That was fine and so I moved into other areas where I could deal with the more people-centric things and that’s move me into now doing training and coaching. I love that really human-centered piece rather than diving deep just into the technology day-after-day but I love staying connected to the technology and engineering and so putting all of that together is part of how I found my own genius zone and the ways that I can deliver great value to people, putting all of that together.
So I don’t see any of that time even though it wasn’t my most favorite thing to do as a software developer for those years. I don’t see those at all. It is wasted time because there is exposure and things that I learned through that experience and took into every role since them and the context that I am able to deliver now because of those experiences even though I am not writing code all day today.
[0:22:30.2] MN: Right because you understand the developer like life cycle and experience to know that there is a potential need for the ability to I don’t want to sound like the matrix like open your mind to things but like the idea of, hey, there is more than just you know, learning about the Ruby documentation, right? It is more like, how do you learn how to adapt to any programming language and that exposure of different programming languages is a way to do that.
You can coach them to be able to apply that across, you know, different things whether it is software development or coaching, which I think is pretty dope. I do have one more question and do you subscribe to like a developer journal like should people be able to write this down or put it on a whiteboard, see it posted on their mirror in the morning like where do you keep those small iterations and those test and data and that kind of stuff?
[0:23:26.2] JP: Yeah, so I am a big fan of journaling and I think it is really critical in terms of us being able to be self-aware and to be reflective and so my approach to doing a lot of this work with people is a really introspective and reflective approach like not just like taking an aptitude or career assessment or something like, “Hey, this is like the perfect thing for you because this is what the test said, right?
A lot of times, you know, those tests will say, “Yeah, you could be a zoo keeper and a developer” like okay, what does that mean, right? So yes, journaling is a big deal to me whether people do that digitally or I am kind of analog guy like to write things down and what I think that does is that allows us to like when you are actually writing, you write slower than you think and so it forces you to slow down.
So on a day-to-day basis, I am thinking about, “Hey, how is this going? What are the things that I am enjoying? Can I be reflective about what are the areas or the times that I almost feel like more alive?” like trying to identify that genius zone idea like what do I really feel like I am lighting up and doing my absolute best work? Can I identify those things? Journaling around, “Okay, what are areas I think I can improve?”
What are maybe ideas I have on ways that I can grow in those new ways? But I think that often, you know, as people, there is so much technology that distracts us these days and we just sort of get lost in it that we have a hard time almost like being with ourselves, right? So the process of journaling, being introspective and trying to get into self-awareness allows us to really try and connect with how am I feeling about where I’m at because the data that we’re talking about isn’t always like, you know, something that you can run through a database, right?
[0:25:17.7] MN: Yeah.
[0:25:18.2] JP: This is data about like, how am I thinking, feeling? What am I experiencing? But if we don’t ask ourselves those questions and give ourselves the space to answer them because we are so distracted by all the other things in the world then it’s going to be hard to get those answers, right? Again, we’re going to be in that reactive, just letting life and career happen to us rather than trying to be creators of our own destiny if you will.
[0:25:46.6] MN: Awesome. I am definitely the digital dev journal person but I think I might have to get me a notebook and start writing. I think the point you mentioned of like you – I definitely write faster. I mean, I type faster than I write but I definitely write slower than I think and it would be definitely helpful to be present to write those things down.
[0:26:10.0] JP: Yeah, whatever works for anyone, right? As long as you’re doing that and collecting that. Obviously digitally you can organize things a little bit in different ways and be creative there, which is nice but if you are doing it digitally I’d say make sure you’re turning off all other things like close all other tabs and things and just be with you.
You know, turn off your connection to Wi-Fi if you can like just you writing so that you are eliminating those other distractions and setting that time apart when you are doing that, so that you can really can be with yourself again, right? Just like I’ll give you one example of a tool or an exercise that someone can do that might be helpful and this is in that career clarity checklist that I mentioned earlier and we can get that link one more time.
But one of the tools I love to use is called The Five Whys and I learned this actually when I was doing manufacturing engineering. It is a root cause analysis tool that will look at, “Okay, what happened? Why did that happen? Okay, why did that happen? You know, why did that happen?” and so we’re trying to dive deep from the surface level issue down to asking a bunch of questions, dive deeper and find the root cause, right?
But we can also use this tool and I love it because it’s so simple to try and identity the deeper level of motivations for why certain goals are important to us. So many of us might define goals but do you know what’s the goal behind the goal, the reason why this is important to us, so we can identify those more intrinsic motivations that we have and so, you know, just to use a really easy example.
If someone says, “Hey, I want to make this amount of money per year” just an easy number like a $100,000. Okay, so get to six figures, right? Okay, why is that important to you? Well, they might say, “Well, I just want to be able to live a good life. You know, provide for family” or whatever that looks like. Okay, well, why is that important? So you’re diving deeper and “Why is that important?” and diving deeper.
You can go five, you can go six, seven, eight, you know, however many. Sometimes you can expand, you know, there is different branches you could do, different reasons but you are identifying. Usually you’re getting down to a point of like, “Okay” their belief, certain things that I feel like for some people it’s like, “I want to feel validated by the market in terms of how I get paid.”
Maybe I want to have a different sort of lifestyle than I had or give certain things to my children that I didn’t have when I was growing up, like whatever that is, you know? Then you can really connect to these deeper motivations that are so important. It is not just what you want but why do you want it and how that can help us identify those deeper values, those north star issues as we continue to chart our course.
[0:28:45.4] MN: That’s a great point. A lot of the times, when you know, especially on this podcast we’ll talk about The Five Whys to figure out, as you mention, root cause analysis of a particular thing that happened, right? Production went down, let’s do a five whys to figure that out but to do it for your career or your passion and values, it went over my head.
[0:29:04.8] JP: But I love that connecting with these tools and these ideas that developers and engineers use in their day-to-day but then applying those familiar ideas to themselves is one of the cool ways that I try and coach with people because there are already ideas that they believe in, in one context. We are just shifting the context, applying it to them and then it’s like, “Oh, wow. Okay, I see and can use this tool more effectively here a little bit.”
So it’s cool to do that and there are all sorts of things in Agile that you could think about applying. You know, we were talking about iterations and sprints and all that stuff but there are all of these –
[0:29:39.4] MN: Yeah, retrospectives and stand up.
[0:29:41.3] JP: Retrospectives, absolutely, like journaling is a daily retrospective where you could do that on a weekly or a monthly or quarterly basis, right? It’s absolutely a retrospective trying to collect that data like what’s working and what’s not working, right? Like absolutely.
[0:29:54.3] MN: Jeff, how can people contact you?
[0:29:56.7] JP: Yeah, so Michael I mentioned that link earlier that people can go grab that career clarity checklist. Again, that’s www.engineeringcareeraccelarator.com/rabbithole and that will get you access to that career clarity checklist with a bunch of exercises, resources and things around how do I identify that north start for me and the things that are most important in multiple areas of my life, right?
So you can go grab that and that will get you on my newsletter and connected with some other resources that I have. I am also really active on LinkedIn, if people want to go find me there and other places but that’s where I’d point people to without overwhelming them with all the things.
[0:30:35.7] MN: Yeah and if there are people who are interested more on this content, feel free to hit up Radio Free Rabbit on Twitter. I’d love to hear some of the feedback and I could definitely dive and explore more into that Agile for your life kind of implementation but feel free to check the website. Jeff, a pleasure to have you.
[0:30:54.3] JP: Michael, thanks for having me and great conversation. I hope this is helpful for our listeners.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:30:58.2] MN: Follow us now on Twitter @radiofreerabbit so we can keep the conversation going. Like what you hear? Give us a five star review and help developers just like you find their way into The Rabbit Hole and never miss an episode, subscribe now however you listen to your favorite podcast. On behalf of our producer extraordinaire, William Jeffries and my amazing co-host, Dave Anderson and me, your host, Michael Nunez, thanks for listening to The Rabbit Hole.
Links and Resources:
Dungeons and Developers
Carol Dweck Ted Talk
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
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