Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Rest in Peace

Steve Jobs

February 24, 1995 – October 5, 2011

Work Ethic – Lessons from other trades

Your career is your responsibility. It is not your employer’s responsibility to make sure you are marketable.  It is not your employer’s responsibility to train you, or to send you to conferences, or to buy you books.  These things are your responsibility. Woe to the software developer who entrusts his career to his employer.

Some employers are willing to buy you books and send you to training classes and conferences. That’s fine, they are doing you a favour. But never fall into the trap of thinking that this is your employers’s responsibility.  If your employer doesn’t do these things for you, you should find a way to do them yourself.

It is also not your employer’s responsibility to give you the time you need to learn.  Some employers may provide that time. Some employers may even demand that you take the time. But again, they are doing you a favor, and you should be appropriately appreciative. Such favours are not something you should expect.

You owe your employer a certain amount of time and effort.  For the sake of argument, let’s use the U.S. standard of 40 hours per week.  These 40 hours should be spent on your employer’s problems, not on your problems.

You should plan on working 60 hours per week.  The first 40 are for your employer.  The remaining 20 are for you. During this remaining 20 hours you should be reading, practicing, learning, and otherwise enhancing your career.

I can hear you thinking: “But what about family? What about my life? Am I supposed to sacrifice them for my employer?”

I’m not talking about all your free time here. I’m talking about 20 extra hours per week. That’s roughly three hours per day.  If you use your lunch hour to read, listen to podcasts on your commute, and spend 90 minutes per day learning a new language, you’ll have it all covered.

Do the math. In a week there are 168 hours.  Give for employer 40, and your career another 20. That leaves 108.  Another 56 for sleep leaves 52 for everything else.

Perhaps you don’t want to make that kind of commitment.  That’s fine, but you should not then think of yourself as a professional.  Professionals spend time caring for their profession.

Perhaps you think that work should stay at work and that you shouldn’t bring it home. I agree! You should not be working for your employer during those 20 hours. Instead, you should be working on your career.

Sometimes these two are aligned with each other. Sometimes the work you do for your employer is greatly beneficial to your career.  In that case, spending some of your 20 hours on it is reasonable.  But remember, those 20 hours are for you.  They are used to make yourself more valuable as a professional.

Perhaps you think this is a recipe for burnout.  On the country, it is a recipe to avoid burnout.  Presumably you became a software developer because you are passionate about software and your desire to be a professional is motivated by that passion.  During that 20 hours you should be doing those things that reinforce that passion. Those 20 hours should be fun! [Editor Note: If not maybe you are in the wrong profession]

From The Clean Coder  pages 16 to 17 by Robert C. Martin

The Cloud Will Kill The Resume, And That’s a Good Thing

This is part of an article that was published on Tech Crunch,  written by Chris Rickborn from Unrabble:

The resume of the future should enable candidates to tell their story without the limitations of a plain text document. Profiles will be an interactive experience with rich content that should adapt and dynamically direct viewers to relevant skills, strengths and accomplishments based on the viewers needs.  Candidates should be able to control access to their information and analyze how visitors interact with their profile the same way traffic is analyzed on a website. The resume of the future should also be a connection point between company and candidate that will greatly reduce the manual burden of pre-screening.  Interactive profiles should facilitate communication and collaboration between hiring manager, candidate and other stakeholders so that hiring decisions can be made quickly and effectively.

But before you throw resumes into the shredder, there are big challenges to overcome such as privacy and basic behavioral change.  I was recently helping a friend review job applicants through LinkedIn and noticed that almost every applicant still attached a resume.  If you have a profile on LinkedIn, why would you attach a resume?  In many cases, the information in the resume was much more in-depth than what was on the candidate’s profile.

I think this indicates a few realities.  First, candidates still want to customize their resume for each job opportunity. Second, candidates are reluctant to put all of their career details in a public profile where they might lose control of the information. And third, most employers still require a resume. Otherwise, their legacy hiring process just breaks down.

According to USA Today, nearly 35 percent of resumes contain blatant lies about education, experience or the skills to perform a specific job. That’s why online profiles are better. It’s much harder for candidates to stretch the truth in an on-line profile because they risk getting caught whereas a resume is only between candidate and employer.

Being more open and honest in an on-line profile that is shared privately with a prospective employer is certainly the way forward. But there are more reasons why the cloud offers greater advantages over a traditional paper resume, such as:

1) Facilitates better collaboration.  Instead of scribbling notes on a paper resume, and asking colleagues to review a stack of resumes, the cloud offers colleagues the opportunity to discretely rate and review candidates on-line after they’ve submitted an on-line application for a job opening. The ratings and reviews gathered through on-line collaboration can give employers a much better consensus of how strong or weak each candidate is.

2) Follows you, wherever you go.  A stack of paper resumes sitting on your office desk with notes scribbled on them to indicate the best candidates isn’t going to help much when you’re on the road traveling or working from home. With the cloud, wherever you have an Internet connection, you have instant access to a “central repository” of on-line job applications, as well as the notes you’ve added into an on-line comments field.

3) Greater cost efficiencies.  The cost and time-saving benefits of a cloud computing solution far outweighs the current hiring process that has one hand tied behind its back because of the paper resume. Taking the hiring process to the cloud and allowing candidates to apply for jobs with on-line profiles can transform the speed and efficiency of the hiring process. The profiles can be reviewed, shared and rated with far greater ease, thereby dramatically decreasing the amount of time it takes to hire qualified candidates.

These are just a few of the reasons why the cloud will kill the traditional resume. There’s no doubt that killing the text-based resume will generate a huge opportunity for improving the hiring process for both the candidate and employer.  But just like everything else in that dusty old banker’s box, the resume served us well in its heyday. And now it’s time to move on.

Read the full article here

No More Résumés, Say Some Firms

Union Square Ventures recently posted an opening for an investment analyst.

Instead of asking for résumés, the New York venture-capital firm—which has invested in Twitter, Foursquare, Zynga and other technology companies—asked applicants to send links representing their “Web presence,” such as a Twitter account or Tumblr blog. Applicants also had to submit short videos demonstrating their interest in the position.

Union Square says its process nets better-quality candidates —especially for a venture-capital operation that invests heavily in the Internet and social-media—and the firm plans to use it going forward to fill analyst positions and other jobs.

Companies are increasingly relying on social networks such as LinkedIn, video profiles and online quizzes to gauge candidates’ suitability for a job. While most still request a résumé as part of the application package, some are bypassing the staid requirement altogether.

A résumé doesn’t provide much depth about a candidate, says Christina Cacioppo, an associate at Union Square Ventures who blogs about the hiring process on the company’s website and was herself hired after she compiled a profile comprising her personal blog, Twitter feed, LinkedIn profile, and links to social-media sites Delicious and Dopplr, which showed places where she had traveled.

Read the rest of the article at the Wall Street Journal By RACHEL EMMA SILVERMAN