In the software industry, company-hopping, role-shifts and occasional layoffs are all becoming a regular part of how things work. People come and go, and in the world of start-ups and bubbles, companies do the same. These days, the statement "you own your career" has never been more true.
That doesn't mean you need to own it all by yourself.
What is it that you need to succeed in the new and changing world of software? You need to be able to code, but that's only part of the job. You also need to be able to communicate your ideas, navigate personal dynamics, give and receive useful code reviews, learn new technical skills, maintain a work/life balance, seek new positions, and so on. It's a job with a lot of aspects, but all of them are things you can learn.
So, how do you learn these things? Maybe from your peers, but they’re all busy with their own tasks and careers - and even if they have the time, they may not know any more than you. Maybe you can learn from your manager, but they may know the business instead of the technology - and even if they do have the skills, they’re motivated to do what’s best for the company, not just what’s best for you.
You need to be proactive in finding the right opportunities for yourself, and actively look at whether you're doing work that's helping you and the people around you, or just treading water.
That’s where we can help. Between us, we’ve spent over twenty-five years working in software. We know what it’s like to be both a developer and developer manager that spans a variety of companies, including Amazon and Microsoft.
Not only do we have the skills - both hard and soft - we know how to teach them to you. From developing curriculum for Amazon’s new developer training, to an educational video series, to instructing at a software boot camp through the University of Washington, we’ve achieved success in helping people learn how to be better at what they do.
We're here to help you. We work for you, so we have your interests in mind - not your employer's. We'll help you steer your career to where you want it - whether that's within your current company, or beyond it.
Working with us
To work with us, just get in touch. We'll set up an initial meeting, free of charge, to get to know each other and see if we can help. We’re available in person, over the phone or by video meeting; we know that finding time for things that aren’t work can be one of the hard parts of being in the software industry, so we’re flexible to help work with you. We’re not limited to “business hours”, either - we can meet with you during the evening, on the weekend, or even at a nearby restaurant while you eat lunch.
For a number of common software-industry situations, we've got pre-existing plans to help.
Mentoring and tutoring
Whether it’s technical skills or navigating interpersonal dynamics, we can help you succeed.
Sometimes there’s a specific problem you’re facing, and one or two sessions is all you need to work it out and be able to move forward. At other times, you may want recurring meetings for some period of time - during a job search, perhaps, or over a transition or product release. Or, perhaps you’d like that mentoring to grow with you, as part of an ongoing relationship to help you tackle the new challenges and opportunities that come along.
We can work with you, however much you need. Depending on your situation, we may meet with you a single time, or arrange a recurring weekly, biweekly, or monthly meeting.
We offer a free hour-long conversation to discuss your situation and what we can offer you.
Interviews are stressful. They're high stakes conversations where you don't even find out how well you did - just whether or not you were the candidate they liked best.
Our experience as interviewer and hiring manager means we can tell you what you do well and what you can improve, so you can be more confident the next time you're facing someone over the phone or across the table.
We conduct a simulated interview with you. We record the interview, review it and write up feedback, and provide you with the recording, our feedback and coaching notes, and hold a time-boxed review meeting to discuss it with you.
We will perform phone or in-person interviews, and provide you with the knowledge of what you did well and what you can improve to help present yourself better when you interview.
The first step in getting a job is to convince someone you're worth talking to, and most of the time, that involves a résumé. There's a lot of advice about what to do with your résumé - much of it contradictory.
We can guide you with specific, actionable feedback around what buzzwords are important to your field, how to make your experience relevant, and other ways to put yourself in the best light without making claims you can't back up.
You provide your résumé, and answer a premade questionnaire about your objectives. We review and mark-up your résumé with feedback, and hold a time-boxed review meeting to discuss it with you.
Some code is easy to follow and works well. Other code is a headache to read and has bugs that require extensive workarounds or late night surprises.
You'd like to write the first kind, but it's not always easy. We can be a second pair of experienced eyes to help you find the places where your code could be cleaner, more efficient, and just plain better.
We will read and review code you share with us, providing feedback on requested areas including:
- Clarity of structure and naming
- Quality and utility of comments
- Factoring and decoupling
- Algorithmic efficiency
- Source control practices
- Code documentation (READMEs, etc.)
We will provide initial cost estimates and remain within established time bounds when working, doing as much as is possible within your constraints on cost.
We offer discounts when reviewing code that is part of a publicly available OSS project!
Our commitment to diversity
The software industry is full of people from a small set of backgrounds. We believe that's a failing of the industry on many levels, and we want to do our part to correct it.
We have specific experience working with issues around gender diversity and LGBTQ* identities, and we're open to working with anyone.
As part of this commitment, we strive to offer our services on a sliding scale to people who are economically disadvantaged. We're happy to discuss this confidentially with anyone who might benefit.