Dev Storyteller

Thoughts of practical idealistic problem solver and software engineer, Mark Freedman.

Career Articles

Hypocrisy as a Management Tool

As I look back over my career, it often pains me to remember the many mistakes I've made. But when I push past the pain and embarrassment, I also recall how I've used those experiences to improve myself. It's so true that you come to appreciate the really hard times...

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The Most Important Question is Always “Why”

The most important question is always why. Why do you think that is? Picture a familiar scenario. Your young child asks one day... "Why did you marry Mommy?" "Because we love each other." "But, why?" "Because we grew to care for each other." "Why?" "We were attracted...

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Observations of a Speaker Idol Event

Update: I've updated some of the points below, based on some of the comments I received, including points about when to answer questions, the appropriateness of jokes, and following through after the presentation. Last night, I attended a terrific Speaker Idol event...

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User Groups – Expanding Beyond the Mundane

Running a user group is extremely rewarding, and I've been lucky enough to be involved doing so for over a year. I've been very fortunate to have great partners in Leo Junquera and Louis Edouard. It's been great for us to have been able to run a code camp just after a...

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Developers, You Do More Than Code

When it comes to estimating, developers live in an idealistic world. Despite repeated experiences of constant interruptions causing projects to overrun estimates, developers tend to look at subsequent projects with wishful thinking. It's strange. Most developers...

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Wanting to Do Everything

I've been sick on and off for the past few weeks. It reached a pinnacle last week when I inevitably came down with the flu. I hadn't been this sick in a few years, and like many of us who's experienced this, not being able to do anything towards my goals was driving...

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Brazen Careerist

I don't normally write general posts referring to other blogs, but for a while I've wanted to give a shout out to Penelope Trunk over at her Brazen Careerist blog. Anyone who's familiar with her writing is likely aware of how strongly people react to her posts (mostly...

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Self Taught

Scott H. Young is one of the wisest and most intelligent self-help writers I've read, and the fact that he just started college makes this even more impressive. It'll be interesting to follow his writing as he matures, and to see how he reacts as he experiences life...

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Using the Calendar to Focus

The ability to focus is one of the most powerful habits that a person can establish. The reason people try so hard to get organized with to-do lists, GTD, etc., is because of the inherent need to free themselves up to focus on something important to accomplish....

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Running a Code Camp – After the Event

In my previous two posts, I discussed guidelines for the preparation of running a code camp, and then I went through all the tasks for handling the actual day of the event. Here, I'll be discussing the things you should do after the event is done -- after you've given...

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Running a Code Camp – The Event

In my previous post, I discussed guidelines for preparing for the running of a code camp. If you're not out of breath yet, hang in there. This is where it all pays off. I'll then follow up with a post about the follow-up steps to be done after the event. Arrive Early...

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Running a Code Camp – Preparation

I've only been involved in running one code camp, but I think we learned a lot, and it went well enough to be able to recommend some guidelines. This first post will list my guidelines for the preparation steps. It assumes you're already involved in running a user...

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Code Camp was a Success — Whew!

Well, the big day has come and gone, and we survived. Not only did we survive, but I think we did pretty well. Our first code camp took place on Saturday, and I have to say, it was an amazing experience. You can't have a code camp without speakers, and we were...

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