I attended a ClubHouse event last week with some high profile Engineering Hiring Managers on the topic of getting a job in Technology. I had a chance to ask them a question: "Tell me about an instance when someone really impressed you during an interview; What was the one thing that impressed you about an individual applying for a job?". I didn't expect the reply, but I should have.
You see, I've created a few courses on Career Development in technology and had a chance to interview other hiring managers, recruiters, people looking for jobs in technology. This is the first time I heard the concept and it surprised me then too.
Hiring managers were impressed by people who were able to communicate effective. They told me that what was important is to tell the story of who you want to become as a Software Engineer, what impact you wanted to have. After a while I realized that one of the best skills engineers can have is being able to communicate through a story.
That reminds me of a tale of two Steves. Steve Wozniak was the brilliant engineer who developed some of the hardware for the very first Apple computer, which launched the company many love today. Steve Jobs was the visionary who was able to communicate his ideas and drive others to excellence like no other. Jobs was the more gifted storyteller and it's why he's better known today.
It's perfectly fine to focus on being a great Engineer, but those who have a worldwide impact are more Jobs than Wozniak.
The people who were hired by those top Engineering Managers from in the Clubhouse chat were all unusual hires. People without a Computer Science background. Every Manager said that they had to fight for that particular hire and also that every last one of them turned out to be the highest performers they every hired.
When Lynda.com was acquired by LinkedIn, I decided to try my hand at this new platform. Who better to master being successful socially than the least social and most introverted person I know...right?
I was encouraged by Mark Zuckerberg's success in building arguably the most powerful social platform in the planet. The best means of modern communications have been developed by quite possibly the most socially award people in the planet. Weird? or is it?
Software engineers are great at breaking down problems, testing what works and iterating on results. Iv'e been working on it for a few years, but I went from less than 1000 followers to 17000 followers. This newsletter gathered 5000 subscriptions the first week and is now upwards of 7000.
Here's the thing. Focusing on your story and your audience is the single best skill you can develop. Yes, I post regularly, @ mention, # hashtag and all the other things everyone tells you to do. But the single most important thing I do is to focus on story and look for those to share the journey with.
My plan for growth has been very structured. Post twice a weekday focusing on adding value by talking about things I find interesting on the web. Publish a weekly newsletter and also do a monthly 'Launch Party'. Speaking of which. I'm doing one this Wednesday.
I create a number of courses on different frameworks and recently I did one featuring React with GraphQL. I used React Hooks instead of Classes and fell in love with that. Also, used the Github GraphQL API because it's awesome and a great way to get experience with those technologies. Hope you can make it.
Another one of my plans is to record a new video each week, but I've got a horrible cold and am very hoarse right now. I can hardly speak, so I promise new videos as soon as I get my voice back.
I'm working on a new series on Hacking the Bootstrap Carousel to do different things. If you want to see what I mean, check out my updated website. raybo.org.
A few things I'll cover is how I modified the carousel at the top to make it fit proportionally and added a gradient to put text over. If you look at the bottom right, you can see another carousel where the headline (and body) is underneath.
Finally, the horizontal scrolling video is technically not a carousel, but also a cool tip. That's my plan...once I get my voice back.
It's all available as a Github repo. If you're curious using Eleventy and based on my own template called Seven.
One more cool thing I found was this project from Paul Irish from Google that helps your videos load 224 times faster.
I post about two posts per weekday that are hopefully useful to Front-end and Full-stack Developers, so follow me and continue to be part of my storytelling journey. I'm curious to learn about yours in the comments below.