Developer growth

Tribes – a search for belonging

Finding your tribe isn’t easy. It’s a long journey of many missteps. You may be part of a tribe your entire life. You may wander to look for other tribes out there and dive back into your old tribe for safety. Other times you need to find another to call your own. Sometimes you need to start your own with your closest around you. Other times you need to just start, and hope others will follow.


But, what do I mean with a tribe? In this context I’m using it as a community where you feel a sense of belonging. Originally, tribes were defined by proximity, the land you belonged to. So changing tribes was a physical action. Moving from one area to another. Going through rituals and sacrifices to leave your original tribe and be accepted in your new one. It took a lot of friction.

In society today the sense of belonging to a certain part of land isn’t what defines our tribe any longer. We define it in other ways like: race, nationality, gender, faith, community, workplace, hobbies etc. Some are hierarchical, like your team, that resides within your department in your organization and others are virtual, like social media groups, forums, interests, programming languages.

In our digital age there is a lot less friction to switch between tribes. You can find a virtual tribe, where switching could be as simple as joining another group. You can physically move across the world and still stay in the same virtual tribe, even though you may change your physical one.

A sense of belonging

As we grow and mature, we all go through our own versions of “the hero’s journey”. Moving through life, searching for a place of belonging.

My family tribe has always been important to me, it’s the most rock-solid tribe I belong to. Our shared values define the core of my belief and value system, and in extension is the lens I see the world through.

Another tribe that gives me a sense of fulfilment is meaningful work alongside caring individuals. Working to make a change in this world for the better. It’s what’s guided me unconsciously so far, and now what I’m starting to become more aware of and act upon.

The search

It’s become easier than ever to find and change tribes. It’s also easier than ever to get distracted in your search. The best we can do is follow our heart, and not settle. As we grow, so do our needs and finding a tribe that allows you to grow to your full potential is something I think is worth searching for.

As I’ve become more aware of my journey and what is important to me, I’ve also been more aware of what I want from my tribe. I’m sure this will evolve and change as I grow, and I’m sure that no tribe will be a perfect match. I do know that when I see something that is closer to my own values I need to make the move. How else will I know if it’s what I need?

“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.” ― Steve Jobs

So, if you’ve found your tribe – cherish it, nourish it and consider yourself lucky. If not, work through the friction and don’t settle.

Developer growth, Practice Empathy

Rituals of Shaming in the Software Industry

The career of being a software developer can be a bumpy one. From the very start you are challenged by technical challenges you have no idea how to solve. Some grasp the concepts and principles easily, while others struggle. It’s an uphill climb of continuous learning. Constant failure, and success just a semi-colon away.

One of the biggest challenges during this process isn’t technical, but rather social. Around each turn you uncover new wonders, and new challenges. When you start a new job or position, publish a blog post, submit a pull request or even make a product. There will be people lined up to tell you how wrong you are and as a result; how you’re not good enough. I’m here to tell you, that you are!

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Valuable Resources

A special thanks to Jose Gonzalez for tipping me on this weeks Valuable Resource.

Mattias P Johansson, probably more well-known as @mpjme, is a YouTube’r with a focus on JavaScript and other programming-related topics. His YouTube channel “fun fun function” is packed with great videos. He has a wonderful presentation style has a knack for breaking down complex subjects into bite-size, understandable chunks. I highly recommend his videos. Subscribe and enjoy!

The video in question is #43 in the funfunfunction series and addresses a very important subject: “Does a developer need to be nice?”. I’ve written a summary of the video, and added a few of my thoughts a the end.

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Valuable Resources

Andrea Goulet recently held the keynote “Communication is just as important as code” at DotNetFringe 2016. I’ve been looking forward to this recording ever since I read about it on the Corgibytes blog. Andrea is also the creator of the Empathy-Driven-Development blog and has a podcast at

I’ve written my summary of the talk and added some of my personal thoughts at the end. For a full transcript, read the Corgibytes-blogpost.

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Developer growth

Who defines your success?
Working in the software industry as a developer is a real joy. We are paid to create or contribute to solutions that solve the needs of real users. Alright, some needs are forced, but our solutions usually end up covering a need and delivering some form of value.
Why then the stories of decision fatigue, burnout,  dreams of silicon valley money, conflict and hate in communities, and other success / failure stories? Why aren’t we content with the value we deliver?

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Developer growth

There is no time for empathy
After my post on empathy as an essential skill, a commenter said that the most successful developers don’t need empathy, referring to John Carmack & Linus Torvalds. Not sure about John Carmack, but Linus certainly has had a brush or two with his lack of empathy when communicating with people. There is nothing to suggest that he lacks empathy, just that he on occasions doesn’t utilize it to its fullest. But this isn’t about how a man in the open-source community goes about his business…

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Developer growth

My personal burnout – Lessons learned

Last week I was on the My Life For The Code podcast and had a really good talk with Shawn Rakowski (He has a fantastic blog and podcast, check them out!). During our talk we touched upon where and how this blog got started and the reasoning on the focus on empathy. I answered as best I could and the topic of my burnout came up. I speak about my burnout quite a bit since it really has been a defining moment in my (recent) life. It’s also an opportunity to follow up Jose Gonzalezrequest for an update on where I am now.

With this blog post I’d like to close this chapter of my life, but at the same time have a reference for my future self. I’ve also attempted to summarize some of my learnings and insights so as to better help others to avoid getting into this place, or maybe to help them out? Maybe even help myself.

Note: this post contains personal information that may or may not be relevant to you. I feel this gives a certain context to this very personal topic. Continue Reading

Developer growth

6 steps to avoid Developer Procrastination and set yourself up to succeed

Wednesday is my dedicated blog writing day. It’s the day I should sit down to blog for next weeks post that goes out on Tuesday. I turned up on time, but ended up doing some other nice stuff, but that didn’t help me create an actual blog post1.

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Developer growth

The mindful developer

Stress and fatigue are things we developers struggle with most of our careers in varying levels. There is the focus on keeping up-to-date on technologies, delivering at work, maintaining proper work / life balance – whatever that means, and countless factors that contribute to creating noise. How can we deal with the noise? Well, I’d like to explore the approach of being a mindful developer. What it means to me, and why it’s something you might want to consider looking in to. Continue Reading