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Showing posts from February, 2023

The bulletproof skill against AI

Why you need people with technical background to lead technical teams? There are 2 points of view. Those people don’t need technical knowledge, they need to be close to the business It is essential to have technical knowledge to be successful I tend to agree more with the  2 statement. Companies need effective teams now more than ever. Having the ability to understand both the business requirements and limitations and the technical team’s abilities and the technology limitations are essential to thrive. This is something that neither ChatGPT nor other automation can’t do and won’t be able to do soon. Do you agree or disagree?

The position paradox

We try to label ourselves based on the position we take. I lead many Agile initiatives and I am part of many Agile conferences and communities and I see this over and over again. What is in a book is rarely what is happening in a company. You might label yourself as a project manager, but you also do product owner duties and so on. The challenge for many employees is to either educate the management and change the status quo or to be assimilated into the company culture. Chose your fights wisely, because you might win the battle, but lose the war.


Propaganda surrounds us. Politicians, media and so on, try to convince us about something. What I believe is the difference between the propaganda and the reality is the fact that propaganda uses less objective knowledge and more emotions and especially fear. The easiest way to find the propaganda is to monitor the media for a long time, but that is also the hardest part. As established in my post about workout.

Working out

It is funny how we all have similar goals, dreams, and struggles. And yet with the many apps and techniques, people still can’t solve this challenge. How to be healthy? Working out and doing physical activities is one part of the solution. But I see yet again many of my friends including me to not be able to solve it. Why is that? Is it because we put our own self-worth and happiness in the background? I think the fundamental problem is we are terrible in predicting what health issues we will have in the long term. And most of us are really short term focused.

Internal mobility

Many companies have amazing procedure and messages. One of them is the promise of internal mobility. The key message is “We will keep our talent by giving them opportunities”. The reality is really different.   Many HRs in such companies confess that is hard for someone to find a job using this process. This opens the obvious question: is it really a benefit or another vague promise?

Be extremely customer focused

Customer focused is another thing not very much associated with career progress. Think about who is pushing the growth and the expansion of the business you are part of? Those are, of course, the customers. Depending on your position in the company, you might have more customer exposure or not at all. What are the benefits of having a good relationship with people in general? Potential customer might what you to join their team and boost your career. Good relationship with your customer might also show to the senior managers in the company how talented you are. It is one thing if you scream how talented you are, and another if other people recognize you as a talented person. Another good thing is, you practice this valuable skills that are transferrable no matter what your job is.

Identify your key result areas

There are seldom more than 5 or 7 key result areas in people’s job and you need to know your outcome. In every job, there are a lot of things you can do in addition to your tasks. But not all the activities will help you to grow, be noticed and promoted. That is why you must identify the key areas you want to grow and work on per year and have a regular check if you achieved them or not. Some companies also provide weekly discussions with you and your manager about your goals. As stated before, this could only work when you have a good manager. For the majority of times, you will need to do not only the push but also the pull. Define those 5 or 7 key results for this year and see for yourself if you will achieve more and go further in your career this year compare to a previous on.

Dress for success

Another tip from Brian Tracy is to dress for success. This seems to be outdated advice, especially in the era where billionaires wear T-shirts. But in fact, it is an important thing to consider. We all have a bias and associated higher status to people who wear shirts. Why is that? Most of the time we don’t wear shirts, you need to have a “special” occasion to choose this kind of clothes. Therefore, people who wear suits and shirts really step out of the crowd. This doesn’t mean you need to be dressed so nicely if your job is to be a cashier. But try to look as professional as possible and demonstrate good manners. If you do so, you will step out of the crowed and be someone people will remember.  

Invest in your skills

Invest in your technical and non-technical skills. There are professionals who don’t know how to behave and ruin their career opportunities and there are people who have a big ego with nothing to back it up. Go to courses, use YouTube, Pluralsight and other platforms and gain additional skills. I had enjoyed my time being part of Hackathons and startup events. The community who supports them and visits them is amazing. I had already achieved for this year an AWS Solution Architect Associate certification, which is something I want to use in my current and future career. Think about one action you will take this year to grow as a professional.

Choose your boss carefully

Another tip for becoming successful is to choose your boss carefully. Your boss is someone who could push your career or prevent you from being successful. It happens often, and there is an old saying about it. People leave managers and not companies. I know people who are stuck in the same position because their manager refuses to promote them. I know as well many managers who state that the career progression is solely in the hands of their subordinates. This theory seems amazing, meaning if their team is not promoted is their own fault. In reality, it is rather more common for the progress to be stopped by a manager who can’t find another person to take the spot of a star performer. I know a guy who had interviewed for a position in a Fortune 100 company and the manager used the phrase “Smelly developers”. How would you feel if you are a developer in the team of that manager? I hope the message is clear! Next time when you interview a company, ensure that your manager is good as wel

Look for an industry that is growing

No matter how talented you are, if you work for an industry that is declining, you won’t be successful. You will always worry about your job and how you will pay your bills. So it is always smart to look for opportunities to jump on the train in innovation. This was true for Blockchain and Bitcoin, twelve years ago. Many people become wealthy just because they invested massively in that area. The other criteria is to look for a company that is growing. This will give you a higher chance to be promoted.

Think what you enjoy doing and look for a position you can practice it

Another advice from Brian Tracy is to look for a position that will benefit from what you naturally enjoy doing. Do you like to create amazing designs? Or do you like to solve complex problem? There is a profession that would benefit from your skills. The point of this advice is that it is more likely for you to be successful in something you enjoy doing. See people like Richard Branson, the creator of the Virgin brand. He is a maverick and wants to disturb the status quo. He is good at talking with a diverse people and those strong personality traits helped him in creating a huge empire. He is also a huge risk taker. This is needed for certain professions in order to be successful. Think about yourself, where you are now and what are your natural gifts and things you want to work on and what jobs would benefit from your skills?

Brian Tracy: 1st rule of success in your career

I listen to some old audio from Brian Tracy and it was interesting to learn what, according to him, were the rules for a career success. He recorded this audio a long time ago. I tried to filter out the things I don’t consider relevant in today’s environment and try to get only the things that are still relevant. The first thing I liked is his lesson on creating a “Self-employed mindset”. It is true for many companies. Big corporations promote internal mobility or your own career path. And your manager is not always responsible for showing you opportunities inside the company. It happens to me a lot. I know way more than my manager about internal opportunities and this led me to lead the Agile community, and a community related to innovation. And this is not by accident. I want to contribute to the environment where I am part of and I am constantly looking for initiative to contribute and learn from. How about you? Do you have the mindset of being your own boss and moving your career i

Divided world

A few years back, during COVID times, we were convinced that we live in the most divided time. Before that was the global warming period, again we were convinced that we live in the most divided time in history. Now war and inflation, again we were convinced that we live in the most divided time in human history. What did we learn? There will be new and new opportunity to be divided. Such situations don’t solve any problem, but focus the energy towards group separation and identification. And in the end, nothing is being resolved. You don’t want to have such division in your business and products. You want to make it easy for your customers to adopt your solutions. After you do the first division(segmentation) you must do everything in your power to attract and keep your loyal fans. This is the only way to succeed in an ever dividing world.

7 baby steps for financial independence

I watch a video from Dave Ramsey about the baby steps on gaining financial independence. My notes can be found below: Step 1: Foundation – save 1k money emergency fund Liquidate anything that is not for retirement and use this fund. It should not take over 30 days. Baby start emergency funds. This also helps you to decide if you really can and want to go on with this process. People don’t like change and that is why baby steps are important. Step 2 Debt free. Debt free with your house and no more credit cards. According to Dave Ramsey, for some people who take this step, it takes up to 2 years. Which is not so much. One example to accelerate this process is to take extra work and so on. You must not think about the mortgage at this step. Step 3: Emergency funds 3 – 6 months of expenses. This is called ground zero. The next steps you should do in parallel. Step 4: put 15% of your income into investments. Roth IRA and so on. Those are tax free tools you can benefit from. Step 5: Save for

The paper managers

In many companies, the role of the managers is crucial to keep the morale of the employees. There are two kinds of managers: A paper manager A real manager A paper manager is someone who doesn’t know how to do their job, or doesn’t have the right authority and privileges to do the job. This includes, have a budget for team events. Having autonomy in distributing that budget and supporting the team. Actively working on promoting their team members. If your manager is of the paper type, no matter how good you are, or how talented you might be, there won’t be a future for you in this company. You will stay in the same place forever. If you have the fortune to choose between different projects or companies, take an extremely good look at the manager you will eventually get. Otherwise, you soon might sign for quiet quitting .

Quiet quitting

A recent phenomenon emerged after the pandemic. And the name is quiet quitting. What is the reason for that? One possibility is that the workers are overstressed and under appreciated. Another is the short deadlines and understaffed projects. Companies failed to address those problems, because even HRs are part of that movement. They do the absolute minimum and insist on having an office culture. With the wave of mass firing in the US and around the world. It will only become harder to motivate employees to perform at their very best. What measures your company introduce to boost the morale and to foster the creativity?

Office culture

What is your office culture? Many people don’t know, but all HRs insist on the fact they have the best office culture. Best office culture for whom? If your employees don’t know it or the managers force their employees to learn the office culture like a statement. Or worse, some managers are stating it repeatedly in a hypnotic and fanatic way. Is this office culture? Of course not, it will be a ridiculous statement which people will laugh hearing it. Sadly, many companies insist they have a great culture and only a few really do. To have an amazing team and an amazing culture, it is easy, but most companies choose the hard way to lie to their employees.

Is the cloud the future

The idea of cloud computing has been around for a while. Companies used to have big data centers which they sustained. With the raise of hosting providers, things changed. Companies stopped hosting their sites on local infrastructure and leveraged the infrastructure of others. Now, instead of paying for administrators, servers and other expenses, it was far easier and faster to delegate this to a trusted provider. The next level is to move the entire business to a 3rd party infrastructure and reduce the headcount and the support functions. This approach also exposes companies to a higher risk. And also provides a more Agile and faster development. Being faster becomes crucial in today’s competitive landscape thus, for now, cloud companies are the winners in this new era of digital transformation.  

AWS certification

I am working towards my AWS certification. One of the main things to accept is to be comfortable with not knowing. There are a lot of moving parts and different services in AWS and to be a good architect you need to understand what is the most optimal solution. And this happens with time. Therefore, being patient is very important. Now that I see better the patterns, I am ready to move to the next level in my AWS mastery.

The money game

I read that there are 5 types of asset classes. stock bond real estate commodities currencies The thing is now many investors consider crypto as an asset class. Why is that? It provides high risk and high reward. But for whom? Only for the whales, the big players who can easily influence the price, or does it really enables generation wealth for the masses? Knowing the game and the rules of the game is very important, otherwise you might just make someone else richer.

Intellectual property

My manager nominated me to attend a session on patents. I had been an Innovation leader for our branch a few years back and the topic seems very interesting. I haven’t heard about patents for Web3. I wonder if patents will be a thing from the past in the future or they will be still relevant in today’s world? You can see many mass adopt technologies which are intentionally let without patents. One example is Intel’s FireWire protocol, which was released royalty-free for manufacturers.

Sunday updates

Vacation time is over and, and now I am again focusing on the goals for next week. What I learned during this one week vacation is that changing your environment is great for you. It is tempting to stay in one place and do what you always done. However, doing small experiments will help you tune your lifestyle and show you additional options you could choose to undertake. And that is the beauty of it!

Lazy vs productive

The hustle culture is hurting you! It promotes empty busyness. Many successful people spend more time thinking about their next move rather than being busy. Let’s take as an example a university degree. It takes a few years to complete one and many hours of learning. You must be absolutely sure that what you are getting into is worth the price. So next time when you want to achieve something, spend more time thinking if this is the right thing for you to do at this moment. Otherwise, you might just pretend to be productive and achieve no real results.

End of 1st week February

I have been working a lot on the topics of future career progression and where to go next. This week was my vacation in Cyprus, and I learned a lot about the local people and culture. Next week I am coming back home and I will work more on future IT projects. It was a slow week, but there should be some of those weeks, too.  

My reality vs your reality

Our perception is really an interesting thing. Two people can look at the same thing and see different things. One can see opportunities and the other one can see danger. The situation is the similar to the new Chat GPT . There are people who say that 40% of the modern jobs will be obsolete, and others that see opportunities in that project. Both options are likely, but by choosing our mindset, we can create a different reality.