Things your professors probably never told you, but will make you more money and help you have fun doing it.

AITP Presentation at Pellissippi State Community College- November, 2014

Great fun presenting this to around 50-60 students and faculty at PSCC. There was a good bit of commentary and discussion that’s not captured here, but this captures most of it.

Make it searchable:

Association of Information Technology Professionals
Pellissippi State Community College
November 13, 2014 Adrian Carr
Congratulations! This can be a fantastic career.
It can really suck at times too.
A lot of this is up to you:
Things your professors probably never told you, but will make you more money and help you have fun doing it.
A bit about me…
• I’m a software engineer, team lead….
– I’ve done other things…
• I also do some software consulting
• I started at a Community College- (Attended three of them)
It was hard, but worth it

I love my job
• Not every day, but almost every day.
Getting started
1.Please graduate. It opens doors, and I’ve met a lot of people who wish they had.
2.Learn skills.
3.Build your “brand”.

Create a great resume

A bad resume

Resume Tips
• 1-2 pages
• Make it clean and easy to read.
• Make it relevant – Tailor it for the position.
• No speling erors!
I’m gonna Google you…
These can help build your brand, or work against it.
• Facebook
• Twitter
• Personal blog
• Dr Brown’s student pages

Who is responsible for your career? • You are.
• IT folks == Professional problem solvers
• I learn something almost every day, and I usually have to teach it to myself.
Most technologies that I work with today didn’t exist when I started…
• C#
• jQuery/Angular
• Android
• Ruby/Rails
• Bootstrap
• …..
Be purposeful about it
• Home projects
• Volunteer- inside and outside of work
• Consulting- This is a great way to learn new technologies. Create a website or mobile app for a small fee for your cousin’s auto body shop…
• Change jobs every few years.
• Do things outside your comfort zone
Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. – Will Rogers
Be valuable
• Why are you being paid?
• Are you delivering value or filling a seat?
• If it was your money you were spending on your salary, would you change the way you work?
Most programmers have too many layers of abstraction between their code and their paycheck. – Michael Neel
Solve Problems
• Ask why.
• Figure out what problem people are trying to solve.
• Always look for better ways.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. -Albert Einstein
• Make your boss look good.
• Be worth so much more than you are paid that it’s no question about whether they should keep you or not.

Luck Surface Area:
Luck Surface Area is directly proportional to the degree to which you do something you’re passionate about combined with the total number of people to whom this is effectively communicated.
3. Build your “brand”.
“Soft” Skills
• Communication
• Attitude – “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.“ -Henry Ford
• Humility goes a long way.

Be the type of person that people want to work with.
• Bring donuts or leftover cookies
• Be patient.

People may not remember exactly what you did or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
–Tony Hsieh,
Get involved
• AITP is a great start.
• Codestock
• Knoxville JS
• Agile Knoxville
• Write about things you learn- somewhere.
• Mentoring- High School, PSCC students,

A lot of this is up to you:
Things your professors probably never told you, but will make you more money and help you have fun doing it.
You can have options
If you do things right, you have options
• You can change where you work, or you can change where you work .
•”You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.” – Dr. Seuss
If you do really do things right…
• You can help set the course, and make the way we work better.
Resources Job search/market research:
• Code Complete – Steve McConnell
• Leading Lean Software Development – Mary and Tom Poppendieck

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *