Jake Trent

Constraint of New Ideas

Over time we can get very comfortable in our ways. We do things as they’ve always been done. In this state, sometimes we can find ourselves constraining new ideas or stifling new possibilities as they come to us.

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Verbal Value Statements

Language is powerful. It’s super interesting to discern viewpoints based on language used. We make value statements all the time. Depending on how we view something, we’ll describe it differently. This is just as true in software and software dev as anything. Everyone Has Opinions We all have opinions. This is natural. We categorize things all the time. We have to sort through a lot of data every day, and we form opinions on everything.

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Context Assists Appreciation

When we are exposed to a new thing, we might not at first see its full grandeur. After a bit of context and perspective, our appreciation for that thing may increase substantially. Subjects are Deep and Broad There are so many fields of study in this world. Many of them have been around for a long time (eg, any study of our natural world)! When we are first exposed to a new field of study or a new idea, we see the surface.

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Hearing Bad Ideas

Ideas happen all the time. Statistically, we’ll hear some bad ones. At least we think they’re bad. How can we best hear and react to these bad ideas? Ideas Have Value First, a basic foundation for ideas: Ideas come from people’s thoughts. People’s ideas are the catalyst for innovation – things to try, explore, and from which real progress can spring. Progress is important. People are even more important. There is value in each.

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Coding on Vacation

I have traditionally been a big holiday coder. I’ve had a ton of fun projects start or finish on vacation. It’s a great time for these projects. But what might we be missing on vacation if we’re always coding? Waiting for This Moment You’ve had an idea in your head. It’s been percolating for a while now as life has continued on in its usual way. Your time has been filled with other things, some good or bad, essential or yawn-worthy.

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Take a Chance on Yourself

When we are seeking a new position or an advancement in our current career path, we are asking others to take a chance on us. Hiring managers, peers, teams, whole companies are among those that we ask to take a chance on and trust us to do a new thing. Sometimes the most important person to convince in taking a chance on us is ourself. Confidence in the Unknown When you have confidence in yourself, you have the ability to see yourself doing something that’s essentially unknown to you.

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Make Your Project Fun

You work every day. It’s a part of life. It’s a good part of life, and you have the power to make it better. Ever since you were young child, you knew what the magic ingredient was: fun!

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Determining the Health of Your Culture

Culture will emerge after a group of people attempt to solve problems again and again in a certain way. This “way” becomes the culture. If you are deliberate in your choices on how to solve problems, you will be deliberate in creating a culture. Once you have a culture in mind and are working toward it or trying to maintain it, how do you determine how healthy it is? Clay Christensen has a simple question you can ask yourself.

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Bring Your Listeners With You

Remember that last time that you spoke at a conference and really felt like you had connected with your audience? You were able to keep them with you for the length of your journey. You felt like they grew and were enlightened with you. There’s a certain magic to that, and there’s also some deliberate thought you can give the experience that will help it happen more often.

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Working More Might Not Help Our Team

Some have surmised that working more will help their team. It may. It may not. It depends. Here’s just one collection of thoughts on how working significantly more than the rest of our team might not help and may actually hinder.

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