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Career Progression

Self Improvement

Link Notes
Troy Hunt How I optimised my life to make my job redundant Troy Hunt's point of view
Write a brag document
Being visible Why visibility matters
Being Glue If you stop doing those things, the team won't be as successful. But now someone's suggesting that you might be happier in a less technical role. If this describes you, congratulations: you're the glue. If it's not, have you thought about who is filling this role on your team?
Three crucial skills that leaders must develop to become executives These skills include taking (almost irrational) career risk, learning to scale by trusting your team, and developing advanced soft skills.
Making the case to decision makers: the presentation format to follow A tested template to follow when presenting to executive leadership teams.
Gergely Orosz My "Investment Mindset" Could work that seems like "sunk costs" on the short-term really be an investment for the long-term?
Will Larson How to be a tech influencer
  • Most successful people are not well-known online
  • Being well-known online can be bad
  • Most successful folks are prestigious in some way
  • Content creation is an effective way to create prestige
  • It's hard to measure influence
  • Don't assume everyone's playing the same game
Will Larson The impact of less scalable work "Less scalable" work is more impactful than "more scalable" work if it reaches folks who are themselves in high impact roles
Will Larson Hard to work with I've seen a staggering number of folks fail in an organization primarily because they want to hold others to a higher standard than their organization’s management is willing to enforce
Will Larson A forty-year career
  • Pace
    • The biggest barrier to a forty year career is burnout, and preventing burnout is twofold
    • First, work on work you find meaningful
    • Second, manage your pace
  • People
    • Your current coworkers also have an outsized influence on your career long after you've stopped working together
    • It requires some deliberate focus to approach each new role with the intention of building the network of folks you know and work with well, but the compounding value of doing so is huge
  • Prestige
    • In retrospect, many folks' prestige seems inevitable, but is the result of deliberate, intentional action over an extended period
    • With each bit of prestige you accumulate, gathering the next bit gets easier
  • Profit
    • As you get deeper into your career, you'll move into increasingly senior roles, and there are considerably fewer such roles available
    • The process takes longer, and time depends upon money. Consequently, the best roles are only accessible if you’re already financially stable
    • Financial security is a prerequisite to own your pace and learning
  • Learning
    • A forty year career has ample space and need for extended periods of both "learning deep" and "learning broad"
A career ending mistake An insightful essay to help you assess where your career is going and where you want to go
Work / Life Balance
  • Work and life distinction
  • How to think about balance
  • Balancing techniques
  • Wake up and smell the roses
  • Embrace the suck
  • Anti-patterns
  • Changes
Expiring vs. Long-Term Knowledge How much of what you read today will you still care about a year from now?

Performance Reviews

Link Notes
Gergely Orosz Performance Reviews for Software Developers – How I Do Them In a (Hopefully) Fair Way
  • Gergely Orosz's approach to preparing for and delivering performance reviews that are fair, build trust and motivate people
  • See also the companion Performance Self Review Template
Gergely Orosz Common Performance Review Biases: How to Spot and Counter Them 8 common biases in performance reviews and how to counter them
Gergely Orosz Preparing for performance reviews ahead of time Things you can do for a better performance review, starting months ahead of when this review will happen
Gergely Orosz Performance Calibrations at Tech Companies
  • Part 1: The reasons for performance calibrations, budgets, bucketing and stack ranking approaches
  • Part 2: Lifting the lid on calibrations in Big Tech: the politics, strategies, allies. Advice for managers and individual contributors preparing for this key process

Questions to ask

  • "How am I doing compared to your expectations?"
  • "What do you see as my strengths & weaknesses?"
  • "What skills do I need to get to next level?"
  • "Any tips on professional development?"


Link Notes
Does the title even matter? Why titles do matter
How to get promoted Almost everyone who does great work toils in relative obscurity. Performance reviews are social fiction. How do people really advance through the corporate hierarchy?
Gergely Orosz Software Developer Promotions: Advice to Get to That Next Level
  • Ask about how promotions work, what their philosophy on promoting is
  • Ask them how they would rate your current performance, compared to the current and the next level
Gergely Orosz Preparing for Promotions Ahead of Time Advice to get ready for a promotion, and a reality check on how they work

Questions to ask

  • "Can we walk through the expectations for the next level to make sure I understand them?"
  • "What's the most effective thing I can do to make myself a stronger candidate?"
  • "What areas do you think I should focus on?"
  • "What are the requirements needed to advance?"
  • "What are the skills that I'll need to demonstrate?"
  • "How can I best demonstrate them?"
  • "If I don't get promoted this cycle, what are some of the likely causes?"
  • Examples
    • "I'm ready to move ahead in the organization" or "I will be ready soon"
    • "I'm enjoying what I do and I look forward to taking on more"
    • "I'd like to be a candidate for the manager position that's coming up"
    • "I've only been here for two years, but I've learned a lot and I want to keep learning and growing"