778 episodes

This podcast is for aspiring entrepreneurs and technologists as well as those that want to become a designer and implementors of great software solutions. That includes solving problems through technology. We look at the whole skill set that makes a great developer. This includes tech skills, business and entrepreneurial skills, and life-hacking, so you have the time to get the job done while still enjoying life.

Develpreneur: Become a Better Developer and Entrepreneur Rob Broadhead

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 12 Ratings

This podcast is for aspiring entrepreneurs and technologists as well as those that want to become a designer and implementors of great software solutions. That includes solving problems through technology. We look at the whole skill set that makes a great developer. This includes tech skills, business and entrepreneurial skills, and life-hacking, so you have the time to get the job done while still enjoying life.

    Essential Habits for Software Developers: Boosting Productivity and Career Growth

    Essential Habits for Software Developers: Boosting Productivity and Career Growth

    In the latest episode of our podcast focused on the developer journey, we explore the critical topic of good and bad habits that can significantly impact a software developer's career and overall productivity. As we're midway through the year, it's an opportune time to reflect on our practices and consider areas for improvement.






    The Power of Status Reporting Habits

    One of the most effective developer productivity habits is regular status reporting. This might seem tedious initially, but it offers substantial benefits over time. A daily stand-up routine, similar to Agile methodologies, can help you reflect on your progress and plan your day effectively.


    For instance, every morning, take a few minutes to answer these three questions:


    What did I accomplish yesterday?

    What am I working on today?

    Are there any blockers?


    Doing this creates a mini-retrospective that keeps you on track and provides a clear picture of your progress. This habit can be implemented using various tools, from old-school pencil and paper to modern apps like Evernote or Trello.


    Managing Your Task List

    Another critical developer productivity habit is managing your task list efficiently. It’s essential to keep your list concise to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Try writing down no more than four critical tasks for the day. This can be done on an index card or a small piece of paper to limit the number of items you can list.


    For example, if your daily tasks include:


    Fixing a bug in the user authentication module

    Writing a new feature for the dashboard

    Reviewing code for a colleague

    Updating project documentation


    This focused approach ensures you tackle essential tasks without being distracted by less critical ones. Using this method, you can maintain a steady pace and avoid being busy without being productive.


    The Pomodoro Method

    Effective time management is crucial for maintaining productivity. One of the most recommended techniques is the Pomodoro Method. This involves working in short, focused bursts (typically 25 minutes), followed by a short break.


    For instance, set a timer for 25 minutes and work on a specific task without interruptions. Once the timer goes off, take a five-minute break to recharge. Repeat this process four times, and then take a longer break of 15-30 minutes. This method helps prevent burnout and keeps you focused on your tasks.


    Taking Meaningful Breaks

    Taking breaks might seem counterproductive, but it's one of the best developer productivity habits you can adopt. Regular breaks can prevent mental fatigue and increase your efficiency.


    For example, step away from your desk during your lunch break and do something different. You could read a book, walk, or engage in a hobby. This change of pace can refresh your mind and improve your focus when you return to work.


    Continuous Learning Habits

    To stay relevant and improve your skills, make it a habit to learn something new every day. Spend 15-30 minutes daily learning new coding techniques, exploring new tools, or understanding new frameworks.


    For example, if you’re a Java developer, you might spend some time learning about the latest updates in Java. Or, if you’re interested in automation, you could explore tools like Selenium or Jenkins. This habit keeps your skills sharp and adds variety to your day, making your work more interesting.


    Establishing Good Work Routine Habits

    Finally, establishing a consistent work routine is crucial. Determine the hours when you are most productive and stick to that schedule. This helps create a rhythm and reduces the difficulty of deciding when to work each day.


    For example, if you are most productive in the morning, start your workday at 8 AM and take a lunch break around noon. Resume work in the afternoon and aim to finish by 5 PM. Consistency in your work hours helps maintain a work-life balance, preventin

    • 22 min
    Turning Feedback into Future Success: A Guide for Developers

    Turning Feedback into Future Success: A Guide for Developers

    Welcome back to our series on the developer journey. In this episode, we’re diving into an essential topic: how to gather and leverage feedback to win more projects after completing your first one or any subsequent project. Whether you're a seasoned developer or just starting, understanding how to use feedback effectively can transform your career.






    Why Feedback Matters

    Feedback is more than just a pat on the back or a critique; it’s a tool for growth. Positive feedback can highlight your strengths, while constructive criticism can point out areas for improvement. It can be a goldmine for developers, helping refine skills, improve processes, and enhance client relationships.


    Getting Useful Feedback

    When a project concludes, the obvious step is to ask for a reference. However, generic references like "Mike's a great guy" aren't helpful. Instead, aim for detailed feedback that tells a story. Here’s how to do it:


    Ask Specific Questions: Instead of asking for a general reference, ask targeted questions that encourage detailed responses. Questions like, "What specific problem did we solve?" or "How did our solution impact your business?" can yield richer feedback.

    Incorporate It in Proposals: Use detailed feedback in your project proposals. Platforms like Upwork allow you to showcase previous feedback, helping potential clients see your proven track record. Highlight specific quotes and detailed testimonials on your website to build credibility.

    Periodic Check-Ins: Don’t wait until the end to get feedback for ongoing projects. Regular check-ins can provide continuous insights and adjustments, ensuring the project stays on track and meets client expectations.


    Crafting Relatable References

    For a reference to be practical, it needs to resonate with your potential clients. Here’s what to focus on:


    Detail the Problem and Solution: Ensure the reference outlines the problem you solved and the solution you provided. For example, "Mike helped us migrate our outdated CRM to a new system, which now supports our 200 employees efficiently."

    Include Specifics: Mention details like the technology stack used, the project timeline, and any challenges overcome. This specificity makes the reference more relatable and credible to future clients with similar needs.

    Highlight Multiple Facets: A project often involves solving multiple issues. Ensure your reference captures these various aspects. For example, "We were struggling with data management and integration. Mike's solution streamlined our processes and improved our data accuracy."


    Building a Feedback Culture

    Whether you’re a freelancer or part of a team, cultivating a culture that values feedback can lead to continuous improvement.


    Regular Surveys: Conduct surveys at different project stages to gather timely feedback. Tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms can streamline this process.

    Focus on Metrics: Collect data on key performance indicators like project completion time, budget adherence, and client satisfaction. Use these metrics to showcase your reliability and efficiency.

    Incorporate It into Development: Use it to identify areas for improvement and set measurable goals. Agile methodologies, with their sprint retrospectives, are excellent for this. Focus on one or two improvement areas each sprint to avoid feeling overwhelmed.


    Handling Long-Term Projects

    For long-term projects, periodic reviews are crucial. Regularly ask for feedback to ensure you meet client expectations and address any issues promptly. This ongoing dialogue can also reveal new opportunities for project expansion.


    Leveraging Feedback for Career Growth

    It isn’t just for improving projects and personal and professional growth. Here’s how:


    Self-Assessment: Use it to assess your skills and identify areas for development. Regularly update your resume and portfolio with new skills and

    • 27 min
    Winning Your First Project: A Developer's Guide to Starting Your Side Hustle

    Winning Your First Project: A Developer's Guide to Starting Your Side Hustle

    Welcome back to our Developer Journey series! In this episode, we dive right into a crucial topic: winning your first project, particularly in the context of a side hustle. Landing that initial project is pivotal whether you want to start a consulting business or build client products.


    Listen to Michael and Rob talk about how to "Win Your First Project."





    Let's explore the strategies and steps to secure your first project and set yourself up for future success.

    1. Establishing Your Identity for Your First Project

    Before you can win your first project, you need to establish who you are as a developer. This involves creating a professional presence that showcases your skills and experience. Here are some key elements to consider:


    Portfolio: Like an artist with a portfolio of paintings, developers need a showcase of their work. If you don't have professional experience, include projects from college, boot camps, or personal projects. Make sure to refine these projects, add comments, and polish them to a professional standard.

    Online Presence: Create a website, LinkedIn profile, or a dedicated page highlighting your skills and projects. Include examples of your work and describe the technologies you used, the problems you solved, and the results you achieved.


    2. Creating Example Projects to Win Your First Project

    If you lack substantial work to showcase, it's time to create example projects. These can be small, self-initiated projects that demonstrate your abilities. Utilize resources like online tutorials and educational series to build these projects. Ensure they are well-documented and polished, as they will represent your capabilities to potential clients.


    3. Understanding the Market

    Winning your first project also involves understanding your target market. Identify the types of clients you want to work with and the problems they need to solve. Tailor your portfolio and online presence to address these needs. Make your offerings clear and concise, avoiding technical jargon that might confuse non-technical clients.


    4. Networking and Community Involvement

    Once your brand is established, it's time to get the word out. Join communities related to your field, such as LinkedIn groups, local meetups, or online forums. Engage in discussions, share your knowledge, and build relationships. Networking can often lead to project opportunities as people become aware of your skills and availability.


    5. Presentation and Documentation

    When you approach potential clients, your presentation matters. Here are some tips for presenting your work effectively:


    Tailored Proposals: Customize your proposals for each client, highlighting how your skills can address their needs. Use templates to streamline this process but ensure each proposal feels personalized.

    Proofread and Polish: Ensure all your materials are professionally written and error-free. Use tools like Grammarly or AI writing assistants to check your grammar and clarity.


    6. Continuous Improvement and Adaptation After Your First Project

    Keep track of all your proposals and client feedback. Whether you win or lose a project, the content you generate can be refined and reused. Integrate feedback to improve your proposals and portfolio continuously.


    7. Leveraging NDAs and Intellectual Property

    In some fields, such as healthcare or banking, you may encounter non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) that limit what you can showcase. In these cases, focus on the general skills and solutions you've developed rather than specific proprietary details. Highlight your ability to build applications, solve problems, and deliver results without disclosing sensitive information.


    8. Practical Steps to Start

    Here's a quick recap of actionable steps to win your first project:


    Create and Polish Your Portfolio: Showcase your best work, refine it, and ensure it's well-documented.

    Establish an O

    • 21 min
    Updating Developer Tools: Keeping Your Tools Sharp and Efficient

    Updating Developer Tools: Keeping Your Tools Sharp and Efficient

    Welcome back to another episode of our developer journey series. Picture us with our parkas, navigating through the blizzards of the ever-evolving tech landscape. This episode is dedicated to an essential part of every developer's toolkit, "Updating Developer Tools: Keeping Your Tools Sharp and Efficient."






    The Constant Evolution of Developer Tools

    As developers, we're always in the thick of technological advancement. Whether you're working within a niche or covering a broad spectrum of tech, there's always something new on the horizon: new versions, libraries, problems, solutions, and add-ons. The saying goes, you could have ten years of experience or one year of experience ten times. We aim to ensure you accumulate a decade of progressive experience, not just repeated cycles.


    Importance of Up-to-Date Developer Tools

    Your developer tools are crucial for your growth and productivity. Many developers spend most of their time in one integrated development environment (IDE) like Eclipse, Visual Studio, or IntelliJ. If you're still using basic editors like Vi for complex tasks, it's time to upgrade. Modern IDEs offer features like syntax highlighting, autocomplete, and, increasingly, AI-assisted coding suggestions. These features can drastically reduce your time on repetitive tasks and boost your productivity.


    Embrace Modern Developer Tools and Debugging

    Modern IDEs come with powerful debugging tools. Setting up your environment to use debuggers effectively can save you countless hours. Instead of littering your code with print statements, use breakpoints and step through your code line by line. This method saves time and prevents production issues caused by excessive logging.


    Regularly Updating Developer Tools and Processes

    Twice a year, take inventory of your developer tools. Check your desktop and start menu for the applications you use frequently. Update them regularly to benefit from the latest features and improvements. Explore the extensions, plugins, and add-ons available for your IDEs and browsers. These can offer significant enhancements, from database management tools to integrations with email clients and version control systems.


    Automation and Efficiency with Developer Tools

    Evaluate your workflow periodically to identify repetitive tasks that can be automated. Numerous developer tools are available to streamline your processes. For instance, if you're dealing with complex database schemas, tools like DBVisualizer and DBSchema can simplify your life by visually representing your database, turning hours of manual work into minutes.


    Staying Current by Updating Developer Tools, Languages, and Environments

    Whether you're developing for mobile, web, or desktop, keeping up with the latest operating systems and platforms is crucial. Make sure your development environment is compatible with the latest versions. Developer tools like SonarQube can help you maintain code quality by performing static code analysis and highlighting potential vulnerabilities.


    Continuous Improvement and Security with Developer Tools

    Utilize developer tools that help you write better code. Modern IDEs can enforce coding standards, suggest improvements, and highlight potential security issues. Integrate these tools into your workflow to ensure you write clean, maintainable, and secure code.


    In summary, keeping your developer tools and processes up to date is essential for becoming a better developer. Regularly review and update your IDEs, libraries, and other tools. Embrace new features and automation to boost your productivity. Stay current with the latest platforms and use tools that help you write secure and efficient code. By investing time in maintaining and improving your toolkit, you'll be better prepared for the challenges of the ever-evolving tech landscape.


    Stay tuned for more insights and tips on our developer journey series. Your feedback and thoughts are

    • 22 min
    Bridging the Gap: How Developers Can Thrive Amidst Differing Methodologies

    Bridging the Gap: How Developers Can Thrive Amidst Differing Methodologies

    Welcome back to our podcast series, where this season, we are talking about the developer journey, focusing on Bridging the Gap: How Developers Can Thrive Amidst Differing Methodologies and growing together within development teams. Various milestones mark the path of a developer; some are encountered early, some later, and some recurring. One common challenge is dealing with situations where team members, bosses, or clients may have different directions or methods than what you’re accustomed to. How do you ensure you get the job done while raising necessary concerns? Let’s explore this dynamic.


    Check out the podcast Bridging the Gap: How Developers Can Thrive Amidst Differing Methodologies.





    Early Career Headbutts: The Cultural Clash

    In the early stages of a developer’s career, headbutting often arises from transitioning out of educational environments or specific companies where a certain style or methodology was the norm. This clash occurs because you enter the "real world" with ingrained processes that might not align with new environments. For instance, you might have learned a particular way of solving problems or writing code that doesn’t fit with your new team’s standards.


    The Handball Analogy: Recognizing Styles

    Consider an analogy: Rob played handball, a sport similar to racquetball but without the racket. After many years, He met an old acquaintance who only recognized him by his playing style. This highlights how our formative experiences shape our approaches. Similarly, in software development, early training leaves indelible marks on our coding styles and problem-solving methods. Recognizing and respecting these stylistic differences in a professional setting can be challenging but essential.


    Embracing Organizational Standards

    When you join a new team, adhering to their established standards and processes is crucial. While you may have a preferred way of doing things, it’s important to understand and follow the team’s practices. If you encounter inefficiencies or unclear procedures, ask questions respectfully. Sometimes, the response might be, “That’s how we do it,” and you’ll need to adapt. Other times, you’ll gain insights into why certain methods are in place, particularly in larger organizations where consistency and reliability are paramount.


    The Value of Consistency Is important to Bridging the Gap

    Consistency in coding standards is vital for maintaining and scaling software. Imagine a scenario where different parts of a project look like they were written by various people without a common style. This lack of uniformity increases maintenance costs and complicates future updates. For example, a seasoned developer might introduce a new, efficient method but fail to update the rest of the project, leading to a mishmash of old and new styles. It’s essential to not only adopt new methods but also ensure they’re applied consistently across the project.


    The Ego Factor

    Developers often bring a certain level of pride and ego into their work, stemming from their problem-solving skills and experience. However, when entering a new environment, it’s important to check this ego at the door. The organization might not owe you explanations for their methods, especially if you’re new. Instead, focus on understanding and adapting to their practices, leveraging your skills to enhance their established processes rather than imposing your own.


    The Balance of Innovation and Compliance

    While bringing new ideas and methods to a team is beneficial, it’s equally important to respect and understand existing frameworks. For instance, you might discover a more efficient way to handle a task, but before implementing it, ensure it aligns with the team’s goals and standards. This approach not only fosters a collaborative environment but also helps you grow by learning from established practices.


    Bridging the Gap By Embrace Lear

    • 23 min
    Solving Problems Without Solving the Problem

    Solving Problems Without Solving the Problem

    Welcome back to episode 3 of Season 22 of our Building Better Developers podcast. In this episode, we continue exploring problem-solving strategies. Previously, we discussed general problem-solving approaches. This episode delves into a nuanced topic: Solving Problems Without Solving the Problem. This concept frequently arises in various professional contexts, particularly in project management and consultancy.


    Listen to Rob and Michael Discuss Solving Problems Without Solving the Problem





    The Paradox of Over-Delivering

    Often, you may find yourself in a situation where you're asked to demonstrate your ability to solve a problem. This could be through creating a proof of concept, drafting a proposal, or designing a demo. However, the challenge lies in balancing showing your capability for solving the problem and over-delivering to the point where you've essentially completed the project without a formal commitment. It's a common scenario in industries involving side hustles and freelance work.


    Why Solving Problems Without Solving the Problem Matters

    Imagine agreeing to demonstrate a solution, only to have the client continually ask for a bit more until you realize you've spent countless hours on something that isn't yet contracted. This predicament is akin to a lawyer giving away free advice until they've essentially provided their entire service without compensation. The key is knowing where to draw the line.


    Proof of Concept (PoC) as a Strategy

    So, how do we navigate this delicate balance? We advise starting with a small, manageable PoC. The PoC should be a scaled-down version of the potential solution designed to validate key assumptions and feasibility without excessive time and resource investment. Here’s how to approach it:


    Identify the Core Problem: Clearly define what you're trying to solve.

    Start Small: Begin with a minimal dataset or a simplified version of the problem.

    Incremental Testing: Gradually expand the scope, testing the solution with increasingly larger datasets or more complex scenarios.


    For instance, if your project involves processing data from CSV files, start with just a few records. Verify that the basic process works before scaling up to larger datasets. This method helps in understanding the solution’s scalability and potential issues early on.


    Avoiding Overcommitment

    A crucial aspect of managing a PoC is ensuring you don't inadvertently find yourself with a live project before it's ready. This can happen when a PoC evolves into a fully functioning solution without proper planning and resource allocation. Here’s how to prevent this:


    Set Clear Boundaries: Define what the PoC will and won’t cover. Communicate this clearly to stakeholders.

    Regular Check-Ins: Have frequent reviews to assess progress and realign expectations.

    Documentation: Keep detailed records of what the PoC entails and the steps required to transition to a full project.


    Leveraging Existing Solutions

    Another vital point is recognizing that you don’t always need to build solutions from scratch. Often, there are existing APIs, tools, or open-source projects that can be adapted to meet your needs. This is particularly relevant in industries like healthcare, where compliance and security are paramount.


    When choosing between building and buying (or adapting), consider:


    Compliance: Does the existing solution meet necessary regulatory standards?

    Cost: Is purchasing and customizing an existing solution more cost-effective than building one from scratch?

    Integration: How well does the existing solution integrate with your current systems?


    Real-World Application of Solving Problems Without Solving the Problem

    An example shared in the podcast involved automating a manual process in a billing center. Initially, the team replicated the existing manual worksheets into a web application as a PoC. This small-sca

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

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12 Ratings

SLChapman ,

Such a great conversation!

Rob was a gracious host and I appreciated the change to discuss one of my favorite topics - Self Care - and how it can help make us better business owners. Easy conversation flowed very nicely!

We all love sudoku ,

More than I was looking for

I originally was looking for a podcast to help me be a better developer as I'm new to the field. This podcast is so much more and has expanded how I think about entrepreneurship as wel.

Cesarfelip3 ,

Great show!

develpreneur masterfully intersects the realms of software development and entrepreneurship. With its deep dives into both tech nuances and business strategies, listeners get a holistic view ofguest selections, and a balance of topics make it a standout in the crowded tech podcast space. Highly recommended for both developers and tech entrepreneurs.

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