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Hello Tech Pros, What Products & Businesses Are You Building?

Hello Tech Pros is a podcast that explores the opportunities, challenges and anxieties that technical professionals and techpreneurs face when building their career, building their products and building their business. This show is about the people behind technology and the mindsets and skill sets they developed that led to their success. The show's host, Chad Bostick, is a 20 year veteran of the software development industry both as a practitioner and as a manager at companies like iBEAM Broadcasting, Devon Energy, Zynga and Fanduel. Chad is also an advocate for the awareness of Social Anxiety Disorder in the tech industry. His own battle in overcoming social anxieties led him to get the girl, lead the teams and launch a very successful podcast where he has interviewed over 250 guests.
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Now displaying: June, 2016
Jun 30, 2016

Most people launch their product to the sound of crickets instead of fireworks. The reason is because their pre-launch sequence failed to ignite (or worse, they didn't have one). Arne Giske is running a 7-Day Entrepreneur Improvement Challenge and is giving away the case study on the exact pre-launch sequence he used to get this challenge off the ground.

I want to extend a special invitation to join Arne's 7-Day Entrepreneur Improvement Challenge (it's completely free) first because it's packed full of great information, second because I will be one of the 7 featured guests within the challenge. I'll be visiting Arne on Day 4 to talk about Tech & Tools, specifically on how to implement a Technology Decision Process. Sign up for the challenge now.

Arne Giske is the host the Millennial Entrepreneur Podcast where they share startup stories from young business people worldwide. He is also the founder of Giske Business Network, an agency that focuses on mobile app development and digital product launch strategies. He is an advocate for youth entrepreneurship, a fan of frameworks, and a few short months out from launching multiple mobile apps with his team.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/arne-giske-technology/

Key Takeaways

  • Most people launch their product or service to the sound of crickets instead of fireworks.
  • You need to focus on the pre-launch marketing sequence as much (or more) than the product development.
  • Find a core group of ideal users.
  • Find a list of competitors and read the one- and two-star reviews.
  • Prepare your toolkit, including digital marketing channel, email lists, landing page.
  • As you tell people about your idea, guide them towards your landing page and get them on your email list.
  • Involve your audience in the story of your product.
  • Focus groups and beta testers are your goldmine. The more feedback they give, the better your can focus.
  • Nurture the community and help them understand why you are there to help.
  • The last couple of weeks before launch is the most criticl time. Hit every marketing channel hard and give customers great deals. "Hook them up!"
  • Give a cutoff date and stick to it.
  • Arne is launching a 7-Day Entrepreneur Improvement Challenge.
    • Day 1 - Mindset
    • Day 2 - Fitness
    • Day 3 - Education
    • Day 4 - Tech & Tools <--- CHAD IS THE FEATURED GUEST ON DAY 4!
    • Day 5 - Relationships
    • Day 6 - Sales
    • Day 7 - Media
    • Day 8 - Recap
    • See the case study on how this challenge was launched.
  • Sign up for the 7-Day Entrepreneur Improvement Challenge and get exclusive access to my Technology / Solution Decision Process cheatsheet, which will help you pick the right tool for the right job and quit wasting time and money on shiny objects.

 

Resources Mentioned

 

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Jun 29, 2016

If the Command and Control management style is like the British Armada then do dev managers need to be a lot more like pirate ship captains?

Jeff Maxwell is an application architect with experience in Fortune 100 corporations, a longtime software developer and lifelong Oklahoma State Cowboy alumnus.

Jeff was a prior guest of Hello Tech Pros on episode 2 where we discussed Productivity and how Jeff took a $1 million project and reduced the team size from 25 to 4 people by restructuring the requirements document into bite-sized tasks.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/jeff-maxwell-leadership/

Key Takeaways

  • You're not a leader if you're not listening to your team.
  • Leaders who are very non-technical in a very technical field can be challenging to work with if they are command and control driven and don't solicit feedback from the team.
  • Developers are really good problem solvers. Leadership needs to identify those who are great problem solvers and empower them to make creative solutions.
  • Managing developers is like herding cats being a captain on a pirate ship.
    • Developers crave adventure.
    • They don't want to follow rules that have no purpose or add value to the current situation.
    • They respect leaders who have hands-on experience and lead from the front lines.
  • Each ship and each captain had their own set of rules or Pirate Code.
    • Can't light a candle after 9pm at night.
    • If you're going to smoke or drink you must do it above deck after 8pm.
    • Each man gets a vote.
    • You must keep your pistols and cutlass (skills) ready for war.
    • The person who forsees the first sail gets the best weapons.
    • The captain is elected by the majority of the crew.
    • The musicians get to rest on Sunday but have to take requests on all other days by the crew.
  • The captain has to understand every aspect of the ship and what each role entails.
  • Each dev team should create their own Pirate Code and swear an oath.
    • Coding standards.
    • SDLC process.
    • Culture standards.

 

Resources Mentioned

 

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Jun 28, 2016

This software development manager believes it is an utter waste of money to hire a programmer and not pair them with someone else.

Llewellyn Falco is an independent agile coach. He discovered strong-style pair programming and is creator of the open source testing tool ApprovalTests. He spends most of his time programming in Java and C# specializing in improving legacy code. Llewellyn is also co-founder of TeachingKidsProgramming.org.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/llewellyn-falco-productivity/

Key Takeaways

  • Kids aren't ready for "real" programming until they are ready to read, write and type
  • It's a waste of money to hire a programmer and not pair them with another
  • It's our differences that make us stronger
  • When we work together with someone, we are in the zone together for longer periods of time
    • It is easier to focus and you aren't distracted as much
  • When someone is "watching" us work, or working with us, we are more inclined to use best-practices
  • We feed off the other person, we bring good things out of each other
  • "I'll come back to this later" usually means "I don't want to do this"
  • In code reviews, not much generally changes in the code
    • We get feedback occasionally but by and large the structure of the software stays the same
  • Efficiency can't survive in a vaccuum, you can't be "efficient" with being efficient FOR something
  • When you want to pair-program, sometimes it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission
  • Paired work is more intensive - strive for 4-5 hours of paired work then take a break
  • Trust is a critical issue - ask for trust from your partner

Resources Mentioned

Jun 27, 2016

Will Campbell found a "perfect fit" dream job that met his goals and lifestyle by being patient, socializing and saying no to "bad fit" cultures.

Will Campbell is the UK/US Community Manager for Inscouts. He's been working in the startup scene in UK, Berlin and Vienna for five years. Will's been with Inscouts for 5 months growing their UK/US user base and building connections with opinion leaders on both sides of the pond.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/will-campbell-motivation/

Key Takeaways

  • Inscouts is a gamification experience for live sporting events.
  • Community managers are responsible drive users to a platform.
  • 40 hour/week jobs isn't for everybody.
  • Have respect for your own time. You won't fall off of the edge if you say no to overtime.
  • When asked to give overtime, ask how much does the team really need this task?
    • Are you critical for this task?
    • Is this an emergency situation or just the daily routine due to bad management?
  • When you're passionate about something, there are many jobs as options available, you just need to socialize your desires and be patient.
  • It may be a dream job but is it YOUR dream?

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Jun 26, 2016

Jared Porcenaluk wants to change the way society thinks about work.

Jared Porcenaluk is a developer and tech enthusiast with five years of experience, mainly in the Microsoft .NET stack. He lives in Orlando, works at Nebbia Technology, and also co-organizes the Internet of Things Orlando meetup group.

Jared was a guest on HTP-46 "Programming is like the most epic video game over", talking about how Jared got into software development, the struggles he's faced along the way and the vision he has for his community.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/jared-porcenaluk-unplugged/

Key Takeaways

  • Take advantage of all the recreational things your locale has to offer.
  • Sometimes it seems that you have time and don't have money and when you have money you don't have time.
  • It's possible to work so hard that you don't want to do anything to unwind.
  • Each generation has it's own struggles.
  • Millennial get a bad rap for not working hard and realizing that life is tough.
  • The more fun we find ourselves having, doing the work that we find enjoyable, the more rewards we reap.
  • We need to change the way society thinks about work.
  • Since the 1970's we have doubled our productivity. But we're still working as much or more.

 

Resources Mentioned

 

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Jun 25, 2016

Joshua Davidson is an entrepreneur, speaker and startup advisor. He's been creating companies since he was in high school. In a nutshell, he spends most of his days building products and growing companies. Joshua's been personally featured on MSNBC, NBC, Fox, Technically, AOL, Mashable, EliteDaily, Huffington Post, CBS and the Examiner.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/joshua-davidson-entrepreneurship/

Key Takeaways

  • Joshua Davidson started ChopDawg at the age of 16.
  • ChopDawg works with early startups and large organizations to handle all their tech needs.
  • Joshua went door to door to small businesses in summer selling website design.
    • At time websites were thought of as accessory, not necessity.
    • He was motivated by business & journey, experiences, family/friends.
  • When hiring in a startup, use the NBA draft analagy - pick the most talented people who can perform multiple jobs.
  • Think long term and be very patient.
  • Post a new piece of content every day - podcast, social media, blog posts.
    • Use social media marketing and paid advertising to promote.
  • Too many people are short term focused but it takes a long time to be successful.
  • Never be satisfied with what you've achieved.
  • Ask how can we make the biggest impact possible by helping the most people?
  • Build compound interest on the work you do.
  • Dont be a freelancer, be an entrepreneur.
    • Hire someone to work on accounts.
    • Work on your business not in your business.
  • Outsource your weaknesses.

Resources Mentioned

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Jun 24, 2016

Edward Fry advises enterprises on ways to streamline their software development to drive business results.  He has been working with IT for over 20 years and has been passionate about technology all his life.  Edward lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, Linda, and 3 children.

Edward was a past guest on Hello Tech Pros episode 16 - Applying Kanban to Your Inbox and Calendar — Productivity Tuesday

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/edward-fry-people/

Key Takeaways

  • Gartner found that in most business challenges 60% involved people, 20% process and 20% technology.
  • Communication recipients are always thinking WIIFM - "What's In It For Me?"
    • "How can I improve my performance review this month or enhance my credibility?"
    • "Is this going to require a lot of extra effort from me?"
    • When trying to get buy-in, look at the motivations of the individuals.
  • Part of a change management or buy-in process is getting excitement.
  • Organizations need to work to convey that they care about the employees opinions.
  • Most people are good at heart and wat to help you succeed and will help when they can.
  • People pick up very quickly if you're not genuine.
  • Body language speaks more than the content of your message.
    • Hands, arms, feet, posture, vocal intonation.
    • If your message and body language are out of synch, it's like if musicians play out of tune.
    • Try not to control your emotions and body language, let a little emotion come out.
  • Empathic listening is key to good communication, not just listening to words, but being an active participant.
    • Give your complete attention.
    • Give feedback when the other person pauses.
    • Also called "verbal reflection."
  • 93% of what we understand is non-verbal, only 7% of total message payload is the words.
    • People can seem very terse in email.
    • A reader may appreciate the shortness of an email or may think writer was a jerk. You just don't know until they give feedback.
    • Think about including emotional cues in message - smiley faces, animated gifs and "thanks so much!"
  • Read your own messages before you send them with the mindset of your audience.
  • When in doubt, pull it out.
  • Have face-to-face conversations as much as possible. Get out of email and go to lunch or visit a coworker at their desk.

Resources Mentioned

Jun 23, 2016

This founder's company is providing the backend services to power your next Uber-like idea. Indemand let's you build an on-demand business in minutes.

Originally from Nottingham, England, Alex Saidani is an entrepreneur and self taught developer since the age of 13. Alex has helped change the world by giving communities in Africa access to clean water with GiveMeTap a YCombinator company, founded Hashtrack a social media analytics company, chosen to represent Britain as one of the top innovators and is now disrupting the on-demand economy with Indemand, a 500 Startups company. Alex did all this before the age of 22.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/alex-saidani-technology/

Key Takeaways

  • Many software developers get started from tinkering instead of through computer science courses.
  • Alex's first app got rejected from the app store because it was a web-hybrid app that should have just been a web application.
  • Song of the Day app was the first app approved.
  • Alex packaged his physics notes for high school in an app, charged £1.49.
  • Indemand is like Shopify for on-demand apps. Instead of building an e-commerce system you can set up a system like Uber on Indemand to manage the products and services, customers can make orders and drivers can accept jobs.
  • Thanks to Uber a lot of people's expectations have changed. Everyone wants to place an order, track it, rate it and get it within the hour.
  • The technology at the heart of Indemand is websockets, Google Maps, Twilio using Angular 2.
  • In the future, Indemand  API will allow people to customize the ordering system. Available before the end of 2016.
  • To get your startup productive quickly, use technology with which you already have experience.

Resources Mentioned

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Jun 22, 2016

This is part three in a three part series, focused on the 3 business-focused attributes that build a connection and value to the business.

Part 1: Getting Personal
Part 2: Teamwork

Download the Performance Feedback Cheatsheet

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/performance-feedback-business-leadership/

Key Takeaways

  • The Personal-Centric Attributes are Integrity, Energy, Accountability.
  • Integrity is the basis for trust.
  • Passion is about connecting with your customer's needs and providing products and services that meet those needs.
  • Focus is all about prioritization and working on the tasks that will help achieve business objectives.
  • Precision means consistently delivering results with the expected quality of your job role, seniority and experience.

Resources Mentioned

Sponsors

  • Transource Media - Podcast audio editing services. These are the guys I use for every episode of Hello Tech Pros.
  • HelloTechBook.com - Free audio book and a 30-day trial to Audible.
Jun 21, 2016

Stacey Ackerman recently implemented a scrum process in her household and her kids have bought in and help clean the house with minimal supervision.

Stacey Ackerman is the Scrum Mom, an agile coach, writer, speaker, entrepreneur, wife and mom of three humans and four cats. She does it all by using Scrum as her personal and professional framework. She believes there is a better way to work (and parent) and discusses both on her site at scrummom.com.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/stacey-ackerman-productivity/

Key Takeaways

  • The values of Scrum is more important than the implementation.
  • In a retrospective, ask everyone about their cabbages and roses. That is, the things they didn't like and the things they did like about their day.
  • Provide incentives that the team can buy into.
  • Write down jobs that need to get done and allow the team (or kids) to pick from them.
  • Allow the team to trade tasks so they don't get bored and feel pigeon-holed.
  • 30-minute time-boxing daily gets a group making daily progress at the same time.
  • Visual people want to see a board and lists.
  • Stacey's process for implementing scrum at home:
    • 1. Put on a timer for 30 minutes every day.
    • 2. Sprint planning - 10 minuntes, postit notes & markers.
      • Have the kids talk about all the things we need to get done.
      • Let them write it, empowerment
    • 3. Each child has a swim-lane on the on whiteboard.
    • 4. Assign point values.
    • 5. Hold a retrospective.
      • What did you think of this? What worked, what didn't work?

 

Resources Mentioned

 

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Jun 20, 2016

After a medical emergency as an infant left him with cerebral palsy, Jason Freeman hated his voice until he realized that it is our uniqueness that makes us stand out.

Jason Freeman resides in San Diego where he is a public speaker and a Bravery Coach. Jason coaches his clients to express themselves with confidence, clarity and ease. Jason has a very unique voice, which we will let him explain for himself.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/jason-freeman-motivation/

Key Takeaways

  • Sometimes when we get up to speak we get tongue-tied because we are nervous.
  • There are methods to navigate the nervousness and stress issues.
    • We can either deal with the nerves in a way that propel us forward or we can deal with it by shutting down.
  • Jason knew there was someting more for himself but was not taking any steps towards it
    • He was doing the best job he could but then going home and saying "I want more".
    • Then he would think "Oh no, that's too much work, I would fail."
    • His self-esteem told him to just stay with familiar stay with what you know, take what you can get.
  • Imposter Syndrome plagues many of us.
    • We don't believe we deserve anything more than we already have.
    • We don't believe that we are good enough to
  • If we aren't trying new things, we are a slave to the predictable.
  • Realizing that learning something even if the results don't turn out the way we expected is empowering.
  • Jason took yoga, which was a small step in gaining confidence and creating motivation and inertia.
  • The things that we hate about ourselves that we wish we could change, those are the unique aspects about us that make us stand out.
    • In business we are told to create uniqueness to differentiate ourselves.
    • When it comes to personal looks and habits we want to be perfect and fit in to the group.
  • Acknowlege the thought of limitation.
    • Example: Jason thought he wouldn't be taken seriously due to speech pattern
    • Acknowledge the thought and let it be. Don't argue with the thought or be mad at it or you'll be in war with your own thoughts.
  • What if people are drawn to us in posititive ways because of the very attributes that we are ashamed of?
  • Find the smallest next step instead of worrying about all the overwhelming things.
    • Go towards something challenging and exciting but not overwhelming.
    • If that step feels completely miserable then it will be frustrating. If the next small step is a little bit scary but somewhat fun, it's probably in the right direction.
    • Take the step.
    • If the step fails in your assessment, try a different step. Keep going until you find a step that is challenging that you enjoy that leads to more steps.
    • Momentum will carry you where you want to go.
  • Dreams are so powerful and bring so much joy. Go for your life, step by step.

  

Resources Mentioned

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Jun 19, 2016

This is a special episode to honor the victims of the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

If you want to help, please make a donation to OneOrlando Fund.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/orlando-united-unplugged/

Key Takeaways

  • On Sunday, June 12, 2016, a domestic terrorist killed 49 people and injured over 50 more at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
  • On Wednesday, April 19, 1995, a domestic terrorist killed 168 people and injured over 600 more by detonating a bomb near the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
    • 19 children were included in the fatalities.
  • On Monday, May 3, 1999, an F5 tornado with winds at 301 miles per hour killed 36 people and injured hundreds more in Bridge Creek, Moore, Oklahoma City, Del City and Midwest City, Oklahoma.
  • On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, a terrorist attack claimed the lives of 2,996 people.
  • On Monday, May 20, 2013 an EF5 tornado killed 24 people and injured hundreds of others in Moore, Oklahoma.
    • Briarwood Elementary School and Plaza Towers Elementary school were both destroyed. Seven children were killed at Plaza Towers.
  • Life is too short.
  • Horrible things happen to good people.
  • Love each other. Hug each other. Have respect and dignity for one another. Open a door for a stranger. Smile as often as you can. Build and nurture personal relationships with diverse people. Don't ever take any of it for granted.

Resources Mentioned

Jun 18, 2016

Besides a full-time technical staffer, Lauren Rutledge runs multiple online businesses.

Lauren Rutledge is a hungry, career minded professional that is motivated to grow herself & her team. Staffing technology professionals has become a passion of hers and she appreciates the opportunity to work with some really great people everyday!

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/lauren-rutledge-entrepreneurship/

Key Takeaways

  • Entrepreneurs don't get much sleep, but they get excited about solving people's problems and staying active.
  • If your product or service was available elsewhere, would you buy theirs instead of building your own?
  • Entrepreneurs are makers. They are doers.
  • Time management is critical to get all the things done.
  • Instagram-based boutique stores are popular.
    • Customers ask questions and place orders via comments on a product picture.
  • Don't wait to see if it's going to work, jump in!
  • You have to nail your audience and nail your brand.
  • Be a consumate learner and hustler.
  • Always keep evolving.

Resources Mentioned

Sponsors

Jun 17, 2016

Mike Crandall is a Speaker, Consultant, Coach and Trainer focused on Proactive Business Growth. He is brought in by Business Owners and Executives to work on the Behaviors, Attitudes, Techniques, and Guts needed to be more Successful in Business Improvement, Sales Growth, and Employee Development. His firm specializes in helping identify the Blind Spots and Obstacles that are holding you back and then implementing Systems, Behaviors, and Guts to become more Successful. Clients ultimately develop new Habits that lead to Proactive Growth Professionally and Personally.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/mike-crandall-people/

Key Takeaways

  • You only have to be gutsy 5 seconds at a time.
    • You can almost ask any question or make any statement in 5 seconds or less.
    • If you can get better at that, it will add up to big growth for an individual or business.
  • The best thing about personal development is personal/life growth - relationships with family and friends outside of work.
  • All growth and development is a 5 step process (AKASH)
    • Awareness. Understanding what we are and are doing.
    • Knowledge. Reading, listening. Information intake. Most of us stop at this level.
    • Application. The first time we try something new, it usually doesn't work very well.
    • Skill development. Do it often and learn.
    • Habit development. Do it until you don't have to think about it.
  • We can't change everything on a seminar or workshop. We invest a couple of hours but don't get to Application, Skill and Habit.
  • Starting point is Awareness.
    • Have you heard "I am a great listener" from someone who then talks for 20 minutes?
    • We have things we don't even realize we do or don't do.
    • We naturally tend to be defensive about things others point out about ourselves.
    • It's easier to find faults and flaw in others rather than self.
    • Most people are terrible at telling truth about themselves.
  • Doctors use tests to identify the medical problem (CAT scans, X-rays). We need a process to identify our strengths, gaps and barriers to close the gaps. Sandler Training helps with this process.
  • Tech professionals moving into consulting / startup need to shift their mindset from technical skills to entrepreneurship and sales.
    • You can be successful, but it should be worth the changes you have to make in yourself.
    • There are different internal competencies in entrepreneurs than technical professionals.
    • You can outsource accounting, marketing, etc.
    • You can NOT outsource selling yourself and what you do.
  • The #1 reason why businesses fail is money and money is driven by sales.
  • If you want to get better on something, focus on AKASH and study psychology.

Resources Mentioned

Sponsors

Jun 16, 2016

Do we control the technology in our lives or does the technology in our lives control us?

Pamela Pavliscak is a design researcher who studies our conflicted relationship with technology. She is founder of Change Sciences, a research think tank focused on humanizing technology for Chase, NBC Universal, Virgin, and many others. Pamela is writing a book coming out later this year called, Designing for Happiness, and has spoken at SXSW, Google Creative Labs, the Future of Design, and Collision.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/pamela-pavliscak-technology/

Key Takeaways

  • What makes people feel happy or miserable about technology?
  • We have been through many waves of technology in the last 100 years.
    • Mainframe computers and home automation / home devices (refrigerators & washing machines).
    • Personal computers and early access to internet.
    • Smartphones and high-bandwidth.
    • Wearables and embeddables.
  • People are fascinated with smartphone and get emotionally attached to them.
  • We know how phones are making us miserable, but how does it impact happiness?
    • They allow us to be creative.
    • They allow us to create and foster relationships.
  • When we design technology for one purpose, how much control do we have over how people actually use it?
  • What do we value in technology?
  • When we move from smartphone to embedded tech, we can't as easily "detox" or unplug.
  • People working in tech are generally optimists.
  • Data collection and privacy is a huge issue.
  • We have symbiotic relationship with technology and need to be conscious on how we use it and how it affects us.

Resources Mentioned

Sponsors

Jun 15, 2016

This is part two in a three part series, focused on the 3 team-centric attributes that help get you on more critical projects, have more input on the process and increase demand for your work.

Part One: Personal-Centric Attributes

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/performance-feedback-team-leadership/

Key Takeaways

  • Hello Tech Pros new mission is to help you Build Your Career, Build your Product and Build Your Business.
  • It's critical to assess your personal or your team's performance at least once or twice a year.
    • Determine where we are vs where we want to be and use as a catalyst for growth.
    • The assessments are context sensitive. The attributes are the same for everyone, but how we measure them depends on the individual's experience level, their role and the expectations for them.
  • Personal-centric attributes are 100% in your control.
    • Integrity is the basis for trust.
    • Energy levels are infectious, so it's important to squash negativity and foster confidence and motivation.
    • Accountability means being responsible, showing blamelessness and taking ownership of situations.
  • Team-centric attributes reflect how you interact with other people.
    • It's more than just "play nicely with others".
    • If you do these right, you will be put on more critical projects, allow you to have a voice at the table and increase the demand on your work because people will want to work with you.
    • Doing these wrong will keep you out of the loop, put you on low-priority work and lead to a dead-end career.
  • Teamwork is commonly stated but uncommonly practiced.
    • Help out others outside of assigned responsibilities.
    • Ask others what their pain points are and try to solve them.
    • How does your work impact others upstream or downstream?
    • Examples:
  • Communication breakdowns are one of the most common reported issues in individuals and team.
  • Adaptability is critical because we don't have complete control over most of the changes that impact us at work.
    • The only consistency is that everything changes all the time.
    • We need to be learning and applying new skills to keep up with the market and competition.
    • Business priorities are always shifting, so we need to help the company adapt.
    • Examples:

Resources Mentioned

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Jun 14, 2016

The best car mechanics are the ones who will take the time to do a thorough inspection and find the root cause before you rack up a huge bill in parts and labor. Ryan Ayres uses the same philosophy when inspecting his clients' business problems. The root problem is usually a process or personnel issue that needs to be addressed, not an expensive new tool to implement.

Ryan Ayres is a business coach and consultant that has the privilege of working with companies of all sizes from Microsoft, Sports Illustrated and Time Inc. to hundreds of small businesses in the last 20 years. His business, Focus 53, is focused on Business Operations and helping business owners identify and solve opportunities and roadblocks with the people and processes in their company.  Ryan is also the host of the Focus 53 podcast.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/ryan-ayres-productivity/

Key Takeaways

  • Treat business problems like a scientist - don't treat the symptoms, inspect for the root cause
  • 9 times out of 10, the problem is with the people and processes, not the tools
  • Make sure everyone (yourself included) are aligned on the core values and has a clear view of the vision
  • To determine what you're really good at, ask your co-workers for feedback and give them permission to be brutally honest
  • Acknowledge your own values and define your own mission statement, then align work accordingly
  • Work on improving your best skills into 9's and 10's
  • Many people know they can be doing better, but don't know the areas they should be focusing on
  • Three business issues
    • Lack of core processes means you are always putting out fires, always being reactive
    • Poor time management leads to lack of results
    • Not using financials to measure business productivity
  • Split a big problem in half and half again until you get to the root cause
  • Ask direct, specific questions
  • You can work on improving your golf swing forever and you can work on improving your business forever
  • Identify the right things to focus on, and spend your time there

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Jun 13, 2016

This construction worker, $38k in debt, decided to spend an extra $300 to ensure he got to a video game conference. The experience changed his life.

Dave Voyles is a construction worker turned Technical Evangelist at Microsoft and it based out of Philadelphia, PA. His role has him working with students and startups across the country to help get their projects off the ground. His work frequently has him working with game consoles, web development, and high performance mobile applications.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/dave-voyles-motivation/

Key Takeaways

  • Sometimes you have to take a job, ANY job, to pay the bills
  • If you are getting deeper in debt, evaluate the situation and look for alternatives
  • Facebook (AKA: "Fakebook") shows the highlight reel of friends and family, only their best moments
  • You have to invest in yourself, even if you are already in debt
  • A missed opportunity is gone forever, but if you take it, it may change your life
  • Keep an optimistic mindset on everything you do
  • When getting into a new industry, take a pen and paper and listen more than you talk
  • Business cards are not dead - they are critical for networking
  • Create a simple website to start marketing yourself
  • Network and learn - talk to as many people as possible
  • Find out what you are passionate about and figure out how you can make money at it
    • Look at other people in the industry - how do they get paid?
  • People do care what you think - put your thoughts out in the universe
  • Indecision IS a decision, but ANY OTHER decision is better
  • Make something, anything and get started today

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Jun 12, 2016

Draw a line between work and life, advises entrepreneur Veronica Kirin. When you're starting a business you need to be intentional about planning down time, so you don't find yourself becoming a workaholic.

Veronica Kirin is an anthropologist turned serial entrepreneur.  She loves working closely with clients to help them reach their goals.  Her first business, Green Cup Design, began as a freelance web design venture and has grown into digital maintenance for small businesses.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/veronica-kirin-unplugged/

Key Takeaways

  • A college degree leads to opportunities, but many opportunities outside of that degree may open up as well.
  • Entrepreneurs have a lot of pride in what they do and have a hard time letting go and letting others help.
  • Are you a workaholic?
  • Draw a line between your work and your life.
    • Set a hard-stop time for yourself.
    • Don't work during your days off.
    • Set a slower pace in the morning during your days off.
    • Try not to get into "checklist mode" during down times.
  • Set personal goals for yourself, not just for your business.
  • Focus on self-care.
  • Create a process to transition into work-mode in the morning and back into unplugged mode in the evening.
  • Make an effort to invest in personal relationships.
    • Schedule recurring plans with friends.
    • Make travel plans.
  • Give yourself an "alternate schedule" with extra long weekends every now and then.
  • When you are in the break-neck startup phase, set an intentional plan to step back and take time off so that you don't create a workaholic habit.

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Jun 11, 2016

Everyone wants to be a rockstar, in life and in business, right? Nicole Holland believes that everyone is a rockstar in their own right, they just need to find their hit song and get discovered. She's been involved in entrepreneurship and coaching since a young age, but when she got serious about it, she rocked it!

Host of iTunes’ New & Noteworthy podcast, The Business Building Rockstars Show, Nicole Holland loves helping entrepreneurs build profitable online businesses that excite & inspire them through her private & group mentoring & coaching programs. Nicole believes there’s no “right” way to do anything unless it feels good to you.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/nicole-holland-entrepreneurship/

Key Takeaways

  • Everyone wants to be a rockstar
  • Everyone IS a rockstar in their own way
  • We all deal with the same emotions: fear, love, disappointment, joy
  • Everyone who has success today came from a starting point and grew
  • How we define success needs to change - it's not just about money
  • Entrepreneurship is state of mind - it's not about the business it's about the process
  • Entrepreneur mindset is more fluid, can follow one path but can shift gears and go down different path
  • There is value in getting clear on a niche, but have to be inspired
  • Things work out, you just have to be ready for the opportunities
  • If they are not a good fit, fire your clients
  • Be authentic, be yourself
  • Approach people out of a mindset of service

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Jun 10, 2016

How do we come up with a new idea? Gert Garman facilitates brainstorming sessions and uses innovation processes to bring new ideas to light.

“Gert” Garman is the owner of Broad Perspective, LLC.  Previously, she was the Director of the Collaborative Design Center at Valencia College.  Prior to that, she was a Creativity and Innovation Catalyst for Disney Destinations, where she facilitated brainstorming sessions and trained fellow Cast Members in Disney’s Innovation Toy Box for the Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide.  Gert has a long history of creating immersive experiences and breakthrough thinking results through her work with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and as an Assistant Athletics Director for the University of Central Florida Knights. She is certified as a facilitator in the Creative Problem Solving (CPS), Think X, Four Sight and Five Faces of Genius processes.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/gert-garman-people/

Key Takeaways

  • Innovation is a process - trust the process and trust the facilitator
  • It takes the right people to make an innovation session productive
  • The best ideas come from different levels of an organization or outside views - don't just bring in leadership
  • Ego and status quo can get in the way of innovation
  • Build a Human Library - bring in "naïve experts" and get their perspectives
  • Don't judge people or their ideas - create an environment of trust
  • Break groups of people up out of their comfortable units (friends) and put them with strangers
  • Sit people in circles to create eye contact and conversation
  • Set up brainstorming sessions online to generate ideas across the organization
  • If an idea has merit and a lot of conversation around it, then put a group together to discuss face-to-face
  • Name all the stakeholders and get their input on paper
  • Watch for themes to come up and group ideas together
  • Make sure you're working on the right problem
    • Not trying to solve something too big that is unattainable
    • Not so specific it is really just an actionable list of tasks
  • Give people permissions to be creative and to have "dumb" ideas
  • Determine what success looks like, then back into it through planning
  • We have Rivers of Thinking and they are wide and deep due to our experience
    • We must learn how to jump into new rivers
  • Practice "freshness" - go for a walk, listen to different music, try new things
  • To accomplish something new, we must do things differently

Resources Mentioned

Jun 9, 2016

Radoslav Stankov has been doing software development since 2002, starting as PHP programer, but quickly moved around the tech stack. Rodoslav considers himself to be a full stack developer. Currently he's working at ProductHunt, where he does iOS development in Objective-C / Swift, backend in Node and Rails and frontend in React / Redux. He believes that frontend and backend are equally important and a lot of problems can be avoided by working in collaboration.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/radoslav-stankov-technology/

Key Takeaways

  • ProductHunt started as small mail list, hottest thing in tech today.
    • Place to discover your next favorite thing - podcast, text, books.
  • Not a single person knows everything, ask for help if you don't know, there is no shame, but there is shame in not having respect for others.
  • Estimating projects can be off by far if you don't understand the other tech stacks.
  • Strive to be equal partners with clients, they can explain why something not needed or need to be added, have weekly goals.
  • Everything that can be automated should be automated, just focus on what the code should be doing.
  • graphQL from Facebook is alternative to REST services + JSON and every client gets the same response
  • graphQL you pass in a template and get back the data you want
    • mobile app and chrome extensions use public API; website uses private API where things change contantly
    • defined like a database schema
  • People should not label themselves as a frontend or backend developer, they should be someone who solves problems on a team.

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Jun 8, 2016

This is part one in a three part series, focused on the 3 personal attributes that help build trust, respect and likability in the workplace.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/performance-feedback-personal-leadership/

Key Takeaways

  • Hello Tech Pros new mission is to help you Build Your Career, Build your Product and Build Your Business.
  • It's critical to assess your personal or your team's performance at least once or twice a year.
    • Determine where we are vs where we want to be and use as a catalyst for growth.
    • The assessments are context sensitive. The attributes are the same for everyone, but how we measure them depends on the individual's experience level, their role and the expectations for them.
  • Technical Performance are KPIs that can be defined and measured very concretely such as # of bugs, uptime of servers, # of units sold, etc.
  • Non-Technical Performance attributes are more difficult to understand, evaluate and communicate.
    • "He's a great guy with a good work ethic but has kind of low energy."
    • "She's definitely a team player but needs to work on her communication skills."
    • "They just aren't showing the passion we're looking for."
  • The non-technical performance attributes have the biggest impact on your career.
    • It's not just about the quality of product you build or service you deliver, it's about whether or not you're trusted, how well you work in group settings and how in-touch you are with the business.
  • The Personal-Centric Attributes are Integrity, Energy, Accountability.
    • You have complete control and ownership of the personal-centric attributes.
    • Displaying good behaviors will help us build respect, trust and likability.
    • Displaying negative behaviors will erode trust and may cause you to get on a PIP (personal improvement plan) or fired.
    • When we assess these attributes we look for consistent behaviors or patterns, not just one-off instances (everyone has a bad day).
  • Integrity is the basis for trust.
    • Without trust, you have to work 10x-100x harder just to keep up (and you career will be filled with drama).
    • Integrity is not a boolean, it's not black and white, there are different aspects.
    • Examples:
      • Expense Reports
      • Estimates to Actuals
      • Following through on commitments
      • Keeping confidences
  • Energy could mean mental, emotional or physical energy.
    • When assessing personal performance, we usually assess mental and emotional energy.
    • It's about the attitude, initiative, persistence, resilience and confidence in the individual.
    • We want to see a can-do attitudes (Tigger) not hum-hum-woe-is-me attitudes (Eeyore)
    • Energy levels are infectious, so it's important to squash negativity and foster confidence and motivation.
    • Examples:
  • Accountability means being responsible, showing blamelessness and taking ownership of situations.
    • We need to follow through and not drop the ball.
    • If we do drop the ball we need to own up to our mistakes and work to solve them.
    • Communicate status early and often.
    • Don't play the blame game.
    • Examples:

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Jun 7, 2016

Eric Stroh is an experienced software developer and sports enthusiast. After teaching computer science for 15 years he joined the ranks of iOS developers at CapTech Consulting, building mobile apps for large financial institutions. When not mastering iOS Autolayout, Eric enjoys time on the lake and playing tennis.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/eric-stroh-productivity/

Key Takeaways

  • AP Computer Science classes in high school were more procedural when they taught C and Pascal, but moved into object-oriented programming during a transition to Java and C++.
  • Working on bug fixes are a great way to teach someone about a legacy system.
  • We need more computer science classes in middle and high school.
  • When the team is co-located in an office, you can have ad-hoc face-to-face meetings with analysts and QA.
  • Working remotely, it's more difficult to communicate with the other team members because you can't just walk down the hall and say hi.
  • Messenger, video conferencing and phone calls are critical for remote workers.
  • To be productive from home, you must be extremely diligent and self-motivated.
  • Use your home office only for work. Don't use the same room for entertainment, hobbies, etc. This will help keep you in the "work mode" mindset.
  • Having kids in the house will increase the distraction level. Schedule work activities during quiet periods and prepare for interruptions when they are around.
  • Being busy staves off boredom and "what should I do now?" time.
  • A work schedule that allows some days in the office and some days at home may be the best of both worlds for some roles.
  • Noise-canceling headphones can help in most environments.
  • Developers want to get in the zone and and lose track of time. You need enough work and a lack of distractions.
  • Keep social apps off the computer or closed throughout the day to help keep you focused. Context switching is bad.
  • Use a "Do Not Disturb" status on your messaging apps when you need quiet time.

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Jun 6, 2016

As a kid, JR didn't have running water and realized his family was struggling. Due to his work ethic and mentors, he's built and sold 3 businesses and working on his 4th.

JR Rivas is young entrepreneur with a love to inspire people. At just 21 years old JR has already grown and sold 3 businesses. He has now begun his next mission. Inspiring people to stop acting on fear and start acting on the drive that their internal compass is pulling them to. JR is a podcast coach and the host of the Rags to Niches podcast.

Show notes at http://hellotechpros.com/jr-rivas-motivation/

Key Takeaways

  • Your future doesn't have to match your past
  • Society can tell you that you're too young or too old to build a business, don't listen
  • Don't give yourself excuses for not pursuing your dreams
  • When you are inspired to follow your dreams, you inspire others to follow theirs
  • Podcasting is a hot commodity right now
  • You can get into podcasting for less than $300 and be successful
  • "Knowing you're going to die is the best way to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose." - by Steve Jobs

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About Hello Tech Pros

Hello Tech Pros is the daily podcast that interviews business professionals who work with technology to learn how to build your career, build your product and build your business.

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