I had the absolute pleasure to attend an hour long session by Sam Lightstone today. Sam has taken a few topics in his book and created a 10 point agenda that provides a few highlights from his best selling book "Making it Big in Software: Get the Job. Work the Org. Become Great.".
Let me share a few of the tips that Sam shared today... but if you get the opportunity to hear Sam yourself, take it! Sam is a very fun speaker to listen to. Also, you won't be disappointed with the book!
1) Dress for Success
What does a successful software developer wear? The same as a CEO? NO! CEOs are typically polished wearing fancy suits. Software developers? Running shoes, jeans, t-shirts... don't believe me? Find a photo of the Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and you'll see that they dress like ROCK STARS!
Senior Software Architects make much more money than junior employees. Check it out on payscale.com. But... what you don't see on sites like this is the other money superstars make. They often get large bonuses and stock options beyond their base salary.
A superstar developer has much freedom in their job in terms of where they want to work and customers they want to visit.
4) Getting Ahead
There was lots of advice about getting a promotion and rising in your field, but the one thing that stood out for me is that you should become the expert in YOUR DOMAIN. Whatever that domain is... become an expert. It doesn't take long, but unfortunately it is rarely done. So, it would be fairly easy to stand above your peers if you just invested a bit of time each month to learn something new about your domain.
5) Pros and Cons of Climbing the Ladder
There are cons to anything you do in life... but the pros of climbing can be worth the cons, if that's what you want to do.
What is more important than inspiration? Would believe that it is following through on your plans? It is! And apparently following through is rare. Surprising!
7) Time Management
Did you know that goofing off can actually be important to your career? Really! Your brain needs a break from time to time, so give in. But make sure you don't abuse this advice!
There are lots of considerations regarding getting promoted.. and the most important is to do something that makes you stand out from your peers. Publish, files patents, join groups, present about your topics, etc. Do what you like to do and what makes you feel appreciated.
9) Social Dynamics
One of the key messages here is DON'T GOSSIP! 9/10 times you gossip, it may not get around... but even 1 out of 10 times could be a career killer! I've worked with Sam for a number of years and let me tell you! He practices what he preaches.
The last hint that I'll give you today is.... you can hear Sam speak. He's been invited as the guest speaker on the DB2 Night Show. There is a 200 person limit to this webinar, so register today to reserve your spot!
PS... find out more about Sam and what makes his clock tick via this interview: http://bit.ly/cDeeJq