A large portion of Nick Cosentino’s career has been focused on the engineering culture of startups, actively writing code in startup environments, and managing teams.

Burn Out – An Alternate Perspective

Disclaimer I wanted to write this post to share my honest and personal experiences with burn out in the software and startup scene. I'm hoping that my experiences with getting to a stage of burn out can help someone identify if they're going through the same thing. Hopefully someone will be able to take preventative actions before things get too serious, like I've been able to do. I'd also like to point out that I absolutely love my job (you'll be reminded of that in my post) so my experience might be biased in some ways because of that. If I didn't love what I do, I'd be finding another job where I did. What is Burn Out? In my earlier days at the company I work for, I remember my HR manager talking to me about burning out. It's…

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There’s Nothing Wrong With Failing

Failure to Communicate So this post will be pretty short, but I wanted to quickly touch on a workplace experience that happened the other day. I was approached by a colleague (who's perspective I really value) about the way some of us on the team were discussing a series of events. This individual was really concerned that we kept calling it a failure, and in this person's mind, we hadn't truly failed at anything. We had done an experiment in terms of tackling a development problem and the team had reached a critical mass where we declared "enough is enough, this is a failure". I became concerned because I wanted to make sure this person and I were on the same page. I couldn't totally wrap my ahead around why this person was so concerned about calling it a failure.…

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Hack The North

Hack The North... What The Hack Is That? Hack The North is Canada's largest international hackathon. It's big. It's bad. It's awesome. Okay, but what does that even mean? The idea is that 1000 people get together from all over the world in an event where they're given 36 hours to create amazing technology hacks. There's a lack of sleep but no lack of amazing ideas and hacked together proof of concepts that show incredible innovation. Sponsors are present to hand out prizes for best usage of their product or API to competitors as well as mentor them and provide help with problem solving. This year, Hack The North was hosted at The University of Waterloo. Bro, Do You Even Hack?! This was my first time ever at a hackathon. I've participated in the Ontario Engineering Competition¬†(OEC) which is much…

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Happy St. Patty’s Day – Weekly Article Dump

Happy St. Patty's Day! I hope everyone who was celebrating St. Patrick's Day was able to not only have fun but stay safe doing so. Of course, when there is drinking associated with a holiday it can be easy to get carried away. It's always a great idea to have driving arrangements or the option to sleep at a friend's place set up before you head out to celebrate. This year I was able to celebrate with a handful of my university friends that I don't get to see as often as I'd like. I haven't been drinking much at all now for nearly half a year, so I stuck to my one Irish coffee to meet my liquor allowance. We all had a blast discussing where our lives have taken us so far, and it's great to see everyone…

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Snow Tubing with Team Magnet – Weekly Article Dump

Snow Tubing First off... If you haven't ever gone snow tubing, get off your computer and get to your nearest snow tubing park. Now that you're back from that, we're all on the same page. Friday was another one of Magnet Forensics' staff events and we were fortunate enough to go tubing at Chicopee Tube Park. I hadn't been snow tubing before--only water tubing--and I haven't even been on a ski hill or anything for years. To be honest, snow tubing to me seemed like a bit of a glorified crazy-carpet experience which would be fun, but get boring after a couple of runs. I'll be the first to admit I was dead wrong. Snow tubing was probably the most awesome way for the entire Magnet family to cut loose this quarter. Most people either love or hate the snow,…

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Recognition: One of Team Magnet’s Masterminds

Background At Magnet Forensics, I lead an awesome team of people with the mission of creating forensics software to help investigators around the world solve crimes. We're stacked with incredible people--and not only on the team I'm on, but company-wide. We do a great job of recognizing our achievements as an organization and as a team, but also on an individual level. If someone has gone above and beyond, we don't keep that a secret. I've been trying to make more of a conscious effort to recognize the people I work with, especially in ways that are unique to my own style. I think recognizing people in person is important, but you also need to consider your setting. Sometimes recognition in a public forum isn't actually appreciated or isn't nearly as effective as appreciating in a one-on-one setting. I find…

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Swamped But Ready To Push Forward

Mini Update Just thought I'd get a quick one out there to say I'm still here. To be honest, I haven't kept up to speed with my weekly updates or even sharing articles on social media like I try to do on a regular basis. But that's just how life has been the past few weeks, and there's no sense beating myself up over it. Time to acknowledge it, and time to push forward. Work has kept me swamped with things to do. I've been busier than normal the past few weeks and it's largely due to things going on at work. But I'm not complaining. I actually prefer times at work when I feel nearly overwhelmed. The added pressure (whether artificially inflated by my own doing or not) really helps me buckle down and become productive. It's a great…

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Be a Better Programmer – Weekly Article Dump

Be a Better Programmer It's a new year and that means it's all about resolutions, right? Well, I'm not a huge fan of keeping around a resolution that needs to wait for a new year, but I am a fan of reflecting on your goals and your skills. If you're a programmer like me, then maybe this will be a great starting point. In my weekly article dumps I usually would just provide a couple of comments on a link like this, but I felt I should dive in a little bit more. You can find the original article by Amy Jollymore over here. Please have a look! I shared it with the whole dev team at Magnet Forensics because I felt there was a little bit of something for everyone. Number one on this list, and perhaps the one…

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Charity Water – Weekly Article Dump

Charity Water We have a lot of pretty awesome people at Magnet Forensics, and every day I'm reminded just how awesome. A colleague of mine, Danielle Braun, had what I thought was an incredible idea for her birthday. For Danielle's birthday, she's not asking for more new clothes, for her parents to get her a car, for help with paying off tuition, or for some new fancy tech gadgets. But she's not asking for nothing. Danielle is asking for your support with Charity: Water this year. Charity: Water is a non-profit organization with the goal of bringing clean water to people in developing nations that don't have access to it. Reading their mission page probably opens your eyes a fair bit about the lack of access to drinking water in other countries. They're not about some complex and elaborate plan…

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Movember Wrap-up – Weekly Article Dump

Movember Wrap-up At the start of December, it's time for a lot of us to shave off our glorious Movember badges from our upper lips. This year, MoMagnets did an absolutely amazing job raising money for Movember. At the time of writing, we're sitting at just under $2400! An incredible effort by Magnet Forensics and all of those that helped with their generous contributions. My 'stache didn't quite get to where I wanted to this year. It was close, but it was another connector-less Movember for me. I was almost able to get some twisting done for some not-so-legitimate connectors. Oh well... Here's what I ended up rocking for most of the month: Matt Chang definitely took the lead for raising the most of all the MoMagnets members at over $700! Mica Sadler is sitting in second at just under…

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