Job Titles and Responsibilities

Your New Job Title Congrats! You did it! You finally have that new job title you've been working so hard towards! Let's be honest with each other here--you were working hard for the title, not because you just wanted to see your company flourish with all the hard work you were putting in. Of course that wasn't bad or anything, it was just a nice side effect of you getting your new job title. Some great things happened once you received your new job title too! Your responsibilities shifted so now nobody can come after you when your pesky clients are complaining about your sales process, when your code won't compile into your finished product, or when employees are having conflicts in the workplace. You're literally only responsible for the two new tasks that you have attached to your job…

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PROFIT HOT 50 – Weekly Article Dump

PROFIT HOT 50 It's with great honour that I can say the company I'm part of, Magnet Forensics, has achieved the 7th place in the Profit Hot 50 rankings for 2013. Last year Magnet Forensics was also on the list ranked at number 16th, but we've shown ourselves up by moving a full 9 positions! Our ranking in the Profit Hot 50 is even more impressive considering we're the only company from Kitchener-Waterloo region in Ontario--Known for it's incredible startup community and success stories--that made the list. We're excited and tremendously proud of our accomplishments, but it's certainly going to be quite the challenge for us to move up in rank next year. It's a challenge we're all ready to take on though. You can check out the ranking over here or at the official Profit Guide posting. Articles I'll put…

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Burnout – Weekly Article Dump

Burnout The trend in the articles this week is all about burnout. Burnout is a serious issue that can affect a wide variety of people. When an individual becomes so dedicated to something and starts devoting all of their time to accomplish a goal, burnout can set in. This is especially noticeable in startup companies where it's typical to work longer-than normal hours. Of course, there's nothing wrong with loving the work you do and wanting to put in more time! The problem ends up being when all of your waking time is geared toward one thing and everything else (including sleep!) starts to take the back seat. This is where burnout can set in. Articles The Six Deadly Sins of Leadership: Leadership isn't always easy, but there's definitely a few things you should avoid doing as a leader. Jack…

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Failure – Weekly Article Dump

Failure: Should You Fear It? Thanks for checking out this weekly article dump, and sorry it didn't make it out on Friday. I was out visiting family in Alberta and I didn't have enough time to get this post all set up. Better late than never! The theme for this past week seemed to be articles about failure. Not all of them, of course, but a lot of authors are writing about what it means to fail and why that's not always such a bad thing. Do we need to avoid all failures in order to be successful? Articles Stepping Away, So Others Can Step Up: In this article, Jonathan Bush discusses something that's often hard for leaders to do... Step away. It's difficult for many people to disconnect and have trust in their team to get things done. Trust should…

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Events: Demystifying Common Memory Leaks

Background If you've poked through my previous postings, you'll probably notice that I love using events when I program. If I can find a reason to use an event, I probably will. I think they're a great tool that can really help you with designing your architectures, but there are certainly some common problems people run into when they use events. The one I want to address today has to do with memory leaks. That's right. I said it. Memory leaks in your .NET application. Just because it's a managed language doesn't mean your code can't be leaking memory! And now that I've got your attention, let's see how events might be causing some leakage in your application. (There is source that you can download and run. Check the summary section at the end!) Instance-Scope Event Handlers One of the…

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API: Don’t Forget About The Non-Public API!

Background From an object oriented programming perspective, an application programming interface (API) is often referred to as the way other developers can interact with the public members of your class(es) and interface(s). Of course, API can be used to describe how one interacts with a web service (or other types of services), but for this discussion I'm limiting the scope to that of interfaces and classes. Limiting the definition of API to public members (or the equivalent of C#'s "public" in other languages) is omitting one huge part of what it encompasses. The purpose of this post is to clarify, in my opinion, why I think forgetting about the non-public API can lead to bad framework and API designs. API And The Audience I've written before about what I think makes a good API, and I had some comments on Code…

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Weekly Article Dump

Here's the collection of articles I've shared on social media outlets over the past week: Why Innovation Is So Hard: A few good points on why innovating sometimes feels like it's a difficult thing to do and what you can do to improve! Present Slides, Distribute Documents: Do your meetings sometimes feel like someone is just reading you a slide show? You can read a slide show yourself, can't you? Why not distribute the slide show ahead of time?! How to Evaluate Personal Characteristics When Hiring: Being a good fit is incredibly important when hiring someone. How can you improve gauging how good of a fit someone will be with your work culture? This article gives you a few strategies. Look Out! When the Visible Becomes Invisible: Invisible work "clutter" can be holding your efficiency back at work. Check out…

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It’s Our Code

Background I’m sure what I’m about to talk about here doesn’t just relate to programming–it relates to any team-based project where everyone works on a small portion of the big picture. My experiences are primarily geared toward writing code in teams, so try to find parallels in your own work/experiences if you’re not a programmer. Anyway, enough of that. When someone puts a lot of effort into something, they’ll often take great pride in the finished product. Of course, it’s great that they do! They’ve slaved away at something at work for days, weeks, or months, and it’s finally working/implemented. Other people are using it and it’s doing its job as expected. Awesome! What kinds of things could possibly go sour here? If you have experience working in teams to complete a project, you might have some ideas. Ownership You…

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Cookie Cutters For Projects

Background When you're starting work on a new project or organizing a team to accomplish a goal, there's often a foundation that needs to be established: How is your team structured? What software should we use to help us? How do we set goals? How do we measure our progress ... the list goes on. It's a common challenge that's met by anyone organizing a team or setting off to work on something. So do you copy what worked for someone else by using a cookie cutter approach, or do you wing it and see what happens? My approach when faced with two extremes is usually to aim somewhere in the middle.   Cookie Cutters Being a copy-cat and using cookie cutters has some benefits. If something worked for some all-star teams at big successful companies, then why re-invent the…

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Listen First: The Human Sounding Board

Background In the company I work at, Magnet Forensics, I've gotten myself into a leadership role. I wasn't hired for this position (I'm a programmer at heart) but I've managed to stumble my way into it! As a young leader, I think one thing is really obvious for me in my daily leadership tasks: I don't have all of the answers. Hell, I don't even have a lot of the answers! So what keeps me from being entirely useless as a leader then? I know who has the answers. My team. The most important leadership lesson that I've learned (and I'm glad I learned it early) is to listen. The benefits to listening, and I mean actually listening, can be beneficial to the person asking as well as yourself as the leader. How Can Listening Help Me? Let's be honest…

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