Insights on managing your energy and staying grounded from my experiences as Chief Joy Officer at Makers

I love people. I’m a huge fan of exploring what makes us human, working with humans, understanding what makes us tick, building connection, and sharing joy!

As Chief Joy Officer, my role is to oversee and deliver the wellbeing offering at Makers. Whether it’s training our learners and staff in emotional intelligence, one to one coaching, leading yoga or meditation, team meetings, or hosting socials, I‘m always working with people.

Contrary to what many might guess, I’m an introvert which means I need to be quiet and away from stimulating environments to recharge my batteries.

My workday is usually back…


Last week, our daily meditation sessions were dedicated to (MHAW) — learn more below about our mental health sessions

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) takes place from 18–24 May 2020. The theme is kindness.

At Makers, mental health is a subject we don’t shy away from. We speak openly about it across the whole community because it’s an important reality that needs our attention and understanding.

In our efforts to raise awareness, reduce the stigma around mental ill-health, and offer support, our daily meditation sessions were dedicated to MHAW. Talks were centred around kindness and compassion to ourselves and others.

Every day, we gather remotely on Zoom to meditate. Everyone from across the…


Insights on common blockers devs face on the course (and advice on overcoming them) based on my experiences as Chief Joy Officer at Makers

Makers is a once-in-a-lifetime and transformative experience. I know this because I witness it every day from the developers in our amazing community.

Every month we welcome a new cohort into the 12 week course. While the course is wonderfully positive and life-changing, it’s also very intense.

Expectations need to be managed in order to help students thrive on the course.

If you’ve just joined the course (or are thinking of joining), I wanted to share some things not to do at Makers so that you can have the best experience possible.

I wanted to normalise some of the typical…


Insights on dealing with nerves when in the spotlight from my experiences as Chief Joy Officer at Makers

Whether it’s introducing yourself on Day 1 at Makers, Karaoke night, feedback sessions, code reviews, project presentation or job interviews, being in the spotlight can be daunting for many of us.

Performance anxiety is essentially stress about your performance in front of people. It’s very common for people to feel this as performing at the centre of others’ attention is a skill that doesn’t come naturally to everyone.

Your body reacts to these situations much the same way as it would if you were in actual physical danger: your fight-or-flight mechanism kicks in.

It spurs anxious feelings causing uncomfortable physical…


Insights from some of the Makers Coaching Team on thriving through attitudinal practices

Jon Kabat-Zinn, father of mindfulness in the western world defines mindfulness as “the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.”

Mindfulness meditation has science-backed benefits such as improving focus; improving stress management; and enhancing emotional intelligence. These are all things that make our developers stand out from the rest.

At Makers we practice mindfulness meditation every day.


Insights on claiming your personal power based on my experiences as Chief Joy Officer at Makers

Leaving your comfort zone is part of the bootcamp experience. Each week brings all kinds of challenges: from the technical (learning to pair and work in software teams), to the personal (balancing life with training).

Here at Makers, we speak a lot about having a growth mindset to help you thrive during training. Here I also wanted to offer four mindset hacks to maintain balance and thrive.


Insights on how to skilfully give and receive feedback from my experiences as Chief Joy Officer at Makers

In my recent blog about “How to Thrive in a Team”, I covered how Makers are guided on their coding adventures through XP (Extreme Programming) values: communication, simplicity, respect, courage and feedback.

Today I’m diving deeper on the topic of exchanging feedback as each day I see how vital this is for success. When this happens regularly and mindfully, the results include reflection, accelerated learning, helpful progress tracking, collaboration, connection, trust… the list of benefits goes on.

(On the flip-side, when feedback is neglected or done unskilfully — the result is a draining atmosphere, slowed progress, isolation, frustration, fear and…


Insights on overcoming analysis paralysis from my experiences as Chief Joy Officer at Makers

You’ve already made the BIG decision — to join Makers. After that, as life goes, there’s an ongoing list of important decisions to make. Which cohort to join? How much time to devote to the pre-course? Where to host your soon-to-be-ex-job-leaving drinks? And the list goes on…

Some decisions are going to need a significant amount of time, deliberation, second, third opinions! Yet sometimes we need to kick analysis-paralysis in the butt and live.

When it comes to learning to code at Makers, you’re going to be faced with several decisions. I hear it all the time from our students…


Advice on soothing anxiety from my experiences as Chief Joy Officer at Makers

(Anxiety is a vast subject, linked to multiple disorders, and the following post isn’t intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.)

Makers is a transformative and fun experience for just about everyone who does the course. It’s packed with new experiences and amazing people — it’s wonderful to watch how people grow and discover more of themselves in just weeks.

As fun as it can be, it’s intense. Makers leap into new careers, leaving…


Tips on applying the 5 XP Values from my experiences as Chief Joy Officer at Makers

Joyful Makers on Graduation Day

Coding has largely become a team sport. That’s why part of the Makers experience is to spend the majority of your time working with other people. Whether it’s Pairing or in bigger groups, it’s crucial to learn how to work effectively in a team if you want to enjoy a fulfilling career as a developer.

Yet teamwork can be challenging. Challenges might include ineffective communication, mismatched motivations, personality clashes and the inevitable difference in learning speeds/styles and levels of progress.

These obstacles are as common in the outside world as they are within Makers. I love seeing students grow and…

Dana

Chief Joy Officer® @makersacademy Holistic Coach, Yoga Teacher, EQ & Meditation. Company Culture Fairy, Professional Enjoyer, Author. www.chiefjoyofficer.com

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