Exploring weak spots through blogging

One of the many good things about getting older is that I can now sometimes feel when life is inviting me into a new season, or into exploring new perspectives. I often feel nudged into embracing new perspectives and flooded by new ideas, or old ones that have suddenly gotten a new glow to them.

Strangely enough, while I am exploring these new perspectives I feel a desperate urge to harvest, to consolidate and to put into practice what is currently cooking in my mind. The last time this happened, I drastically changed how I thought about software development and as a consequence formed my first company to be able to explore some of those ideas more whole heartedly.

Now I am a few years into my second company and I feel this invitation coming again. To explore, to consolidate and to formulate. This time I am approaching this from two angles. One is the purely technical. Lessons learned from three years of intense javascript development and some recent best-practices discovery. Before this company I had two years sabbatical from the tech scene and I am still catching up. Things move fast now a days, and it is a good thing. But it does take time to catch up.

The other angle is to explore and try to formulate aspects that I have previously not prioritised or taken for granted. Mostly related to leadership and communication and other obviously non-technical areas where I know that I am lacking. To say that I am not an expert is an understatement. Going from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence is the toughest step though, and I think that I already have the seeds planted for what might become something worthy of exploring.

I work in a co-working space with many other tech-startups. I am a mentor there and frequently help others explore the options in various issues that they are dealing with. One time I felt especially inadequate to help discuss some leadership issues because I myself was struggling with that although I only had one person working for me at the time. My friend and I shared the various perspectives we had gathered from various sources and tried to find a reasonable path forward. After a while I had an epiphany. That it doesn’t matter what the best way of leading is, whether to use this or that methodology, whether that employee was right or wrong etc. All those are external perspectives. They are easy to get hold of. They are not in short supply. What matters is you, I told him. You are the center of your team. Either that person can work with you, or they can’t. That is all that matters. Either you like to work with this person, or that person. It is about you.

I was surprised when I heard the truth of what I had just said, and I have been thinking about it ever since. My own issues with leadership at that time has been resolved since, and at the present time I am not the boss or leader of anyone. That makes me especially free to explore this topic right now. I put recruitment on hold because I am not exactly sure what I am looking for.

I am going to be the center of my team, whether I like it or not. I have built most of the code base. I am the lead developer and the CTO, whether I like it or not. I am going to need to work with people who can and wants to work with me. That means I need to be clear on what my expectations are. What my strengths and weaknesses are. How I expect things to be. What I like and dislike. I can not expect anyone else to formulate this for me. And I cannot expect things to become the way I want them to by random chance. I now from experience that will probably not happen.

So I also need to be able to communicate that to others in a simple and efficient way. And that process needs to start with formulating it for myself.

That is why I am starting this blog. It is so unlikely, and so far away from my comfort zone, that I am still doubting that I am writing this right now.

So, we’ll see where this goes. But my intentions with this blog are:

  • to explore leadership and communication
  • to formulate various aspects of what I love about programming, entrepreneurship and the javascript scene
  • to explore the various best-practices of software development
  • hopefully share some of my story and maybe extract a few lessons

I don’t expect this to be read by anyone besides my wife, but again, this exploration is first and foremost for me.