Edit: Thank you to the 60k people who have read this piece in its first week. Writing continuously surprises me in just how far it can reach. Learning to write in a way that will make people listen is a powerful skill that I hope all people gain access to. Happy writing! — SS

If you told me 5 years ago that I would one day lead a 20-person Publications team or have a personal blog that’s read by hundreds of thousands, I would’ve laughed in surprise. Yet somehow, I’ve found myself in that reality. Here we are.

People often…


I love the Internet. It does this magical thing where it takes people millions of miles away and connects them. Like you (whoever is reading this article) and I, through a shared medium; in this case, this article.

It gives many people who will never venture outside of their physical borders, insight into what else might be out there in the world.

While once a person would be exposed to perhaps a few hundred people over the course of their entire life, now each and every person with a smartphone in their pocket and a social network sending them way…


500 days of thoughts around what characterizes effective leadership, including a focus on humility, prioritizing others, and leading through influence.

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” — Ronald Reagan

I recently woke up with the realization that I’ve been leading a team for well over a year. What was once very foreign and daunting is still a work in progress, yet somehow feels manageable. Even, familiar.

As I reflect on my evolution in leadership, I can’t help but think of…


In an age where “software is eating the world”, what can we learn from the tool that has withstood the test of time? This piece illustrates how the fundamentals behind Excel can be used to envision the next wave of bulletproof technologies.

Originally published at https://blog.stephsmith.io.

2015: I love you
2016: I love you
2017: I love you
2018: I love you
2019: I love you

One “I love you” for every year since I’ve fallen in love with…Microsoft Excel?

You may be surprised to know that I’m not the first to write a love letter to Excel (or to…


Originally published at https://blog.stephsmith.io.

When you’re looking for innovative and action-driven talent, why not open your doors up to people that have already pioneered their own lives?

I was recently contacted about an opportunity. On many levels, this opportunity “checked all the boxes”, but there was one caveat: I’d have to move to San Francisco. For many (including a previous version of myself) that would be a dream. But for current me, it would mean throwing away the very life that I had spent the last 3+ years intentionally building.

Despite having spent over 10 months looking for the “right”…


Originally published at https://blog.stephsmith.io

Over the years, we’ve all encountered our fair share of successes and failures. As I’ve acquired more of both under my name, I’ve started to contemplate which experiences were truly “great” and why.

Interestingly enough, I realized that it was not the sporadic highs that were exceptional, but instead the long hauls; the sequences of events that seemed minimal at each juncture, but compounded into major gains. This led me to think further about what greatness truly means. …


Originally published at https://blog.stephsmith.io, where I talk about remote work, learning to code, and women in tech.

Almost 40 years since the Internet was born, we’ve learned to develop a completely new world. One of the more recent developments that has emerged from this connected community is the way our societies have learned to find new opportunities in distributed form.

Remote work has been inching forward for years as it has capitilized on our ability to connect digitally, while people open their minds to the distributed workforce. …


Originally published at https://blog.stephsmith.io/tutorial-google-sheets-api-node-js/.

After learning to code for the past year, I’ve recently found myself in the realm of asynchronous Javascript.

Throughout the last few months, I’ve really struggled with this component of the language and have had to go over parts of the course I’ve taken many times over. Even after doing that, I still felt pretty lost in terms of how I could take the information and translate it to something actionable.

During my most recent review of the material, I realized the only way that it would truly stick would be to create something with it…


“Upon reflection, the process of finally learning to code taught me one important thing: I was often my own biggest blocker.”

Four years ago: Sitting in a lecture hall learning about thermodynamics and pipe sizing.

Three years ago: Sitting in an office creating Excel models for the Fortune 500.

Two years ago: Obtained by first Macbook and began diving into the world of SEO, product, and digital advertising.

One year ago: Decided it was finally time to learn to code.

Six months ago: Launched my first project.

February 2018

After many years of working on the fringe of technology, February 2018…


Over the past year I’ve taught myself to code. I’ve built and launched four web applications, taken courses from front-end to back-end, can work with APIs, and know what a Promise is.

Yet for some reason, I still don’t feel like a developer.

I thought this feeling would slowly fade over time as I learned more, built more, and code no longer looked so foreign. But to this day, this identity still doesn’t seem to fit and it’s unclear when it ever will. I’m left wondering…

When will I feel like a developer? When will I “become” one?

I’ve been…

Steph Smith

Head of Pubs @Toptal | Maker eunoia.world, begreat.me, & femake.tech | Remote work | twitter.com/stephsmithio | Read more: http://blog.stephsmith.io

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