Greenhouse update: 1st June, 2023
The future of this newsletter and my own personal goals.
Outside of writing my typical articles, I want this newsletter as a way of keeping in touch with those who, for whatever reason (and I appreciate you dearly <3), follow the things that I do.
Introducing Greenhouse updates - these will be shared when there is anything I want to speak about outside of my articles. It could be personal, professional updates or whatever takes my fancy really!
— James ✌️
The beginning of this year, I set myself the goal to really investigate and think about what doing my own thing would look like in the long run. The last five months, I have done work as a consultant, coached and mentored individuals and been more consistent with my writing and content creation that I ever have been before.
This has really driven home that the thing that truly brings me joy is helping others. Having conversations with engineers and managers about all things software, career progression and the industry is what gets me out of bed in the morning and pushes me towards the laptop. I have received a few messages off the back of my articles written in the last few months from folk who have found something I have said has resonated with them and this is truly the most rewarding thing to receive (you know who you are and thank you!).
Cultivate stemmed from an idea that behind successful software engineers and engineering teams are people and people need to be nurtured to be at their best.
We as people and teams each have our own complexities and needs. Much like the plants in a greenhouse, everyone can flourish in their own way with the right methods.
I started this newsletter because I believe there is a lack of resources out there to focus on the softer side of our technical roles and advocate for this kind of thinking. I wanted to begin to explore what that could look like as a topic.
Whilst I have enjoyed exploring, I didn't necessarily have a long term direction in which I was heading towards. For me that was ok, because I was still working out exactly what I wanted to do and enjoying different types of writing.
However, now I feel much more confident and certain in myself of what I envision Cultivate to be and what direction I want to head in.
I have a personal North Star:
I want to help as many software engineers get better at their jobs as possible.
I will do this in two ways:
Build Cultivate into the go-to resource for software engineers looking for career growth and progression.
Working with/for companies to help create cultures where engineers feel supported to grow as individuals.
As I have mentioned before, technical chops only account for a percentage of what makes a successful software engineer. I want to focus very intently on the other stuff - the ‘soft-skills’ and the less defined bits of a role in technology, because I truly believe it is a neglected topic.
Some of the topics I am keen to explore and how they relate to growth as a software engineer:
Growing soft skills
Communication, problem solving, persuasion, reasoning, story telling etc
Progression frameworks, feedback cycles and promotions
Finding the right job, team and culture
Self-confidence and self-awareness
Mindset and mindfulness
Personal knowledge management and productivity
Goal and vision setting
How to build stronger technical foundations.
Engineering best practices.
I’m sure there will be more as time goes on as well :)
And this brings me to where I am currently.
I have a couple of big lofty goals that I am looking forward to going out and building on. It's exciting! I don't truly think I would have gotten to this point if I hadn't have taken the time this year just to reset, refocus and have a think about what is happening next.
Exactly how is still something to work out, but I have been thinking about how I can create a more engaging and valuable experience for those who are coming to these articles and reading my words. Expect some different formats and more focus over the coming weeks and months.
Your feedback is always super appreciated and I listen to suggestions, so if you have ideas then I am all ears!
A huge thank you to everyone who has been here for the roller coaster! I'm just getting started and can’t wait to share this journey with you.
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It helps more people find my writing! <3