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DCR: Ownership Level Responsibility

Published 9/29/2017

Today's episode is the next of a series of episodes extending our previous discussions from the Developer Career Roadmap. The first episode from that series can be found here: https://spec.fm/podcasts/developer-tea/49656

Today's episode focuses on having an ownership level of responsibility.

Today's episode is brought to you by Linode.

Linode provides superfast SSD based Linux servers in the cloud starting at $5 a month. Linode is offering Developer Tea listeners $20 worth of credit if you use the code DEVELOPERTEA2017 at checkout. Head over to spec.fm/linode to learn more about what Linode has to offer to Developer Tea listeners!

Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
Can I trust you? That's a question that every employer, whether they explicitly stated or not, is going to ask about you when you walk through the door, both at your interview, but also pretty much every day that you come into work. Can I trust you? Here's the reality. Especially if you work in a small company, each and every person that works on your team, each and every person that works in your company, producing for clients or producing for users, each of them is going to affect your business as a business owner, as a boss, as a manager. Me knowing that I can trust you is a key factor in your success and your aptitude to be a handed, more responsibility and ultimately more responsibility and more opportunity are correlated in your career. My name is Jonathan Cutrell, you're listening to Developer Tea. My goal in this show is to help you become a better developer. I do this by asking good questions. That's really kind of the number one way. We also do this by proposing ideas and hopefully aligning you with ways of thinking that can help you become better at what you do, not only as a programmer, but also in your professional life in general. That's one of the themes of today's episode, becoming a better worker, becoming a more trust worthy worker. Today's episode is another episode in the series of episodes about traits that every good developer shares. This is traits that literally every good developer, when I say good developer, I mean somebody who has become very successful as a software developer. I assume that if you're listening to this show, that you aspire to be in that category. Now this doesn't mean famous developers. Great developers don't necessarily spread their name, right? But this does mean developers who have been able to sustain their careers, who have been able to build things that they care about building, and they've been able to kind of build a legacy for themselves. Whether that legacy is only shared with people who know them personally, or if it does extend and expand into the world around them beyond just their personal acquaintances, but it may not be about leaving a legacy for you. Being a great developer for you might mean being able to rely on your job, right? Being able to have a steady, low stress job as a developer and succeed at it, right? Get positive reviews from your boss and from your peers, and that may be your goals. And that's something that's totally respectful and something that I would love to help you achieve. You don't have to want to climb the corporate ladder to be in that category of people who aspire to be a great developer. So this is something that the definition of this is truly reachable by everyone who listens to this show. We aren't talking about people who are changing the world at a macro level. Rather, we're talking about people who are successful at a personal level. So the people who fit that category, they share these traits. We've talked about quite a few traits already. We've talked about humility. We've talked about having the grit of a scientist. We've talked about having an expanding perspective. Right? We've talked about becoming a communications expert, not just becoming good at communications, but a communications expert. We've talked about having a growth mindset. And now today we're talking about becoming trustworthy. How can you become trustworthy? And I believe that the very simple way of describing this is to have an owner mentality level of responsibility, owner mentality responsibility. What does that mean? We're going to talk about that right after we talk about today's sponsor, Linode. I love Linode as a sponsor because they really apply to every developer who's listening to this show. If you are a beginner developer and you don't have, for example, a personal blog, we've talked about having a personal blog or somewhere that you publish content. And you can get started doing that with your own personal site for much cheaper than you probably think you can. Linode provides you with the best dollar per gigabyte of RAM deal on the market. And you can get started for $5 a month. So for that audience, it's totally accessible. But for the audiences who are running large systems, for example, if you have multiple micro services that you want to launch or you need to have multiple servers so that if one goes down or is overloaded, you can fall back to another server. Linode provides services for you as well. They have high RAM plans that start at $60 a month for 16 gigabytes of RAM. So Linode really covers all of the bases here. They also have 24-7 support and they have high level services like Node balancing as well as long view. These are all services that Linode provides that increase the quality of your experience as a customer, but also give you more insight to how your projects are performing. So go and check it out, spec.fm-linode. And Linode is going to give you $20 worth of credit that you can use on anything. You can use on their $5 a month plans or you can use it on their hourly services. So if you need to scale up your server for one day, then this $20 worth of credit is probably going to cover you to do that. So spec.fm-linode and use the code Developer Tea2017 to check out for that $20 worth of credit. Thank you again to Linode for continuing to sponsor Developer Tea. So can I trust you? Can I trust you? Just as something that is built over time. Trust is something that is learned about a person and very often trust unfortunately is not earned on day one. Trust is also something that very likely is given or withheld based on cognitive biases that may be difficult or impossible to overcome. Because your boss or your co-workers may not realize that they have these biases. So earning trust comes down to being dependable and taking care of the work that you do. And in order to have the proper traits to become trustworthy, we're not going to list 30 things that you need to do specifically. There's tons of things that you can do to gain and retain the trust of your peers. And all of them are tactics. If you don't tie them together with this singular concept that we're talking about today, and that is ownership level responsibility, ownership level responsibility, you have to care about your work at a personal level. You have to care about it in a way that suggests that you are the owner of that thing. You are actually personally affected by the success or failure of the work that you do. Because the reality is you are personally affected by the success or the failure of the work that you do. And if you don't believe me, let me prove myself here. If you are intending to receive and retain trust from your peers, from your boss, if you treat the work that you do as though the success or failure of that work doesn't really matter. If you treat it as though you're just checking the boxes and whenever 5 o'clock rolls around, you're going to go home and none of it really affects you at a personal level. None of it really matters to you as long as you're putting your hours in, then that's all that matters. If you have that mentality and the project fails for one reason or another, then your coworkers, your boss, your clients, they're going to remember that mentality and they're going to lose respect and ultimately start distrusting you. This isn't something I'm going to provide you with data from. Hopefully this rings true to you. This should intuitively make sense to you. If somebody is treating their work flippantly, if they aren't really paying attention to what they're doing or if they aren't treating it as if it matters to them at a personal level and that project fails, that really looks like a lack of responsibility. All of the reasons that I would want to trust you now, those are being challenged, they're being brought into question. However, if you do present that you care, if you do present that you are personally invested, that you have an ownership mentality and ownership level of responsibility, then whether the project ends up failing or not, people will know that you are taking responsibility. This isn't something that you can manufacture. There's no way to fake this. You have to care about the work that you do. Whatever work, personally, that you need to do to get to the place where you are invested at a personal level, at an ownership level with the work that you're doing, that's going to be important for your long-term success. Here's what I recommend. I recommend that you find something to care deeply about in every piece of work that you do. Whether that thing is connected to the core purpose of that particular project or not, I want you to find something that you can care about, find something that you can really take ownership of in every piece of work that you do. This is a challenge. This is not easy to do. This is not easy to accomplish. Sometimes you're going to be frustrated or bored or otherwise apathetic about the work that you do. The hard work in those scenarios is typically not the code. It's the mentality that you have. The hard work when you're working on something that you're bored with is your own mindset. You can't stop being an owner simply because you're bored. You can't stop being trustworthy simply because you're apathetic. I hope this has been challenging, maybe even convicting. My goal here is not to make you feel bad about things that you've done in the past, but teach you and empower you to do things better in the future. If you feel a tinged frustration with yourself, what I want you to do is look towards your future. Today, if you're listening to this in the morning or tomorrow, if you're listening to this at the end of your work day, find something that you can specifically take ownership of. This is time digging deep to care about the work that you do. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode of Developer Tea. Thank you again to Linode for sponsoring today's episode. No matter what level of developer you are, Linode has Linux servers that can suit your needs, starting at $5 a month. Of course, you get $20 worth of credit for using the code Developer Tea2017 at checkout head over to spec.fm slash Linode. Thank you so much for listening. Make sure you subscribe if you don't want to miss out on future episodes of Developer Tea. Once again, today's episode was an extension of the DCR, the Developer Career Roadmap, traits of a great developer. Make sure you listen to the other parts of this series and go back to those episodes from about a year ago about the Developer Career Roadmap. Thank you so much for listening and until next time, enjoy your tea.