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The importance of your USP

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What is a USP? It stands for ‘Unique Selling Point’. It’s what makes you, you. Everyone has at least one, and so does every successful venture. Mine is being able to sing word for word every Meat Loaf song since 1975 :)

There comes at times opportunities for success that will accelerate quickly and become viral in a short amount of time. These times will sound like this: ‘WOW we’re doing so well, this is amazing! I can’t believe it, we’ve accumulated a million users! Oh my goodness we’ve just sold out of our best sellers! You will never guess who I’m talking to for funding now!’. Initial successes will always drive interest and possibly buy-in and investment from influential third parties and the most important factors, consumers. That being said, there can but be two eventual outcomes from an initial peak of interest: Crash and burn or a sustainable growth pattern. Read More

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Culture driven strategy for your workplace: ideal or essential?

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I have been reading a few articles/blog posts around the subject of culture in the workplace. I’m incredibly encouraged that there is a good volume of people within technology on all levels who appreciate the importance of a workable and enjoyable work culture along with the increasing importance of work/life balance. That being said, I do believe that there is more to add on this subject with regards to just how much a company should invest as best practice in the culture of their workplace and teams and how essential it is to get this right. It’s also important to look at the balance of this focus and what can happen with too much focus on the culture aspects of a company as a whole. Read More

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Good API Etiquette

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APIs are great! Every developer you talk to will usually say that an API is the preferred way to go when you want to talk to other systems. Now ask that developer if they like working with APIs. Specifically, other peoples’ APIs. They will normally answer ‘if….’ otherwise – no! I’ve both built and integrated with 3rd party APIs and I have to say, it’s actually one of my favourite elements of software development.  However, some APIs drive me very close to a whole load of crazy induced by what can only be described as a whole parade of stupid. Error codes that say the same thing for every error – *scream*! Language or library specific integration – *scream*! Terrible or non existent documentation – *scream*!

I could go on…. Read More

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Letting Go……

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There are generally 4 types of technical director/leader/cto etc.

  1. Founder technical director. Often a dev leader who’s job progresses outside of this due to growth.
  2. Operational leader. Someone who reports to a CIO and just runs the day to day.
  3. Deep thinker leader. Someone who concentrates on innovation and most likely does a lot of R & D work.
  4. Customer facing director. Someone who sells the technology to others. A salesman with a good amount of tech knowledge.

I am number 1 (I am not a founder – I will explain this) and many start up CTOs, Technical Directors or IT Leaders are.

Read More

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The importance of rest – Part 2: A leader’s perspective

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Some of you may have read my initial post on the importance of rest: http://kirstiehaxby.com/development/the-importance-of-rest

If you have – you’ll have read why it’s so important to implement effective methodologies and how to recognise the times where you need time off and to make sure you make the absolute most of it to relax, recuperate and recover.

To add to that – this post will show you how to rest and recuperate when you can BUT when you also CAN’T take time off. Read More