Software engineer? Start a podcast.24 Jul 2018
What should a software engineer do to maximize their career from a position of being in a full-time role?
- Study for whiteboarding interviews?
- Brush up the Github profile with make-work?
- Start a blog to quietly publicize your achievements in your full-time role?
- Cynically job hop every 2 years?
I’d suggest an alternative (or an additional option):
Invest in your personal network, showcase your personal brand and practice your storytelling skills by…
starting a podcast.
Here is a handful of realizations I’ve had in running my podcast The Accidental Engineer over the past year:
- Software engineers are mostly just “selling themselves” as opposed to selling a product. If you consider Late Night shows, literally every single guest comes on to promote their personal brand and a new piece of content they are promoting (e.g. a book, a movie, a TV show). The best guests are effective self-promoters, because they will help you promote your show.
- Improve your speaking abilities by slowing down your speech. Filler words can be hugely diminished by thinking before you speak: “you know”, “So,”, “like”–all make you a worse storyteller in large doses. Editing transcripts will make this even more painfully evident.
- Promotion is everything. If you don’t promote then you won’t have an audience or learn how to grow one.
- People really want jobs (Google Search Console showed me that most of my search traffic came from “
interview" type of search terms)
- Try video production in addition to audio! It’s fun–and you can ultimately try out multiple cameras, audio optimization, and color treatment of your video to make your stuff look really professional.
- Voice-to-text transcriptions do not read well without heavy editing. Consider making text versions of your episodes, but people speak in a grammar that’s extremely unreadable, so you should consider making heavy revisions/cleanup of the transcripts (I’ve used services like Rev, Speechpad–quality for ~$1/minute)
- What is your goal? Optimize toward goals. I found numerical goals to be best: number of views, average time on site, email list signups, etc.
I think a big takeaway for me has been recognizing the effectiveness of storytelling.
Podcasting (and listening) to other people’s stories and styles of storytelling is a great way to develop and inform your own.
Here’s my original post, announcing my podcast: /2017/07/15/the-accidental-engineer.html
Curious about how to start a podcast? Hit me up!