Stories about Software


The Developer Hegemony Vision for 2019

This evening, I found myself staring at my post topics Trello board, uninspired.  I have a lot of post topic ideas there: rants, screeds, opinion pieces, helpful how-tos.  None of it really inspired tonight.

Usually, when that happens, I can dig into the backlog of reader questions.  You awesome folks ask me more of those than I can possibly answer, but it’s always fun to do as many as I can.  But I wasn’t even feeling that tonight.

Maybe, for the first time in my life, I had something resembling whatever this thing I’ve heard of, called “writer’s block,” is.  I thought about just skipping a week.

My Unfortunate Neglect of the Developer Hegemony Facebook Group

As I contemplated this course of action, I started wasting time on social media.  An errant click here and a cleared notification there, and I found myself staring at the neglected Developer Hegemony Facebook group.  It, in turn, stared back at me, like a dying succulent that only requires water once every 3 months, a meager commitment that I still couldn’t manage.

So I started to think.  What can I do with this group and this idea?  What should I?

And then, it occurred to me.  I should do the things I wanted to do all along.  The only difference is that I need to adjust for my own lack of bandwidth.

The Last 18 Months Have Looked Nothing Like I Thought They Would

It was about a year and a half ago that I published Developer Hegemony.  The launch went better than I could have hoped, and I was pleased by the reception and flattered at the sales.  And, what’s more, is that the sales have increased since then, instead of leveling off.

These concepts resonate with people.  I thought — hoped — they might.

So when I released the book, I had some grand plans.  I was leaving the traveling management consultant’s life, envisioning a future where I pursued a few things in parallel.

  1. A much more focused, lower touch (non-travel) consultative offering around codebase assessments.
  2. Building on the Developer Hegemony momentum, perhaps with info products or by creating some kind of community.
  3. Working with my wife to start a little agency, creating blog content for dev tools companies.

My prime focus at the time was (1), which would represent infrequent work and big paydays.  I viewed (2) and (3) as good ways to supplement that, providing more stable income for us.

But what I didn’t anticipate was that (3) would take off like someone had strapped a rocket to its back.

Far from a side interest, Hit Subscribe, 18 months later, now has 4 full time employees and something like 40 contractors doing a lot of varied work for a lot of clients.  And, as you might imagine, this prompted a re-ordering of my original priorities.

What This Means for Developer Hegemony

This re-ordering has been pronounced and profound.  I still do specialized consulting around codebases, but I do zero outreach for it.  Instead, I work only with a subset of the people that reach out to me for help.

And, regarding info products and a community around Developer Hegemony… well, I haven’t done much of anything.  It’s hard to justify from a purely financial standpoint, even given the success of the book.  Why would I build an info product that might sell, when I have one business exploding and another one that drops occasional, highly lucrative gigs in my lap?

But here’s the thing.  It’s hard to justify financially, but I still want to.  So from time to time, I stare morosely at the beginnings of what could be an awesome community, wishing there were 30 hours in each day.

The Way Forward in 2019

But that really doesn’t solve anything for anyone.  I’d like to keep the cause of developer empowerment moving in the right direction, even if I only have the capacity to give it nudges, rather than shoves.  And this means re-thinking my approach.

I need to enlist help.

Here are some ideas I have for what that might look like.

  • As I’ve mentioned in the Facebook group, I’m contemplating the idea of opening DaedTech up to guest contributions in and around the subject of developer empowerment.  I’d probably look to compile a list of topics that we should cover to help people get going.
  • A lot of you ask me about career coaching and the like, often offering to pay an hourly rate.  I always demur, since, apart from my books, everything I do is B2B.  Unless I know specifically how I might help your financial situation, I don’t really want to charge you consulting rates.  But, that said, I am thinking of having maybe a monthly call/coaching session that amounts to office hours.
  • I could solicit volunteers to help me drive the community and Facebook group.

I’m also open to other suggestions.

So that’s what I’m thinking of implementing at some point in the new year.  I’d love to hear from you about what you’d find valuable.  Please feel free to comment, tweet at me, email me, comment in the Facebook group, or whatever you want.

And wherever we take this, I’d like to thank you all for reading.


Happy Thanksgiving, 2018!

Hello there, DaedTech readers!  In what has sort of been an annual Thanksgiving tradition (I do it some years), I’d like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!  As in this past years, please enjoy this drawing by my wife and business partner, Amanda.  And please enjoy your holiday.

For those outside the US, Thanksgiving is a federal holiday that celebrate on the 4th Thursday of November that sorta celebrates colonialism… but is really mainly an excuse to see your family.  This is not to be confused with “Black Friday,” which is a more recently conceived, unofficial holiday that celebrates the joy of bludgeoning people at Walmart to get discounts on IPads.  Black Friday occurs the day after Thanksgiving.

The more I think about it, the less I want to delve into the history of this, and the more I want to enjoy a day of not working and seeing family.  So, enjoy the drawing of a cat’s take on Thanksgiving, enjoy your celebration, and know that I’m thankful to have so many engaged readers.


Brief DaedTech Hiatus Because I’m Attempting a Vacation

Hello DaedTech readers.  I’m typing this on a Monday night, which is usually when I’d be prepping a reader question post draft.  I don’t have one of those.  I do have a half-done developer to consultant post, but I’m not going to be prepping that either.

Instead, I’m just going on vacation.

If you read my digest posts, particularly the recent ones, you might think that my life is sort of one giant vacation.  In a sense this is true.  Being location independent gives us the freedom to go pretty much anywhere.  And we capitalize on that.

However, owning businesses, especially young, bootstrapped ones, has an implication of its own.  It means that, no matter where you go, you’re always at least kind of working.  So, while my workload has varied considerably and we have schedule flexibility, it’s been probably 14 months since I’ve taken more than 3 or so days off in a row.

Our goal is to break that streak over the next couple of weeks.  We’ll see if that actually happens, but we’re going to do our best.

As a result, look for DaedTech to be pretty quiet over the next couple of weeks — probably just digest posts, if that.  But, if you really find yourself craving DaedTech posts, you can always give me a follow on Twitter, because I’ll queue up a couple of from the archives tweets per day.

So have a good couple of weeks, and look for me to fire it back up after Memorial Day weekend.


DaedTech Now Brought to You Over SSL

I’ve had an item on DaedTech’s Trello board for a good, long time now.  Switch over to using SSL.  And, fear not those of you who enjoy this blog!  You can now browse confidently, without worrying that some impostor is feeding you misinformation about expert beginners, journeyman idealists, and other random neologisms that come out of my twisted mind.  Take that, internet evildoers.  I can almost sense everyone’s relief from here.

What Does This Actually Mean?

I started to call this header, “How SSL works,” but I got bored before I even finished typing that sentence fragment.  You can read a primer about it, if you’re so inclined.

The 10,000 foot explanation is that it’s a mechanism for making your browsing a private conversation between you and DaedTech.  For instance, say that you were sitting in an airport a week ago, and you browsed to my blog.  Your HTTP request and DaedTech’s response would happen in plain text.  Anyone else in the airport sufficiently motivated to do so could eavesdrop on the back end forth and even execute a man in the middle attack.  As I said before, they could have deliberately fed you misinformation about expert beginners.

Or, perhaps more importantly, they could eavesdrop on your credentials if you had an account on my blog.  That’s really the idea of SSL — it aims to make communication private and not subject to these sorts of interposition and alteration schemes.  By installing SSL on my site, I have now prevented that from happening.  When you browse DaedTech, you now do so over HTTPS, all communication encrypted and my SSL certification verified.  This latter concern means an outside agency says, “you can believe that this is DaedTech and not an impostor.”

Contrary to the green locks and the “secure” wording in the URL bars, however, this does necessarily mean “you’re all good.”  Scott Hanselman summed this up well in a tweet.

Read More


Developer Hegemony in More Bookstores

A few weeks ago, I officially launched my book, Developer Hegemony, on Amazon.  It went well!  For a while, the book was the #3 best seller in the “workplace” category.  It has, not surprisingly, cooled off since launch week, but it continues to sell in both bookstores (Amazon and Leanpub).

Many people asked me about launching the book in other stores and via other media.  Most commonly, I fielded requests about iTunes and an audio book.  Well, I would still like to do the audio book, but I’m not planning anything for that in the immediate term.  On the other hand, I can deliver on iTunes and some others besides.

You can now purchase Developer Hegemony in the following other bookstores.

So for any of you that have waited for this release, I’m pleased to announce that you can now get the book.  And, of course, you can continue to purchase it on Amazon.  In fact, if you want a paperback copy, Amazon is the only store that provides that option.

Developer Hegemony Beyond the Bookstores

I find it interesting to have the book out there in bookstores.  I wrote it on Leanpub and it occupied evenings and weekends for a couple of years.  And, while I finished writing it some months ago, the pre-launch preparation consumed my spring.  I’ve lived with the book as a huge part of my life, and now it’s done and out there in the wild.

I find that satisfying, and I enjoy the accomplishment.  But I don’t just want to leave it there and call it a day.

So I’m thinking about what I can do to help further the vision in the book.  And, over the coming months and years, I plan to produce related content at the very least.  I did create a Developer Hegemony Facebook group, and I welcome you to join that and offer feedback or discussion points for what sort of content you’d like to see.

Upcoming Content

What kind of content?  Well, I’m going to start reasonably small and take it from there.

My wife and I have started a business helping developer tools and training companies with content tech marketing (i.e. blogging).  As we set that business up, I’ve started recording video of what I do in the hopes that it will help others.  How do you incorporate?  How do you get an EIN?  That kind of thing.

So as we get business operations going in earnest, look for that type of content on my Youtube channel.  From there, I may start formalizing some of that into lessons available for purchase in some format.  But I want to figure out and confirm the value proposition before trying to sell anyone.  All of this falls under the general heading of helping software developers become the people in charge of the software development industry.

And as for other books, I’d definitely say to stay tuned for that.  I have an itch for writing books now, and I think it’ll be hard to keep me from doing more of it in the future.  I’m not sure just what I’ll cover yet or when, but I do continue to enjoy writing.  And I hope that all of you continue to enjoy reading.  As always, I thank you for all of the support.