DaedTech

Stories about Software

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To Find a Niche, Learn Why Your Company Pays Your Salary

My belief in picking a niche for yourself becomes obvious to anyone who reads more than a post or two here.  I’ve written too many posts about it to list, and I talk about it on my Youtube channel these days.

But today, I’d like to reference a couple of specific posts where I talk about this in order to flesh out a concept.  Here are those posts.

  1. Just under 2 years ago, I wrote a post about how you could pick a specialty with the help of your resume.  My advice was to look at the “key accomplishments” sections and start brainstorming with those.
  2. Earlier this year, I wrote a post about picking a niche.  And, in that post, I distinguished between generalizing, specializing, and niching.  Specializing involves looking at your own skill set, picking something you like, and hoping people want to pay for it.  Niching involves looking at needs that others have and filling those needs.

Here’s the gist of what I want to talk about today.  2 years ago, I gave advice that would indeed help you pick a specialty.

But, I actually think that it’s, at best, locally maximizing advice to help you pick a niche.  So I’d like to course correct a bit with my advice to the countless people that ask me for help finding a niche.

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Celebrating Software as a Tactic, Not a Profession

As you may recall, a few weeks back, I offered the hypothesis that software is a business tactic, rather than a profession.  My main purpose in writing that post was to level set a bit with my desired direction for the blog, leaning toward an increase emphasis on reader questions.  And, you all immediately obliged, so thanks for that!

So, I’ll start by responding to people’s questions/reactions to that post, both in comments and through other media.  The follow-up questions/thoughts that I’ll address fall largely into 2 buckets:

  1. How do you reconcile “software as a business tactic” with “software as an end,” particularly an aesthetic one, such as with video games?
  2. Maybe software is a business tactic and isn’t currently a profession, but why shouldn’t it be?

Number (1) is easier and chronologically first, so let’s do that.

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Reader Question Round-Up: Upwork, Scaling, and Taking a Big Margin

After my hiatus, I’m back with my fourth consecutive week of content.  This time, it’s another reader question round-up, video edition.

I’m going to continue with the theme from last time, which is to use round-up posts to do picks and the digests that I’d been doing historically.  I’d also like to encourage anyone to ask me questions because, as I’ve mentioned a few times now, I’m going to let your questions drive the majority of my content going forward.

They can be questions about anything you’d like, really.  But my main focus is going to be on topics related to software careers and helping you understand the business of automation.

You can fire questions at me in the comments on the blog, Twitter, comments on Youtube, or really wherever you want.  Though, if anyone’s interested in proposing sort of a more effective or efficient way for me to get questions, I’m interested to hear it.

Picks

  • If you’ve never had occasion to check it out, I’d give the Tropical MBA podcast a listen.  The name gives a different impression of it than what it really is, with a kind of “too good to be true vibe.”  It’s actually a lot of practical advice for digital entrepreneurs, with a bit of a location-independent flavoring.
  • My wife and I have been watching this series of Youtube videos called “Pitch Meeting.”  If you like snarky humor pointing out plot holes, you’ll like these.
  • We spent the weekend in Cincinnati, and one of the things we did there was pop in for a little casual axe throwing.  Yes, there’s a place called Urban Axes where you learn to throw axes at targets and then have a lot of fun doing that for an hour or two.  They have locations in various US cities, and it’s a LOT of fun, so check it out if there’s one near you.

The Digest

The Reader Question Round-Up

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Those Who Can’t, Sell Tutorials on How You Can

I have a vision for what I want DaedTech (and myself) never to be.  I never want to have the “I made it, and so can you by following these [N] easy steps!” vibe, in any way.  If you ever catch me doing that, please gather with your pitchforks and storm my gate.

Here’s the thing.  Success is hard, specific, and custom to your own context.  But a lot of people don’t let that stop them from hawking it in $99 info products.

Fake It ’til You Make It… as an Expert?

I’m about to describe what I think of as an anti-pattern in the knowledge economy.  You’ve probably experienced this at least subconsciously, if you haven’t yet learned to actively recognize it.

This crystallized in my head recently when I signed up for something called “The Dynamite Circle” (it’s a community for established digital nomad-leaning entrepreneurs).  I was poking around and noticed this blog post, with a couple of great turns of phrase.

In describing a pre-quit-your-job, would-be lifestyle designer, they said:

You are buying products from blogs that make a little money on how to make a little money with your blog.

That produced almost a spit take from me, because I can picture this exact thing.  And so, probably, can you.  It has:

  • An oversize photo of the site proprietor smiling maniacally
  • Some polished-but-somehow-budget graphics
  • The typical “hero journey” landing page layout
  • And assurances that you, too, can make money through affiliate marketing, quit your job, and earn passively on a beach in Bali.

But, if you dig into any of the public metrics around the site, you see that it’s getting very little traffic.  What you’ve really got here is someone writing blog posts from a cubicle on their lunch break about how you can follow their lead to a beach in Bali.

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Reader Question Round-Up: School Side Hustles, Freelancing, and Who Writes the Code?

Alright, I had a recorded video in my back pocket for a bit.  So over the weekend, I edited it and published it as the 6th installment of the reader question round-up.

That’s posted below in a frame.

But followers of this blog may have noticed that I’ve taken a hiatus from doing slow-travel themed digest posts.  We’re currently staying at a house we own for the summer, which means that I’m not slow traveling.  And the well of questions that folks ask me has run dry, besides.

If you’d like to see more of these, by means, ask questions and let me know.  But I’m going to interpret the lack of questions about it as a lack of immediate interest.

Still, this leaves the digests out.  And, I figure readers of my blog and consumers of my content might have interest in where else I create content.  So I’m going to do the digests and picks along with my reader question round-ups now.

Picks

  • I’ve been enjoying Prime Music a lot over the last few months.  If you’re thinking of getting Prime for the fast deliveries (or some other reason), this is another perk that you should factor into the mix.  There’s a lot of variety.
  • I created a profile on dev.to a while back and have recently been posting/syndicating content there.  I’m really enjoying the community in general, but I think I’ve already talked about that.  One thing you might not realize is that they have support for organizations, so if you have a business or work for one and would like to post content under its umbrella, you can do that.
  • And, finally, I’ve been using this tool, Tube Buddy, to help with creating Youtube videos and doing keyword research there.

The Digest

  • Here’s a live blog post I wrote for Sonatype during the Nexus Users Conference.  The talk was about Nexus Firewall and defending against open source as a vector for security problems.
  • We recorded a Facebook Live video a while back about what it’s like to run a remote business.
  • Here’s a Facebook Live I recorded myself, answering basic SEO questions.
  • And, finally, an episode of the Freelancers Show podcast where we discussed personal finances for freelancers.

The Reader Question Round-Up