Where did it Start?

I’ve been asked this question a few times over the last months as Code Your Way Up has got closer to completion and is set to be GA (Generally Available) in the next two weeks.

I’ll try to boil this down to a few key points on where the idea came from…

  1. I’d been writing and blogging on technology leadership mindsets for a number of years, having written over 1,000+ articles in the last four years on the topic ranging from development, design, deployment, team leadership, growth, delivery, drive and everything else in between.
  2. A few years ago I did a significant amount of research on LinkedIn reaching out to a number of tech leaders to get their thoughts on the topic and see if there were experiencing the same trends that I was seeing – people not being prepared for leadership roles, but at the same time, companies not being able to invest in these roles.
  3. I’ve had some amazing opportunities to lead teams, push products out the door, mentor junior developers and coach other leaders along the way.

But the exact moment where it crystalized in my brain why I wanted to write this book? I was on a plane, to another conference, staring at the window, had loads of work to do that I was leaving behind, wondering whether I should be going away or if I’ll just be spending the time worrying about the team. To cap it all off, as soon as I landed, I had a project that I record myself doing, where I had to speak to what I was going to do next.

Not being the best at planning (I had two weeks to think about it), it wasn’t until I was on the plane that I started writing furiously to put together the elements that I think contribute to the makings of scary good technology leaders in our industry. You know the ones I’m talking about, the ones that years later, you get together at a bar and you reminisce about how great they were and what they did for your career.

It was there that I realized being a leader didn’t start when you were promoted, it started when you dropped your first line of code, and every line of code thereafter is what would make you that leader.

So that’s where it started.

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