Episode 31 – Go Where People Haven’t Already Been with Rob Conery

 In Podcasts

Rob Conery has been working in the technology field since 1998 as a DBA and then a web developer, originally with a focus on Microsoft ASP.NET.  Rob is also author of The Imposter’s Handbook, which is a compendium of skills and concepts for any self-taught programmer.

In this episode Rob talks about his career in IT, sharing his worst career moment and greatest successes.  Rob also discusses why you should consider going where others haven’t been before, why an IT career needs to be fun and why you need to listen to yourself.

Time Stamped Show Notes

(00:50) – Phil introduces Rob Conery

(01:36) – Rob talks about the start of his career which was around the time of the advent of the web

(01:43) – Rob provides insight into how his career began and how he and a friend built a successful company

(01:56) – Rob then tells us about becoming a Chief Technical Officer (CTO) and why he hated it and how he found himself working at Microsoft

(02:07) – After leaving Microsoft Rob founded another company which he eventually sold

 

(00:00) – Unique Career Tip: (Not asked during this episode)

 

(02:57) – Worst Career Moment: Rob tells us that’s he’s recently been writing about when he accidently dropped a production database

(03:28) – Rob tells us about taking the role of CTO with a company and why it didn’t work out

(03:49) – Seven months into the role Rob was threatened with a law suit by the company’s lawyer and escorted from the building

 

(04:26) – Career Highlight / Greatest Success: Rob says that the highlight for him is being able to write and a publish a book

(04:39) – Rob talks about his love for writing and how he is tried to make technical subjects fun

(04:58) – The Imposter’s Handbook has been well received since its publication last year

(05:06) – Rob mentions that he had a podcast called This Developer’s Life with Scott Hanselman which was both popular and a wonderful creative outlet

(05:15) – Rob has also produced a number of open source tools, some of which have been very successful and helped a lot of people

(05:22) – Phil and Rob discuss the success of the book and Rob comments that he knows the exact number of sales and says “What gets measured gets managed” – Peter Drucker

 

(06:01) – What Excites You About The Future of a Career in I.T.? Rob talks about whether or not the fun work in I.T. still exists

(06:30) – For Rob the fun used to be that there were no rules or structure and you had to figure things out for yourself

(06:56) – Rob talks about areas where the fun could be and says that you should go wherever people haven’t been already

(07:25) – Rob talks about the burden of being creative and trying something new

 

(08:31) – The Reveal

(08:36) – What attracted you to an I.T. career in the first place? – “Money!  I was a geologist when I started, making nothing.”

(08:55) – What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? – “You sound really ignorant when you’re yelling like that”

(09:30) – If you were to begin your I.T. career again, right now, what would you do? –”Databases.  Always databases.  The person who is closest to the database is the last person out the door, always, because that is the most valuable job.”

(11:00) – What career objectives are you focusing on right now? – “Books and videos.  I’m trying not to have a plan.  I want to follow what feels good, what feels right”

(11:40) – What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far? – “Empathy”

 

(12:15) – A Parting Piece of Career Advice: Rob says that there’s no one solid thing that anyone’s going to tell you that’s going to put you on a path.  You have to listen to yourself and do it.

(12:42) – When you get an idea, follow it and see where it takes you

(12:46) – Rob was approached by a friend about working for Google resulting in Rob creating an interview video which he’s very proud of

(13:15) – You never know what’s going to happen, you just have to follow what you think is right

 

3 Key Points:     

  1. Find areas of interest which have not been explored by others
  2. The most valuable aspect of a business is the database
  3. Listen to yourself and do it

 

Resources Mentioned:

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