Episode 47 – What People Really Need with Chuck Wood

 In Podcasts

Chuck Wood is a developer, podcaster, speaker and the CEO of Devchat.tv. He’s host of several popular tech podcasts including Javascript Jabber and Ruby Rogues as well as being an independent software consultant with a focus on Ruby, Ruby on Rails, JQuery, Prototype.js and other web technologies.

In this episode Chuck Wood talks about working freelance within the I.T. industry and why relationships are key to the success of projects and teams. Chuck also tells us that we need to be true to who we are and what we care about.


Time Stamped Show Notes

(00:54) – Phil introduces Chuck Wood

(01:24) – Chuck tells us that he is now focusing on producing podcasts and hasn’t taken a contract in several months

(01:41) – Chuck talks a little about his different podcasts as well as creation of courses for developers, such as how to find a programming job


(02:31) – Unique Career Tip: Chuck says, “Don’t be afraid to strike out on your own”

(02:58) – By doing this himself a few years ago, Chuck found he was much happier and earned better money

(03:14) – “If you can solve a problem for somebody and you can convince them that you can solve the problem then you can go freelance today”

(03:28) – It may sound scary if you haven’t done it before but just go out there and try it

(03:47) – Phil and Max talk about reasons why people often don’t freelance, such as job security and fear of the unknown

(04:47) – “Find that thing that people really need done”


(06:32) – Worst Career Moment: Chuck talks about roles he did early in his career

(07:19) – Chuck tells us that he had two worst I.T. career moments, both involved having a bad boss

(07:37) – Chuck tells us the story of quitting a job and the interaction he had with his boss when quitting

(10:35) – Chuck says that he connects most with the people in a job and not necessarily with the technology

(10:42) – It was the worst moment for Chuck because of the deterioration of the relationship with his boss, which he felt was always one-sided


(11:00) – Career Highlight / Greatest Success: Chuck talks about going freelance and starting Ruby Rogues

(11:41) – While at a conference with Ruby Rogues, the hosts got together and wrote a book

(12:32) – This included a call with Kent Beck to talk about the structure of the book

(12:37) – It was about having that experience with people that he admired and cared about

(13:03) – They did something that other people identified with and that was special


(14:11) – What Excites You About The Future of a Career in I.T.? Chuck talks about how easy it has become to create applications

(15:40) – Chuck also talks about augmented reality, big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence and IoT coming together

(16:41) – Chuck says that we get to pioneer these things which is really cool

(16:46) – The future of data and where it is held is an unknown, interesting and full of possibilities

(17:10) – If you’re in I.T., you’re contributing to where these things are going


(18:33) – The Reveal

(18:38) – What attracted you to an I.T. career in the first place? – Chuck tells us about being inspired by his grandfather

(19:54) – What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? – “Just get out there … go out to events”

(20:55) – If you were to begin your I.T. career again, right now, what would you do? –”I would probably go for machine learning at this point. It’s a growing field. It’s really exciting.”

(21:40) – What career objectives are you focusing on right now? – “Growing the podcast network and making things easier for podcasters”

(22:26) – What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far? – “The ability to listen and then provide consistent and solid feedback”


(23:42) – A Parting Piece of Career Advice: Chuck Wood says that you should just be yourself

(24:25) – People will see you for who you are and accept you for who you are

(24:31) – You can then find a place where you fit in because of who you are and what you care about


3 Key Points:     

  1. Find out what people really need done and develop that skill
  2. Relationships are key to the success of projects and teams
  3. Always be yourself and you will find a place where you fit


Resources Mentioned:

  • Devchat.tv – Chuck Wood’s website
  • LinkedIn – Chuck Wood’s LinkedIn profile
  • @cmaxw – Chuck Wood’s Twitter handle
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