Episode 62 – Identify Your Core Values with April Wensel
April Wensel is an international speaker and the founder of Compassionate Coding, which is a social enterprise bringing emotional intelligence and social consciousness to the software industry. April is also a mentor and a keen advocate of diversity and inclusiveness within the industry.
01.00 Phil Burgess starts the interview with April Wensel by asking her to expand on his introduction and telling us a little bit more about herself. April tells us she has been working as a software engineer both in an individual capacity as a contributor and in an engineering team. She solves a lot of problems within the industry around human beings. This is why she started Compassionate Coding, to inspire people to care about human beings and the people they are building the software for. In addition to these qualities she reveals to us that she is a Vegan which enabled her to bring compassion to the industry.
01.44 Phil continues with the theme by asking April how she sees compassion having a bearing on how software is developed. April looks at it from a very rational angle that when the software product is being designed, firstly, the goal is to alleviate suffering in someone’s life, and secondly how we actually go about building the software. She says we want to minimize suffering for the developers and anyone else on the team.
02.20 Phil asks April “Can you perhaps tell us a unique career tip?” April discusses with Phil the benefits of identifying core values, and for her, personal filters, she advises, people should slow down and filter out some of the noises you hear in the industry. Phil agrees that identifying your core values is essential and a very good point and that if you establish what they are early, and what you want to do with your career as you mature, opinions will change but they are essential if you want a career in IT.
03.42 Phil Burgess enquires of April about her worst IT moments and learning from that experience. April tells us about a job she loved and how she was upset on ethical grounds regarding how the company was progressing, she also tells us what happened to her. Phil shares with April an interview he did with David J Anderson ,and David made the point April was making, that in your career you have to make the choices between your job and what is ethically correct.
06.11 Phil asks April about her career highlight or greatest success. April outlines how her view of compassionate coding spreading through the technical community has given her personal satisfaction. April had seen the lack of concern in human beings and knew she wanted to do something on her own. When she receives messages from people implementing or taking on board her ethics she says it light’s her up inside.
07.00 April informs us that if we are looking to have a career in IT we need to have more that coding skills. We need to be able to manage our time well, able to communicate our ideas in an effective way, and work well with others. April assures us that the industry is not as it always was perhaps being shut away in a basement on our own, but that IT is now in this modern landscape and communication skills are going to become more important.
- April tells us “I’ve matured I am not excited by technology for technology’s sake, for me the most exciting is social entrepreneurs in technology companies
- April explains “we are able to apply all the techniques established and apply them to social problems”
- Phil asks April about non technical skills. April believes listening is a very important skill to have in the industry especially when dealing with non-technical staff.
- “Ignore any advice that does not resonate with your core values “April says when Phil asks her to share any parting piece of advice
- April discusses what happened when she had to leave the company she loved working for over ethical issues. April says it was a problem with the culture of the company and its ethics. Her advice is “definitely leave when you know it’s time to leave”
ABOUT THE HOST
Phil Burgess, an I.T. consultant, mentor, and coach, is the creator and host of I.T. Career Energizer Podcast. His podcast continues to inspire, assist and guide those wanting to start and grow a career by inviting successful professionals, consultants, and experts in the I.T.
ABOUT THE GUEST
April Wensel’s career has taken her along a path of success to founding her own business of Compassionate Coding. Her ethics and practices within Compassionate Coding centre around her belief that we should leave this world better than we found it, and that software companies need to care about human life with compassion. April believes that software technology should be used to help social problems as well as helping humans. April is a vegan, passionate about animal rights, and believes we should strive towards a more peaceful world.
CONTACT THE GUEST
- Website: www.compassionatecoding.com
- LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/aprilwensel
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/aprilwensel