Episode 21 – Don’t Let Your Fear Hold You Back with David Rael

 In Podcasts

David Rael describes himself as a dad, problem solver, software creator and productivity expert.  David is also host of the podcast Developer On Fire which he started in 2015 as a way of stepping outside of his comfort zone.

In this episode David Rael talks about the need to take action and providing value.  David also discusses the importance of family and why you should continually test your understanding as you learn new things.


Time Stamped Show Notes

(00:50) – Phil introduces David Rael

(01:13) – David reiterates that first and foremost he is a dad and therefore family focused

(01:56) – Spending time and having experiences with his kids is what David enjoys most


(02:04) – Unique Career Tip: David says there are several things he could talk about

(02:16) – David says the first thing he recommends is to take action

(02:22) – Previously David knew that he should be giving talks at conferences, blogging and providing value but didn’t take action

(02:40) – You need to get yourself out there

(02:46) – David also says that you should, “Punch fear in the face”

(02:53) – David says that he used to tell himself that he was good with machines but not with humans

(03:14) – Interacting with humans is a big deal and that is why you need to step out of your comfort zone

(03:34) – Take action, go for it and don’t let your fear hold you back

(03:39) – Phil suggests that people often do not consider things that are outside of the boundaries of their responsibilities and as a result this holds back their career progression

(03:53) – David agrees and says that that you can undersell your value and that of the business you serve


(04:28) – Worst Career Moment: David talks briefly about, “the day the database died”

(04:47) – The database went down and there were no useful backups

(04:51) – Consequently this was followed by three eighteen hour days to recover the database

(04:59) – David talks about a time when he lost sight of the importance of his family

(05:14) – David was working on a system implementation as well as his own side project which consumed all of his time

(05:44) – It took the intervention of his mother to get David to realise that he wasn’t giving his kids the attention they needed

(06:17) – David says that it’s painful for him to acknowledge it but he put software ahead of his family

(06:55) – David also talks about experiencing the feeling of burnout and not getting things done

(07:20) – Hence David had to let the side project go


(07:46) – Career Highlight / Greatest Success: David says that podcasting has become the biggest thing in his career

(08:14) – It’s because he took action and created something of value

(08:20) – David wanted to create a podcast about software professionals

(08:28) – David wanted to tell the stories of programmers

(08:45) – “Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Ghandi

(08:55) – David just wanted to become a little better known and to see what would happen

(09:17) – A community exists around the show and they tell David that what he does matters

(09:45) – Hearing positive feedback about his podcast is very rewarding for David

(10:20) – People now recognise David from his voice and manner of speaking

(10:41) – David is very proud of having created Developer On Fire


(11:00) – What Excites You About The Future of a Career in I.T.? David says that the historic barriers to working in I.T. have been removed

(11:27) – David says that the continuing evolution of software is enabling democratisation

(11:42) – With readily available tools anyone can write software

(11:57) – The price of a laptop is all you need to get into software and that is thrilling

(12:06) – David also talks about the accessibility of programming such as IFTTT and Flow

(13:06) – David believes that it’s really exciting that people have leverage machines in ways that they never have before and it just keeps getting better


(13:19) – The Reveal

(13:22) – What attracted you to an I.T. career in the first place? – “It was an accident that I got a software job”

(14:03) – What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? – “Test your understanding”

(14:59) – If you were to begin your I.T. career again, right now, what would you do? –”I’d myself in front of people immediately through blogging and podcasting”

(15:20) – What career objectives are you focusing on right now? – “I’m trying to shift from being a professional developer to podcasting”

(16:40) – What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far? – “Empathy”


(18:10) – A Parting Piece of Career Advice: David says that comfort is the enemy of growth

(18:27) – Doing the same things you’ve always done is a pattern of comfort

(18:51) – If you’re doing the same things over and over again, maybe it’s time to shake it up a little bit


3 Key Points:     

  1. Consider blogging and podcasting so that you become known for what you do
  2. Don’t lose sight of the importance of family
  3. Continually test your understanding as you learn new things


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