Episode 32 – Stop Trying To Do It All with Cory House

 In Podcasts

Cory House is a Pluralsight author, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, Software Architect, international speaker and principal at React JS Consulting. He has trained over 10,000 software developers at conferences and businesses worldwide on clean coding practices, front-end development, testing and software architecture. Cory currently specializes in JavaScript and front-end development using React.

In this episode Cory House talks about the impact that public speaking has had on his career progression and why multi-tasking can result in failure. Cory tells us about an unexpected success and also why you shouldn’t be trying to do it all.


Time Stamped Show Notes

(00:54) – Phil introduces Cory House

(01:31) – Cory tells us that he’s been writing software professionally for fifteen years but has been coding for longer than that

(01:44) – Starting out with a broad set of interests in software development, Cory has started to specialise in front end development

(02:02) – Cory says that he made that decision because he identified it as area of rapid change and of opportunity

(02:13) – Go where there’s natural growth because natural growth creates all opportunities

(02:47) – It’s the places that are hard and in flux where Cory finds he can help


(02:53) – Unique Career Tip: Cory believes that every software developer should try speaking

(03:06) – It could be at a local user group or at a conference

(03:13) – Cory says that this has been the single change that has most accelerated his career

(03:19) – Unfortunately Cory had been coding for more than ten years before he came up with the idea and tried it

(03:26) – Cory says that he believes the reason most people don’t speak is that they feel they need to be an expert

(03:41) – All you need to have is knowledge to share and to recognise that the people who want to learn from you will show up

(03:53) – You just need to know something better than those that chose to be in your audience

(04:10) – There’s room for everybody to get up and try speaking, as well as a great skill to have, which sets you apart and makes you someone remarkable and special because very few people do


(05:37) – Worst Career Moment: Cory talks about making the mistake of coding while watching a movie

(05:54) – Cory recalls the saying, “Multi-tasking is doing two things badly” which is what he did

(06:14) – Cory accidently sent thousands and thousands of duplicate emails to people

(06:28) – Ever since then Cory tends to code in silence

(06:45) – Cory says that he had to apologise a lot and also help with cleaning up

(07:12) – Phil recounts a similar incident where an individual sent an email with a large attachment to an entire company, bringing the email server to a standstill


(07:50) – Career Highlight / Greatest Success: Cory talks about one of his latest courses on Pluralsight which has been a great success

(08:14) – Cory was creating a course for a framework and then realised that the author of the framework was also producing a course

(08:31) – It was too late for Cory to stop so he published the course thinking “what’s the worst that could happen”

(08:52) – It transpired that the author’s course was excellent but very different to Cory’s course

(08:59) – The two courses were actually very complimentary due to their different approaches

(09:11) – This was Cory’s most successful course and he wouldn’t have done it if he’d known earlier about the framework author’s course

(09:29) – Cory’s advice is don’t let the fact that there is existing competition stop you from doing something


(10:25) – What Excites You About The Future of a Career in I.T.? Cory says that, increasingly, we have a very powerful position to change the world

(10:37) – Software keeps becoming more and more dominant in automating our lives

(10:47) – Increases in quality as well as making things repeatable and reliable

(10:56) – What excites Cory is that we will continue to see this occur and a lot of new opportunities to use software to make life more luxurious and less stressful

(11:13) – Cory says that he loves learning so continual change in I.T. is part of why he chose this career

(11:26) – Over the next decade we’re probably going to see accelerating change which is why you should embrace and find your own niche


(12:36) – The Reveal

(12:40) – What attracted you to an I.T. career in the first place? – “The ability to build something that didn’t exist, from the ground up”

(13:04) – What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? – “Be useful”

(13:35) – If you were to begin your I.T. career again, right now, what would you do? –”I would probably specialise earlier”

(14:06) – What career objectives are you focusing on right now? – “Mastery in a few very specific technologies”

(14:34) – What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far? – “Public speaking”


(15:07) – A Parting Piece of Career Advice: Cory recommends the book, “Essentialism”

(15:19) – Stop asking yourself, “How can I do it all” and start asking yourself, “What is the thing that I want to go big on”

(15:32) – Making that shift is powerful because it cuts out the noise of the things you are mediocre at.  It gives you the free time to be really exceptional at the one thing that matters to you


3 Key Points:     

  1. Areas of growth will naturally create career development opportunities
  2. Becoming a public speaker will set you apart and make you special
  3. Don’t let the presence of competition put you off from doing something


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