Episode 38 – Develop Your Own Brand with K. Scott Allen

 In Podcasts

K. Scott Allen has more than 25 years of commercial software development experience across a wide range of technologies. He has successfully delivered software products for embedded, Windows and web platforms. Scott is also a Pluralsight course creator, a host on the podcast Herding Code, a published author and a conference speaker.

In this episode K. Scott Allen talks about the importance of having your own brand and being able to differentiate yourself from others. Scott also tells us why obstacles can provide great learning experiences and why he believes that cloud technology provides innovation and opportunity.


Time Stamped Show Notes

(00:53) – Phil introduces K. Scott Allen

(01:24) – Scott tells us that he still enjoys developing software and is passionate about working in I.T.

(01:50) – Scott talks about his enjoyment of writing, both technical and fiction

(02:13) – Early in his career, Scott wanted to write magazine articles for other people to se

(02:32) – Scott started writing for some magazines which led to creating a blog, book publishing, conference speaking and then to creating courses for Pluralsight


(03:33) – Unique Career Tip: Scott talks about one of his first software development jobs after leaving college

(03:46) – Scott says that he had to figure out a lot things on his own through research and initiative

(04:23) – This helped Scott develop the ability to solve problems he encountered in software

(04:43) – Scott believes that it is easy to find answers without having to think about the problem

(05:01) – “It’s such a great learning experience to encounter some obstacle and then try to figure out how to get around that obstacle yourself”


(05:17) – Worst Career Moment: Scott says that one of the worst mistakes he made was to join an internet start-up company

(05:55) – Scott says that it was both the best experience and the worst experience

(05:58) – It was an incredibly talented group of engineers and a great team

(06:05) – They were very successful technically but failed as a company and went bankrupt

(06:12) – Scott saw people being laid off, including himself, and eventually the company closed down

(06:28) – Scott says that it is still worth while taking those chances and for him it was one of the best things that ever happened to him

(06:41) – Scott says that it’s important to have your own brand and be able to differentiate yourself from others

(07:08) – It have Scott the push to do something outside of the 9 to 5 work day where he could demonstrate his capabilities as a software developer

(07:42) – Scott has managed to create a lot of great relationships which became a great network for Scott after the company closed


(08:20) – Career Highlight / Greatest Success: Scott says that Pluralsight has been a success for him, both personally and financially

(08:52) – Scott also talks about implementing a system for a healthcare provider which was the best solution he has ever come up with

(09:34) – In fact the code is still used inside of software today


(10:02) – What Excites You About The Future of a Career in I.T.? Scott talks about the cloud which is where there is a lot of innovation and potential

(10:21) – Serverless computing, integration of technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning

(10:31) – Scott believes the enormous capability to store data and perform computations on that data will accelerate over the next five to ten years


(12:02) – The Reveal

(12:07) – What attracted you to an I.T. career in the first place? – “My parents brought home a Texas Instruments 99/4A”

(13:12) – What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? – “Put yourself into a company or team that has a lot of positive energy”

(13:44) – If you were to begin your I.T. career again, right now, what would you do? –”Start small – the smaller companies are a little more interesting”

(14:13) – What career objectives are you focusing on right now? – “I’m still focused on finding interesting software projects, writing code and teaching others”

(14:45) – What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far? – “It’s definitely been communication”


(15:23) – A Parting Piece of Career Advice: Scott says that “If you are at all interested in software you’re going to be able to find a position somewhere”

(15:48) – The best development jobs are where you enjoy coding as well as the business itself


3 Key Points:     

  1. Learning how to get around obstacles is a great skill to develop
  2. It’s important to have your own brand and to be able to differentiate yourself from others
  3. The cloud is an area of innovation and potential providing plenty of opportunity


Resources Mentioned:

  • odetocode.com – Scott’s website
  • @odetocode – Scott’s Twitter account
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