Find a Community to Join and Share What You Know with James Ward

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James Ward

James Ward is a software developer who shares what he learns with others through presentations, blogs, demos and code.  He is a self-proclaimed Typed Pure Functional Programming zealot but often compromises on his ideals to just get things done.  And as well as being the co-author of “First Steps in Flex” and the creator of the first Java hosting service back in 1997, he helped to launch the Reactive Manifesto.

In this episode, Phil and James Ward talk, at length, about the best ways to get involved in the IT community, help others and grow your reputation within the industry. They also discuss how to be effective at influencing decision-makers. James also talks about how to go back to basics when explaining things to beginners. A skill you need when building a team.


James Ward

Resources – Check out James Ward’s website!

2 Top Career Tips

1) Find a community you want to be a part of and work to improve it. Everyone benefits when you do that, including you. In time, you become well known and people start to recognise your efforts and what you have to offer. You can contribute in all kinds of ways. Write blog posts, put together documentation, provide code samples and more besides. Use forum and social media to uncover what people are struggling with, and then provide something to help them to meet those challenges.
2) Share what you know. Everyone has something unique to share with their community, so make sure you do. You never know how many people you can end up helping by doing so.

Show Notes

Worst Career Moment

James worked at Adobe, in particular on Flex. When HTML, CSS and the web started growing, he realised that it would have a significant impact on how relevant Adobe Flex was. At that stage, James wanted to develop Flex in a way that enabled people to port their applications easily to the web. Unfortunately, he was unable to convince the management of the need to do this. It led to him leaving a job he loved because he knew the tech he was working on was going downhill. The experience taught James that he needed to work on his influencing skills.

Career Highlight

James’ career highlight was TypeSafe the company behind Scala. He enjoyed being able to simplify things to the point where people could actually get started with using the tech. First, they created activator which made everything easier to install and provided templates. Later, they provided hundreds of pieces of sample code, which made things even easier.

The Future

There is so much happening right now. It is almost overwhelming. But, this is a good thing because it means that the possibilities are endless. James has a lot of fun learning the new technologies and playing around with the latest tech gadgets. He shares details of his rocket related project with the audience.

The Reveal

What first attracted you to a career in I.T.?

James describes himself as being a nerd, even as a young kid, so for him taking up a career in I.T was a natural step.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

You need to work on your dependability. In the podcast, James explains how he overcame his own flakiness.

What is the worst career advice you’ve ever received?

James has been lucky with his advisors, so did not have a worst piece of career advice to share.

If you had to begin your career again in today’s world, what would you do?

Get involved in machine learning, AI and data dynamics.

What career objectives are you currently focusing on?

James really wants to improve developer journeys and experiences. Right now, he is focused on using Java Spring in Google Cloud to do this.

What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far?

His desire to learn. At this stage he talks about a couple of his side projects he is involved in, including WebJars.

What do you do to keep your own career energized?

What do you do in your spare time away from technology?

James loves spending time in the mountains in Colorado. He is a keen hiker, biker and skier.

Contact The Guest

Contact James Ward through the following social media platforms:



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Accelerate Your Career Every Week - NOW

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