This week, I published Jamison Dance's #DevJourney story on my eponym Podcast: Software developer's Journey. Among many other things, here are my main personal takeaways:

  • Jamison started a CS-Degree with no prior coding skills. He said: "I liked the challenge of catching up with these people that seemed to know it all already"
  • When you work for a company like Wallmart, you are in direct competition with Amazon... which limits your ability to use CloudServices like AWS. I had never thought about it this way before :D
  • Jamison experienced a couple bad jobs, with unhealthy "bro" culture or "old-school-military style leadership". He doesn't regret his time there. On the contrary, it made him realize that there are still bad jobs out there, even in software dev. I wish we didn't have to live through it to realize it though.
  • Here's a new passive aggressive way of quitting. Go to your manager and tell them: "I want to work less." When they say "How much less?" simply answer: "All of it." And then go tell Jamison how it went ;)
  • "I've always wanted people to be happy. Those (bad) experiences helped be realized that I wanted to be able to influence how people felt about work."
  • I like how Jamison summarizes the role of the Engineering Manager: create and environment for people to do good work. Both positive: Uphold these values! And negative: keep you from having to worry about these things.
  • Jamison dipped his toes into management in a startup and realized how much he didn't know. In his consequent job, he worked as a senior individual contributor and used this time to observe his management and simulate how he would have reacted. First, I love how he took a step back. But then, I admire his ability to reflect and project himself to learn. Kuddos!
  • I love how Jamison was not afraid of saying "I'm not that talented of a developer, I'm pretty good and I can learn stuff, but I know people that are way more talented at producing artefacts than I am." This is a very healthy attitude!
  • "I like supporting people, more than being the star producer myself"
  • "The number 1 activity of an Engineering Manager should be the one on ones. There you talk about work, but first and foremost abt things that are out of the bounds of normal meetings: feedback, conflicts etc."
  • _"There are not many good ways to fire someone, but there certainly are many bad ones. one is to have it be a total surprise. When it is trending that way, I make sure there are clear discussions about expectations and where people stand."
  • Advice to get a new job: "Reverse Engineer how people around you got their jobs: conferences, meetups, networking, helping out, etc. Do not cold apply. It is very unlikely that you will get a job this way."
  • Last but not least: "Be nice to others!"
  • Oh and "You should definitely pick a last name that is a top level domain, but don't pick COM, 'cause it's probably taken." ;)

Thanks Jamison for sharing your story with us!

You can find the full episode and the shownotes on

Did you listen to his story?

  • What did you learn?
  • What are your personal takeaways?
  • What did you find particularly interesting?