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Cate Huston


The rent versus buy of career growth

The business context for a rent versus buy dichotomy was first introduced to me by Adam a few years back. It has since then proven very useful as a tool for thinking about the relationship people have to their jobs/companies.

In this post, Cate Huston does an excellent job laying it all out, including which things are generally rented, and which things are generally bought.

Thinking about career decisions this way, you can consider different tradeoffs and options that work best for you at any given time… My question is: are you making those choices mindfully? And do they work for the life and career you want?


Sharing the data: how technical women navigate their career

In May, Automattic’s engineering hiring team launched a user research study to better understand how our approach to tech hiring resonates with women and non-binary folks who may experience similar gender discrimination in the workplace and are experienced developers.

71 engineers responded and the research team performed in-depth interviews with 14 of them. Check out the study to see the expected results and things that surprised them. Here’s an example of the kind of takeaways came from the survey:

Women are looking for more communities focused on connecting to other senior women, and around more technical topics (many communities focus on entry to mid-level folks). Concerns around online harassment can put women off trying to build their network online.


How do developers define success?

How you define success influences how and what you build. With that in mind, Cate Huston set out to learn how we developers do.

I started with the Stack Overflow survey. Caveat: I hate it and I think it’s riddled with bias. For example, women make up ~fifty percent of the population, around ~twenty percent of technical roles… and 7.2% of the respondents to this survey.

The SO survey is imperfect in many ways, but unfortunately it’s also one of the only quantitative datasets we have. Cate also asked her followers on Twitter (which she admits is also riddled with bias):

Many of the themes from the Stack Overflow survey showed up here – shipping code, learning and developing, autonomy….Another theme, though, was the theme of impact. People using what was built, benefitting others in some way.

That’s just a few of her findings. Definitely read the entire piece as it’s riddled (😏) with insights. Also check out part 1 in this series.

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