Speaking At University of Texas: The Coding Boot Camp

At the end of January I was invited as a guest to come speak at The Coding Boot Camp at the University of Austin, and give my feedback on projects.


It was really cool having a one on one chat with a couple of the developers, as well as viewing their work. But the conversations I had with both the developers one on one and the class as a whole had not much to do with coding at all. More so to do with the as an individual.


I love Q&A type settings and many of the initial questions I received were about what do I look for when hiring a developer? Are there requirements to the skill level when choosing a candidate? What catches your eye on a resume?


My answer was simple and straightforward. I love problem solvers. Maybe your coding skills are average compared to another’s, but if you have problem solving skills and they don’t then I may give you a shot before them.


People that are problem solvers know how to find solutions. They rarely have excuses, their prompt, and frankly they get shit done. My senior developer BJ has never failed me with any project. He recently told me on a new project that there’s one area he’s not great at and doesn’t have much experience in.


So he had already found a developer that was clutch in that specific area, and told me we should contract him out to do it. He’ll learn from what that developer does, in case we run into another similar project.


BOOM! This is why I pay him on time, every time. Problem solving skills, bro. First he was upfront about his skill level in that area. Second, he found a solution. Third he learned from the situation and used the solution to strengthen his skills.


Those are the type of people I absolutely love to work with, because they understand how to get things done and how to continue to get better, and taking initiative.


One of the other topics I spoke strongly about was knowing who you are as a person and in your field, and focusing on being a badass at it. If you’re a full stack developer then be that. You’re more interested in frontend or backend development, then make that your focus. Be great at your passion.


While many times you have to do other tasks outside of your actual desire, keep working toward be the best at what you’re passionately driven toward until you get there.


Me personally, I have no interest in coding. Looking at a black screen with rainbow colors and alligator mouths depressed me. I’m more into UI/UX design but it’s still not a passion of mine.


What I love to do is take businesses from their current revenue and increase it dramatically. I so happen to utilize the internet and online mediums to do so. But, I’ve had to do development and designing to get to where I can focus more on business development.


When I started off I had every hat in my business: developer, designer, project manager, accountant, sales team, you name it. I said I will start with what will take the most off my plate, and hire that position to take that hat off first.


So by priority, I built my business so that I can focus more on what I wanted to do in my business. I looked for others better than me and opposite than me to fill those spots and dominate them.


Regardless of your industry or field, if you’re looking for a corporate career or want to be an entrepreneur, always reflect on these 3 points to help get you where you want to be:


  1. Know who you are to help you know where you’ll want to go
  2. Be a problem solver and get it figured out
  3. Have laser focus on what you’re great at and passionate about.


I definitely enjoyed the experience. Was invited back by the Career Director, and plan on doing it again. 

Daniel Griggs

Entrepreneur Athlete

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