Professional Relationship Building

No One Likes a Creep

  By Poornima Vijayashanker Two weeks ago I talked about dealing with deadlines that are doomed, and I talked about how to create more realistic deadlines before committing to a project. A number of readers wrote in asking, “What if I’ve already got a project and I’m going to miss my deadline?” In exchanging emails with readers, I identified that the most popular reason people were going to miss a deadline was because of scope creep. Some of you might already be familiar with ... Read more

Pursuing a career in tech? Ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that can happen?”

Poornima Vijayashanker I was recently invited to speak on a panel at LA Techweek along with Susan Paley and Laura Goldberg moderated by Kim Lachance-Shandrow. One of my favorite quotes from the panel was from Laura Goldberg. I think it set the stage really well for the topics and strategies we covered such as: Why knowing how to code isn't enough Transitioning into tech from other industries  How technology has given us a lot of freedom and flexibility in our careers How technology has given women a voice How right ... Read more

Dealing With Deadlines That Are Doomed

By Poornima Vijayashanker As we get close to the end of the year, we get pulled in a number of directions, both personally and professionally. This can of course induce a case of I just don’t wanna. And we’ve probably committed ourselves to deadlines, only to discover that we probably won’t meet them. Instead of just coming right out and saying the obvious, “This deadline is unrealistic, and then providing reasons.” We put in longer and longer hours. In some cases we meet the ... Read more

Don’t Just ASK Make an Offer

By Poornima Vijayashanker Two weekends ago I was hanging out in sunny Miami attending and teaching at the Bullish Conference. One of the workshops was on negotiation, and I was really excited to participate in it. If you haven’t noticed by now, I LOVE negotiating! My love for negotiating stems from a childhood dream of wanting to be a lawyer. But I of course changed my mind when I got to college, and decided to pursue engineering instead because I also LOVE to ... Read more

When You Just Don’t Wanna

By Poornima Vijayashanker I don’t know about you, but for me it’s getting to be that time of the year, when I’m just a tad tired and a bit worn down from all the go-go-go! Instead of heading out the door bright-eyed and with a bounce in my step, I’d rather curl up on my couch with some spicy hot chocolate and queue up some Netflix. I have a HUGE case of the, “I just don’t wanna.” But there’s still a lot to do! ... Read more

Interview with Julia Grace, Head of Engineering at Tindie

Where do NASA, Google, Intel, and the world’s best makers go to create and buy gadgets? They head over to Tindie, the popular hardware marketplace. If anyone knows how to build great products and manage a top-tier engineering team, it’s Julia Grace, Tindie’s Head of Engineering. I sat down with Julia to talk about her approach to building an engineering team and products. In this excerpt from our interview, you’ll learn about her journey from 8-bit video game programmer to Silicon Valley ... Read more

Your Presentation Won’t Please Everyone

By Poornima Vijayashanker A few weeks ago I was giving a talk at a pretty prominent conference. I wanted it to be a well received, so I checked in with the organizer to understand who was going to be there, their level of technical prowess, and what topic would resonate with them. I also spent a fair amount of time rehearsing, and designing my slides to match the quality of the conference. On the day of the conference, I felt pretty good. When I ... Read more

Your Time vs Their Timeline

By Poornima Vijayashanker Earlier this year my dear friend Rachel was starting to show signs of burning out. She had been working for a very prominent company for 4+ years, dedicating long hours to polishing the product’s design, messaging, onboarding new team of designers, and always doing what needed to be done to meet the company’s tight timelines. Half way into the year she noticed that she had a team that was working well together. Rachel decided it was time to ask for ... Read more

How to Evaluate New Opportunities

By Poornima Vijayashanker Each week, people reach out to me asking me to evaluate a new opportunity or proposal they have for us to work together. I set aside sometime to entertain these requests that come in through a number of channels: social media, referrals, and sometimes face-to-face meetings. While I'd love to say yes to anything that sounds interesting, I've learned that I need to say no in order to focus and have the freedom to welcome opportunities I truly want. Most ... Read more

Don’t Wait for Someone Else to Propose a Project

By Poornima Vijayashanker Earlier this year I met up with Rachel, a mentee of mine. Rachel wanted some guidance regarding the direction of her career. She had been with her current company for 3 years, and really wanted to lead their new mobile initiative. She wanted to be challenged, but instead of giving her the new mobile initiative, her boss kept handing her projects that were uninteresting. I started out by asking Rachel if she had experience in mobile. Rachel responded, “I’ve been ... Read more
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