Professional Relationship Building

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

Rejection: It’s NOT About You, It’s about Them

By Poornima Vijayashanker When I was in kindergarten I had this HUGE crush on this little red-headed boy named Rusty. Don’t ask me why. I just did. But did Rusty like me back? No. I was of course hurt. It was the first time I’d really been rejected by another human being, and I didn’t really know what to do about it. So I did the only thing I could… I kept chasing Rusty! I thought I could surely change his mind over time. But it ... Read more

Parting Ways with Partners

By Poornima Vijayashanker For the past couple of weeks I’ve been focused on writing about partnerships. I started off writing about picking provocative partners, and last week wrote about why it’s important to work with partners who can keep up. The reason I’ve stuck to this theme is mostly because a number of readers, like you, have written in to share their stories with me. Some of you have had amazing experiences, while others have struggled. All your responses have caused me ... Read more

Partners Who Can Keep Up

By Poornima Vijayashanker I've been hard at work all summer working on my manuscript for my upcoming book How to Transform Your Ideas into Software Products. It’s officially done, and out the door for peer review! There are of course little pieces here and there that I need to tend to, but overall it feels good to have something done. I officially began this book project 4 months ago with the goal of launching it by September. Each week I’d make incremental progress ... Read more

Picking Provocative Partners

By Poornima Vijayshanker We all know the common adage ‘no man is an island’. This applies to our professional lives as well as our personal ones. The people who we choose to partner with for a project can lead to progress or peril! Choosing a partner is indeed a difficult decision - you want someone you can rely on during the best and worst of times, who complements you well, and who can also nudge you when you know you need it. Too ... Read more
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