Code Your Way Up – The Getting Started for Software Developers

2020-02-11 13.50.32.pngGoing back to many years ago, when I first became a Software Manager, I was surprised (shocked) in the steps I went through in going from Developer to Manager.

Many times I asked myself questions such as;

  • Why’d they pick me?
  • Am I doing this right?
  • Should I have started earlier?
  • Is everyone laughing at me?

None of which I could answer then because I didn’t know the answers to them and for the most part they didn’t exist.  Software Leaders are an interesting breed because we are essentially promoted into the position because we excel at being great coders – we DELIVER – we get things done and we make things happen.  The next logical step is to see if you have the – DRIVE – to get yourself and another group of people to the same location but delivering an even bigger piece of software that can only be done by a team.

We’ve all had the conversations that go like – “You have a $500K budget for this project, why don’t you give me half and I’ll go into a cave and do it myself, burn myself to a crisp doing it and hope it lines up with your requirements and you’ll save all that money and not need to deal with more people as a result.” – and sure this is a valid question, but it’s not a question that will have an answer that will generate long-term GROWTH for you (forget the company, we’re talking about you).  It will burn you out or give you a bad name in the process.

In thinking of all the challenges that go into Software Development, I started to write them down, identifying the behaviours that go into being a successful leader, where they begin and how.

To be a leader, whether you’re leading a team, a project, a customer fix, a performance test in QA, a trial delivery, etc, etc you don’t need to be overtly charismatic, an extrovert, the first person who puts their hand up for everything.  You need to show the INITIATIVE in that this is something you want to do.  LEADERSHIP isn’t an overnight deliverable, it’s not something that happens all at once and it’s definitely not something you are going to get right on your first time.

But where do you start?

You start with your code, you start when you are cranking oodles of goodness to production, when you’re the key to it all, when you’re comfortable in what you are doing.  You start by executing all the behaviours highlighted above so that when you do get there, you’re ready for it and it’s not so much of a grand announcement, but a natural progression for which you have prepared for your entire career.

Code Your Way Up is available now for pre-order on Amazon (Canada and US) – it’s a great addition to your library to get going and realizing where you want to take your career (and how).


Finding your Non-Leadership Style

Leadership Styles are a tricky conversation primarily because no one wants to be pigeonholed being “that” type of Leader (when no one cares for having “that” type of Leader in their organization).

But it gets worse, as you start to work with other leaders (maybe you have a group of Team Leads you are mentoring) they want to understand what style you teach and employ because this is more important than the results you create.

To be a Great Leader, you don’t need to have a Leadership style. 

If you want to be better then having a particular style, I would urge you instead to focus on having a Non-Leadership style which essentially says – who you aren’t.

Having a Non-Leadership Style is what keeps you open to changes in the industry and lets you build your toolbox with a variety of tools, adding new ones, replacing old ones.  It prevents the conversation from with team members from going down a path of – “oh okay, so today we’re doing this?”

When you have a Non-Leadership Style you KNOW who you DON’T want to be, what you DON’T want to do and what you DON’T want to teach others.

You won’t find Non-Leadership Styles in a powerpoint deck because there are too many and only you can be the judge for what works for you and what doesn’t from your experience at trying them.

Non-Leadership Styles are typically unstructured and not driven by processes or perfect diagrams.  Instead they are composed of guiding concepts and goals that hold the leader to their path and direction but let them choose the route to get there.

Non-Leadership Styles are not for everyone – there is no handbook (except the one written by the leader) that says – “when this, do that, then do this, followed by that” which can frustrate those that are looking for a step-by-step manual to leadership.  They are free-flowing, evolving and natural in their development, growth, and escalation as they are implemented, tweaked and twisted.  They are the leadership styles that we come to admire for these exact qualities of flexibility and growth.

The next time you get asked what’s your Leadership Style, flip the conversation and start by saying what your Leadership style isn’t.  In that instant, the conversation will change as people here what you will not do and when you start doing what you set out to do they will not be fearful for what comes but instead be relaxed in knowing what it will not be.


Shipping with Bugs

There are a few things wrong with our new site.

You might not be able to pick them out, but we can, some are more obvious than others.

But all of them stick out like a thorn in my side that I can’t get past even though our new site is vastly better than our previous one.

For the last few months, I hummed and hawed over whether to take down the Under Construction sign and release or keep it up while trying to resolve these last few issues.

If I adjusted the time that we were delivering on, I knew it would push back the release even further as the list would never end.

We shipped last week, it’s not perfect, there are some kinks to work out (some fixed this week), but we’re happy with the result and the lessons it taught us.

We’ve re-structured our site to focus on our main core competencies – Development, Leading and Learning.


At our core, we deliver simple, scalable solutions.  We work with a variety of Government Departments and Private Organizations to deliver solutions on the Office365, Dynamics 365 and Azure stacks focusing on Data Driven and Contact Centre oriented solutions.

If you aren’t sure where to start with your next project or have some questions, drop us a line.


We’re pleased to offer the general availability of our new Dynamics 365 Training programs.  These programs are born from the custom training modules we have done for customers over the past few years and the questions we get asked most often.

All attendees will receive access to their own tenant for the week prior, during and two weeks after our course to they can complete any Labs and/or revisit material.  In addition, we want to hear from you before your session starts to ensure you’re in the right program and the content we deliver will help you reach your goals.


Our training programs and content delivery have not gone anywhere and instead are now being offered as customized offerings.  Whether you’re a Developer, Team Lead or Manager or Team – we can all use a kickstart to get going and become a more effective leader.

Our programs are a combination of mentoring and coaching designed to give you the jump you need to be a success.

We’re still tweaking things, but we’re looking forward to what we can deliver with you in 2019. If you’re interested in learning more, give us a call or email us.


Welcome to BetaRover

You are the brilliant coder able to solve any problem thrown at you with the track record to back it up. And now people are looking to you for leadership, coaching, mentorship and guidance to call the right plays for your team.

Leadership Development

As a Software Leader you’re now responsible not only for the development and trajectory of your own career, but those on your team as well.

To help you get there on your journey, we offer coaching and leadership development programs focused around both the Individual and Team to help you meet these challenges head-on and turn them into opportunities for growth.

Hand-in-Hand with our Digital Transformation Strategies, BetaRover works directly with your Development Teams and leadership to give your team the tools they need to become effective leaders and develop a culture focused on software delivery that meets the needs of your organization. [more]

Digital Transformation Strategies

As a Microsoft Partner, BetaRover will work with your team to understand your current software architecture and implementation with the goal towards developing a strategy that helps you in navigating the divide between were you are and where you need to go.   As part of our Digital Transformation Strategies we offer hands-on training workshops that go beyond the introduction and intermediate content and deep dives into the complex, proven and nitty gritty. [more]

Whether it’s helping your team raise their leadership game or solidify your platform strategy there is one component that is is core to everything we do – we Light It Up!

Not sure where to start?  Get in touch with us on LinkedIn or Contact Us.

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