Episode 20 – Avoiding Career Stagnation & Positioning Your Company 2

James and I are back. As we do when we don’t have a guest, we’ve split this episode up into two parts. The first part is on avoiding stagnation in your software engineering career. Do you have to change jobs to learn new things and be exposed to new technologies? How do you stay fresh in your career and can you do it in the company you’re in?

Secondly, we talk about positioning our companies. James had an interesting thought about my business this week, and how I’m positioning it. We talk about a missed opportunity completely due to how I’ve positioned Beaufort Fairmont up until this point.

Resources we mentioned in this episode:



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2 thoughts on “Episode 20 – Avoiding Career Stagnation & Positioning Your Company

  • Michael Kimsal

    Nice show!

    I might sum up the answer to the ‘do I have to leave a company?’ question as “you need to be *willing* to leave”. it’s that basic, imo, and I’m constantly surprised when I meet people who are not willing to leave wherever they’re working, almost as a matter of principle. Whether it’s perceived ‘loyalty’ or personal “stick-to-it-iveness” or something else, it’s, to me, a rather weird position to take.

    You guys both came to it – the answer mostly depends on where you work – larger companies can often offer a lot of latitude and project jumping and growth, but they don’t always. I’ve been at a couple of medium and large companies where I asked to be given some other project, and was told ‘no’. So I left. I have no illusion that this caused those companies any great harm; they all survived me leaving, but … I survived leaving them too, and have generally done better than had I stayed.

    • Paul

      Thanks for the kind words Michael!

      Yeah, I think you’re right. There was a base assumption in our conversation that the main motivator is technical or career growth. There are many other motivators involved. In some cases, loyalty, like you mentioned trumps career growth. That’s certainly understandable to me, for a person who had loyalty as a strong value.

      For myself, I’m like you. Over time, it’s been clear to me that companies larger than a few people will survive you leaving. Everyone is replaceable. Interesting, this reminds me of our conversation with Cal Evans in episode 15 – (paraphrased) “Your number one job is to manage your career. No one else will.”