DiscoverHealthy Software Developer
Healthy Software Developer

Healthy Software Developer

Author: Jayme Edwards

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Ever been on a software team and noticed how stressful and complex it gets? Does it feel like keeping up with the demands of your tech job makes it really hard to have a life outside of work?

Hi I'm Jayme, and I've been struggling for over 20 years to keep a healthy work/life balance on software development teams. With so many problems in our industry, the more money I made the more ridiculous people's expectations were.

So I’m sharing what I’ve learned to keep you from getting burned out or stuck on dead end projects. You’ll get practical tips on agile development, influencing people, and having healthy habits to keep you calm and growing.

Over my career I started coaching teams on devops, scrum, kanban, and software architecture. But people were always the problem - including sometimes myself.

This podcast is a log of my insights and mistakes on the journey to finding healthy ways for people to build software. Subscribe and join us - let’s help each other grow a community of healthy software developers!

Get more help with healthy software development at
109 Episodes
I've been working through anger issues after reflecting on the content I've put out there for people in the software industry.  I mostly avoided social media for the past 5-8 years and when I started putting my ideas out there, I bought into the "outrage culture". I also have been on many failed projects. And I've had personal problems with my family and identity. I made this video to apologize for my anger and how I've come across as "knowing everything" sometimes. I don't think it helps anyone to be another voice in this, and so I'm committing from here on out to be more discerning with how I share my opinions and advice. When I was 14, I stopped going to church because I wanted to party with my friends. 5 years later I got my girlfriend pregnant and had a really hard time with being a father. I felt too young in public, frustrated with myself and my bad decisions, and so I began to smoke marijuana pretty regularly after work. After my Dad died from cancer, I didn't understand how to cope with the grief and so I used video games (MMOs at the time), music, and pot to escape from what my life had become. Though from the perspective of people I worked with I was successful, my home life was a mess. Software developers make a lot of money and even though I had most of my financial and material needs met, I was really empty inside. After suffering from a bout of chronic insomnia two years ago, I began going back to church. It was really strange and I felt completely out of place. But after I started going to a men's group offered by the church on Fridays, I met several other men who were open about their failures and willing to counsel me where I'd went wrong. I began praying that God would help me with a lot of things, but 3 in particular kept coming up. First, that I would have the courage to do what's right even when people don't like me. Second, that I would heal from bitterness in my life, and that my heart would soften to let go of anger. And third, that I would have more discernment to make decisions that would be better for my life. My life has been going much better in all areas other than my career. I've decided to go into management after reflecting on where my passions are with helping companies and people be more healthy about how they develop software. What this means for the channel is that I'll continue to make content, but I need to do it in a more sustainable way. I need to focus more on my personal responsibilities, and healing from burnout on projects. I've started writing songs again to try and provide myself with a better creative outlet. It can be really frustrating to work at companies when they put you in a box and don't allow really good work to be done. I was looking for the opportunity for creativity in the wrong place in my life. Thank you for being so supportive over the past 2 years of me doing this. I just wanted to help people avoid the mistakes I've made, and I never thought there were so many other people out there who needed help too! You can also watch this episode on YouTube.  Related resources: Are You A Perfectionist Programmer? The De-Corporatization Of Jayme Software Project Stories (Playlist) Is It Safe To Make Mistakes On Your Software Project? Colin Zera - Sister (Home Acoustic Video) My Software Developer Career Journey (Playlist) Why Do So Many Programmers Lose Hope? Can You Be Agile When Your Company Isn't? What MEN Need To Know About Software Developer BRO CULTURE! Why Do Some Programmers Never Agree?   Visit me at Find me on Facebook at JaymeEdwardsMedia Find me on Twitter as @jaymeedwards
Scott Nimrod is an experienced Software Consultant based out of Miami who specializes in Test Automation, WPF, Functional Programming, and a variety of other technologies.  In this interview, Scott and I discuss the balance between strengthening your reputation through your personal brand as a developer, and the teamwork necessary to be successful in your career.  We also touch on concepts in the interview with Woody Zuill about mob programming and the "noestimates" movement.  Scott also runs a YouTube channel with great interviews and live programming exercises.  You can also watch this episode on YouTube.  Related resources: Woody Zuill on Mob Programming and Influencing Change How Agile Teams Grow Toxic! Ep. 4 Commitments Scott Nimrod on Consulting and Software Craftsmanship How to Disagree With Your Manager Respectfully How Agile Teams Grow Toxic! Ep. 3 Forecasting   Visit me at Find me on Facebook at JaymeEdwardsMedia Find me on Twitter as @jaymeedwards
Working on a software development team where everyone does their work separately - and thinking of trying something new? Today I have a special guest, Woody Zuill who is one of the leading voices in our industry around the concept of Mob Programming. If this is the first time you've heard of it, Mob Programming is essentially an entire team working together with only one person's hands on the keyboard. There are some surprising advantages to this approach that you may not have encountered before. I hope this interview with Woody gives you some insight into how this practice may help you. I learned some really interesting things about the origin of this practice and how Woody found himself in the position of being its primary spokesperson. The interview is also filled with valuable advice about influencing change and earning credibility to help software development teams be more agile - whatever that means to you :). You can follow Woody on twitter as @woodyzuill. You can also watch this episode on YouTube.  Related resources: A day of Mob Programming Why Do Some Programmers Never Agree? John Cutler - Healthy Developer Interview #3 Mob Programming 2019 Conference Karin Tenelius Dr. Linda Rising   Visit me at Find me on Facebook at JaymeEdwardsMedia Find me on Twitter as @jaymeedwards
Does it ever feel like you'd get so much more done if it weren't for how much work people have you do to make commitments? Today I'd like to help you understand whether the development team you're on is using commitments in a way that makes sense, or will stress people out and put the software project at risk! Since most teams I have worked with aren't really agile, I'm concentrating on helping you understand the risks with commitments between the wrong people which often happens in "traditional" software development companies. Whether your a programmer, in UX, or maybe operations - commitments that are too strict, or too unrealistic, put your job and the success of the project in danger. First I will teach you some insights I've learned about how commitments can cause agile teams to grow toxic. Afterwards, I'll give you some actionable tips on what you can do to cope with traditional (non-agile) teams that require unrealistic commitments. I hope this information helps you select the best project for your career, or if you're on an unhealthy team - protect yourself so you have the best chance of being successful! You can also watch this episode on YouTube.  Related resources: The Secret of Scrum Nobody Talks About An Agile Budget Keeps You From Being A Code Monkey What REALLY Gets Software Developers Promoted? How Agile Teams Grow Toxic! Ep. 3 Forecasting Why Do So Many Programmers Lose Hope?   Visit me at Find me on Facebook at JaymeEdwardsMedia Find me on Twitter as @jaymeedwards
Over the weekend I posted a video clip from episode 3 of my series on this channel "How Agile Teams Grow Toxic!" to reddit. The full video is about how teams can become unhealthy due to how % complete forecasting is done on most projects. In the clip I posted, I spoke specifically about the unpredictability of our work as software developers. There were over 100 comments on reddit alone with some other great ones here on the channel. In this video, I respond to several of these comments to provide further clarification on the concepts of healthy software development. I'm going to do a future video called "My Software Development Philosophy" in which I'll go into many of the things I touch on in the response in more detail. But for now, I hope you enjoy the responses. If you don't agree, let me know why! If you do agree, how can we get this information out to more people? You can also watch this episode on YouTube.  Related resources: How Agile Teams Grow Toxic! Ep. 3 Forecasting Is It Safe To Make Mistakes On Your Software Project? Iain Lowe - Healthy Developer Interview #2 Spot A Fake Agile Team In Under 7 Minutes!   Visit me at Find me on Facebook at JaymeEdwardsMedia Find me on Twitter as @jaymeedwards  
With all the challenges in the software industry with languages, frameworks, and processes...  It's easy to forget we're human.  I've been making some really serious level 301 agile nerdgasm content lately, so I made this episode to just have some fun.  Here are three stories of times I was embarrassed in my software development career.  You can also watch this episode on YouTube.    Visit me at Find me on Facebook at JaymeEdwardsMedia Find me on Twitter as @jaymeedwards
Deadlines!  "Drop dead" dates!  Changing the schedule to meet "new requirements"!  Do you ever think there's gotta be a better way to do this?  Well there is, and today I want to share with you some information about a topic that often bores software developers...  But in my experience of working with many teams and companies, when developers are frustrated on their project - it is this topic that's often the culprit.  In this video I discuss how people who pay for software development projects forecast.  Before you bail, if you hang with me on this video you'll know more than many agile coaches and product managers about why investing in software projects is unique!  I'll share the dangers of traditional forecasting on software projects - and an alternative way to give investors confidence.  You can also watch this episode on YouTube.  Related resources: An Agile Budget Keeps You From Being A Code Monkey Eric Ries: The Lean Startup | Talks At Google   Visit me at Find me on Facebook at JaymeEdwardsMedia Find me on Twitter as @jaymeedwards
Be careful not to mirror the person interviewing you too much for your next software development job!
The core motivating value of the company's founders shouldn't be ignored when you join a software project.
Have you ever had to quit a good software project...because you figured out you weren't going to be successful in your role? I had the opportunity to help two consulting companies try and rescue a troubled software project for a client. Though I was originally brought in to help figure out how much work was left to do, I found myself in the position of being "the expert" once again. Because of politics, deadlines, and challenges with the maturity of the companies understanding agile - I found myself overwhelmed. Though I continually tried to reset expectations and get help, I decided eventually that it was better to move on. Have you ever been on a good project, with good people, only to find when you really think about it you're not effective in your current role? Did you have a hard time getting support from management to make the changes necessary? You can also watch this episode on YouTube.  Related resources: The ModernAgile YouTube channel Spot a Fake Agile Team in Under 7 Minutes! Why Do Some Programmers Never Agree? New Software Project? Earn Respect From Your Team! Are Developers Being Misled About DevOps? Lead Software Developers Better By Letting Go!   Visit me at Find me on Facebook at JaymeEdwardsMedia Find me on Twitter as @jaymeedwards
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