Jonathan Cutrell

Developer Tea Episodes

I'm very thankful that we've been able to publish over 1,000 episodes of Developer Tea so far! Note: Only the last 50 episodes of the show can be found here. The whole catalog can be found at DeveloperTea.com

P.S. If you want to give back and support Developer Tea, leave a review on iTunes! You can also email me at developertea@gmail.com to talk about the show.

Management Model of Ability and Will Applied to Self
1/23/2023

Listen time: ~18m
If you aren't doing something, you either can't or won't. In today's episode, we explore this very simple starting point for behavior change and habit development, and explore the boundaries of the model.

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Beginner Confidence
1/19/2023

Listen time: ~9m
You aren't going to put your foot in your mouth, or reveal some devastating level of ineptitude. Asking questions, especially as a beginner, is much more likely to gain you favor than disdain.

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Comparing Cost Curves and Second Order Thinking
1/17/2023

Listen time: ~14m
What does a feature cost? Your first answer will probably focus on the time to build, or the features needed... Maybe the amount of hiring necessary to deliver. But what about after that? The cost of our decisions is not limited to the short term - usually, a decision has a long term cost curve. Knowing what the cost curve is for any significant investment helps you make better decisions and have clearer anticipation and planning intuition.

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Spectrum of Buy-In For Behavior Change
1/11/2023

Listen time: ~13m
There is a spectrum of buy-in for behavior change. In today's episode, I'll give you a thinking model for considering different types of buy-in along this spectrum, and when one might help you make better systems for behavior change in your organization.

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Your Learning Investment Portfolio
1/9/2023

Listen time: ~16m
What is your learning strategy? If you don't have one, you are implicitly saying that all learning is equal. Learning is an investment of time. Choose what you invest in carefully.

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Celebrating 8 Years - Plus, What it Feels Like to Be Wrong
1/5/2023

Listen time: ~8m
Developer Tea has been around for 8 years. Thank you so much for your incredible support over these years! In today's episode we discuss how it feels to be wrong.

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Using Strategy, Tactics, and Operations to Achieve Intentions
1/3/2023

Listen time: ~14m
Most resolutions aren't as simple as saying something and then doing it. Instead, focus on breaking apart your resolution by looking at intent, strategy, tactics, and operations.

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Resolve To Make Important Asks In The New Year
12/23/2022

Listen time: ~5m
Make a commitment to determine three requests that could change your life for the better, and the people you need to give those requests. Then, in the new year, make that a part of your resolutions.

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Complexity As A Depreciating Asset
12/21/2022

Listen time: ~11m
Complexity is an asset, but often it depreciates in value over time. Simplification strategies should evaluate what kind of value complexity is providing, and whether that could be replaced or if it doesn't provide sufficient exponential value versus the cost over time.

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Your Biggest Opportunity is In Your Daily Influence
12/15/2022

Listen time: ~11m
Opportunity is in front of you every day. But, you may not recognize it at first, because you by default will likely imagine yourself to be an external observer. If you change that mental model, and view yourself as an active participant with the power to influence others, your perception of opportunity will follow.

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Get Acquainted With What Holds You Back
12/12/2022

Listen time: ~11m
What will hold you back from achieving what you want to achieve in your future? How do you imagine your future, and what do you assume will keep you from going further? In today's episode, we'll do a visualization exercise to help understand the assumptions we make about our own problems and flaws, and why avoidance isn't helping us grow.

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How Ordering Your Events in A Day Can Matter
12/9/2022

Listen time: ~13m
Practical application of psychology can help us understand how to order our days more consciously. In this episode, we talk about priming and regression to the mean, and how they could impact our work as engineers and managers.

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Don't Fear AI Taking the Coding Jobs (Fixed Audio)
12/7/2022

Listen time: ~5m
AI and code generation will change your work... But it's time for us to find the path forward.

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Don't Fear AI Taking the Coding Jobs
12/5/2022

Listen time: ~5m
AI and code generation will change your work... But it's time for us to find the path forward.

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Focus On Activities With Asymmetrical Upside
11/30/2022

Listen time: ~15m
Focus on things that provide asymmetrical upside. This is a personalized ROI evaluation. This is how you invest your time wisely.

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Misjudging Others Attention On Us
11/28/2022

Listen time: ~5m
We imagine others are more interested in our mistakes or self-conscious areas than they are. We also imagine they pay little to no attention to us at most other times. Both of these are errors in judgment.

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An Outsider Exercise in Gratitude
11/24/2022

Listen time: ~9m
We adapt to our circumstances. This dampens our capacity for gratitude, as we become less aware of what we are experiencing the longer we have the same experiences. In today's episode, we use a version of an exercise from Julia Galef's excellent book, The Scout Mindset, to help us break out of our status quo thinking and recognize what is in front of us.

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You Know The Right Decision, Now Reduce The Friction
11/21/2022

Listen time: ~10m
You know how to determine what would be a good decision. You have the tools and the reasoning; if you find yourself still not making the right decision, you may be tempted to focus on the "left side" - increasing the energy, gumption, reasoning, or motivation. Instead, focus on the barriers - the friction.

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Using Observational Techniques to Find Your Personal Values
11/16/2022

Listen time: ~19m
Determining your values isn't just about fluff. This is what you personally care about. In this episode, we talk about two ways to use direct observation as a tool for determining your values, and why those values are not just buzzwords.

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Avoid Defining Success Outside Your Locus of Control
11/14/2022

Listen time: ~13m
Focus on what you can control. Create incentives and language and internal narrative that produces the right actions within your locus of control. Avoid attaching your definition of success to things outside of your control.

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The Toxic Laziness of Overwork Culture
11/10/2022

Listen time: ~18m
Don't buy in to the lie that you have to overwork to succeed. Not only is it not true, it's also dangerous - and the opposite is more accurate.

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Start With Precise Communication
11/7/2022

Listen time: ~10m
In today's episode, I provide a simple coaching tip on improved communication for software engineers. It's simple: always make precision explicit, and layer context. Start with precision, then create meaning on top.

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The Error of Discounting the Unexpected
11/2/2022

Listen time: ~13m
We don't think about the unexpected as a category of possible outcomes. This leads us to assign overestimated probabilities to things that are front of mind, and discount the likelihood of things we don't expect. This may lead us to prepare for expected events without consideration for what we'll do in the face of the unexpected.

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Looking at What Wasn't Done
10/31/2022

Listen time: ~9m
Look closer at the things that don't happen. Evaluate the options you never considered. When you are looking back, don't just judge based on actions and outcomes - look at the quality of decisions through the lens of information, and wonder: was there a better decision? Was there an option that was nearly as good, but this one was better?

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Success is Born From Luck and Action
10/26/2022

Listen time: ~7m
You can't wait for luck to strike, but you also won't always get what you deserve. Both of these are true - so, go make luck happen for you!

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Build Environments That Produce Habits
10/24/2022

Listen time: ~9m
Habits aren't built on their own. They are the result of environments. Reduce friction and create a positive reinforcement loop, and the habits will follow.

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Design Your Low Stakes Environment As A Mirror of Your High Stakes Environment
10/20/2022

Listen time: ~12m
What happens in high-stakes environments? Is the learning you do in your low-stakes environment actually helping you when you have skin in the game?

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Better Goals - Deriving Values from Personal Investment and Risk Tolerance
10/18/2022

Listen time: ~11m
Having trouble setting goals? Take a look at a different angle with the guided exercise in today's episode.

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Better Goals - Finding Cohesion Between Your Long and Short Term Goals
10/12/2022

Listen time: ~12m
Our goals usually take two forms: what we want to accomplish, and who we want to be. When we can align these things, we find cohesion in our goals, giving us more clarity and purpose.

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Better Goals - Two Guidelines for Better Outcomes
10/10/2022

Listen time: ~11m
Two guidelines for better goal setting. First, goals don't stand alone. Second, ranges often beat arbitrary points.

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5 Powerful Questions To Design Your Time More Effectively
10/5/2022

Listen time: ~11m
Stop and think about how you are spending your time. Time is constantly moving, whether we stop to recognize it or not. How will you spend it? These five powerful questions will help you reconfigure your time today.

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Short Term Tactics, Long Term Principles
10/4/2022

Listen time: ~8m
A short term mindset will focus on different things than a long term mindset. Neither is right or wrong, but what are you optimizing for? Once you answer this question, you can start to work towards finding a solution that balances both.

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Revolutionize Your Most Important Meetings with Powerful Questions
9/28/2022

Listen time: ~12m
Your best tool is your next question.

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Diffuse and Focused Thinking
9/26/2022

Listen time: ~7m
Diffuse thinking produces options and draws connections. Focused thinking narrows things down to a specific path. Use them both, and watch for when they collide.

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Why It's Hard to Do Nothing
9/21/2022

Listen time: ~6m
Doing nothing seems like it would be easy... But it seems that action is often easier than doing nothing. Sometimes, perhaps often, action is the right choice. However, if there is no reason to believe one action over another would be better, or action over inaction for that matter - why are we taking action at all? If we think about our efforts as spending time and energy, we can more adequately understand that inaction may be a valuable skill, rather than a risk.

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Demystifying Decision-Making - Success is Not Just About Making Good Decisions
9/19/2022

Listen time: ~9m
You are not the sum of your decisions. Making better decisions often relies on having a long list of mistakes to learn from.

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What You Have In Common With the Smartest Person In the World
9/15/2022

Listen time: ~9m
How does the smartest person in the world solve the most complex problems that most mathemeticians can't even understand? The same way you write code and build features at your job. The principles always apply.

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A Way Out of Overwhelm
9/12/2022

Listen time: ~10m
Choose one thing. Only one important thing. Do that over and over. That's your way out of overwhelm.

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Understand Position and Interest To Make Better Collaborative Decisions
9/9/2022

Listen time: ~8m
What people ask for is not the same as why they ask for it. What people want isn't as simple as what they say they want. Understanding the *why* is critical - the interest is just as important as the position.

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Future Thinking Is Not Planning For A Single Course of Events
9/5/2022

Listen time: ~7m
People often erroneously plan for specific futures. This leads down a pathway to failure most times. This is because the future is rarely what we expect it to be. We can think in terms of multiple possible futures, and prepare for most of them. This leads us towards flexibility and adaptabiity.

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Balancing Decision Frames
8/31/2022

Listen time: ~10m
Making good decisions is about tuning context. If you can't determine the context that matters, the decision itself is impossible to measure against. All decisions can be framed within a context with other decisions; choosing those decisions in concert is often the best strategy.

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Copy of How Feedback Loops Shape Our World (Fixed Audio)
8/31/2022

Listen time: ~9m
Feedback loops shape everything around us. We make a change or adjustment, watch for what happens, and repeat. This happens with people in the most unexpected ways. Tuning in to this adjustment loop can help us use it as a tool, rather than reacting to it.

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Reframing Every Decision As A Tradeoff
8/29/2022

Listen time: ~6m
Every decision is a tradeoff. If you are looking for the "right" decision, you can reframe this to the "optimal decision based on my desired outcome." This could have the effect of aligning your biases to work in your favor.

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Judging Quality of Decisions Instead of Outcomes in Performance Reviews
8/27/2022

Listen time: ~12m
Is your performance review judging the luck or random events of a person's career? What about the times they made the right decision in a bad situation? The outcome may not be desirable every time, even with good decision-making.

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How Feedback Loops Shape Our World
8/22/2022

Listen time: ~9m
Feedback loops shape everything around us. We make a change or adjustment, watch for what happens, and repeat. This happens with people in the most unexpected ways. Tuning in to this adjustment loop can help us use it as a tool, rather than reacting to it.

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Solve Specific Problems by Composing General Solutions
8/19/2022

Listen time: ~6m
Almost every complex problem can be broken down and solved. Thinking from the other side - learning general solutions and how to compose those will give you the ability to build against the broken down complex problem.

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Common Excuses for Not Setting Goals
8/15/2022

Listen time: ~18m
Today, we'll dismantle a few common excuses often provided for not setting goals. We also briefly discuss the SMART goal-setting framework.

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Better Process to Match Intentions to Actions
8/12/2022

Listen time: ~11m
Your time is full of intent, but if you reflect back - how often do you do what you intend? Our actions are usually trying to reach some outcome, but are haphazard and habit-driven. What if we made that outcome explicit, and made our calendars reflect specific processes instead of vague outcomes?

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Change Through the Lens of Adjustment and Maintenance
8/10/2022

Listen time: ~10m
Change is inevitable, but it's not always what we think it will be. Our framework for change should be ready for change we don't expect as much or more than for change we do expect.

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Built to Change
8/6/2022

Listen time: ~6m
The flow of change is inevitable. Are you building with it, or ignoring it in vane?

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