Be a Compassionate Mercenary - a README.TXT for your career

Thomas Kjeldahl Nilsson

Short talk - in English

Some lessons are not taught in schools: how to do good work with good people, how to get compensated fairly for your work, and how to be a decent human being while doing so.

I will try to help you save lots of time and suffering — by giving you a head start on hard lessons that many of us techies only learn after a decade or two in the trenches.

 We will touch on N=RAND(100) number of life lessons and career advice for software professionals, likely including:

  • Why empathy and compassion pays off
  • The tradeoffs of working in startups
  • Why the corporation is neither your friend nor your family
  • Personal integrity and setting limits
  • Compensation negotation 101
  • What you should learn from salespeople, marketers and designers
  • Giving back/passing it forward

This talk is directed to both junior developers as well as (perhaps even especially?) older professionals who are mentoring junior colleagues.

Non-developers are also very welcome: I am a developer, but most of the points apply equally well to other industry professionals: this is not a technical talk.