I'm speaking at TDC 2019

In my talk at 14:10 South Center Career Track, Career Tips from Someone Who Knows a Lot of Rockstar Programmers, I will share some of the lessons I learned from the people I interviewed for the Secrets of the Rockstar Programmers book, and also include some tips of my own. Though I don’t claim to be a rockstar programmer myself (or the newer term: “10x programmer”), I can honestly say I know plenty of people that who are.

I have been extremely blessed to have been a full time telecommuter since 2002, first for Sun, and now for Oracle. Working in this way presents some unique challenges, and over the years I have developed some techniques to maintain productivity and forward career momentum, preserving the personal benefits of telecommuting while continuing to give the company value for their money. Perhaps I can do another post on the broader topic of telecommuting tips, but this post is about one practical technique that applies to telecommuters and office workers alike: keeping a personal timesheet.

Here’s the basic idea.

  1. Have a spreadsheet that is set up as a timesheet.

  2. Each time a new month comes around, save the previous month as the current month.

  3. Keep track of all of the time you spend working and a couple words about what you did.

I’ve been doing this since I started telecommuting in 2002, so I have seventeen years of monthly spreadsheets. Here is a sample spreadsheet you can download and customize: 201904-timesheet.xlsx.

Like my previous post about status reports, this seems mundane and annoying, but over time, it adds up to a valuable searchable resource.