HELLO, I'M FRED!
2016-01-02 - Reply
It seems that you learned a lot – the hard way though – during this year.In every suffering lie the roots for future happiness. Learn from it and I am sure that chosing yourself is the good way to start: you can not help others if you do not help yourself first. This is not selfishness. This is where all love starts.Bon courage !
I need to admit it wasn’t an easy year, but as you wrote, I learned a lot. Thanks for your kind words Olivier!
Holly cow, comments are back!!Happy New Year!
Yes, I’m back on WordPress. Happy New Year to you and your family Laurent. See you soon!
[…] Frédéric Harper: Myself, Why, Truth […]
2016-04-18 - Reply
I’m glad you’re still with us. Lots of people feel the same. You’re an important part of the community, Fred. Look out for your health.
Thanks Anastasi! My health is becoming one of my priorities now.
2016-04-19 - Reply
Bon retour Frédéric! Je suis content de voir que tu aie pu tourner la page et que tu reviennes à la vie.
I agree, but why it is like that, I’m not sure.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure either Luiz!
Merci de partager ces moments personnels difficiles. En espérant continuer de te lire encore longtemps.
2016-04-20 - Reply
2016-04-24 - Reply
I’m happy to hear that you have recovered from all this. It is perfectly normal to feel down sometimes, but don’t let that control you. Your life is valuable and meaningful. Nobody can take that away from you, because this isn’t something that depends on what other people can do to you, but what kind of person you are.
I’m pretty sure you have heard all those cliché motivational stories, so I’m not gonna bother you with them now. The best advice I can give to you is the words from Churchill: “never, never, never give up”! 🙂
2016-04-25 - Reply
Thanks Timur, it’s getting better!
2016-07-10 - Reply
Hi Frederic!It’s good you made it out of the pit!Life sucks many times …Long time ago I was taught a technique which has saved my bacon many times since! It goes like this:when shit hits the fan force yourself to watch what’s happening like when you watch a movie at the cinema!On the screen is drama, happiness, adventure, boredom etc and you as spectator are going through all those feelings despite knowing that everything there is unreal and following a script!Apply the same in your real life by distancing you from what is going on if too intense.The best way of achieving performance is by constantly practicing this technique in your daily life: that will allow you to benefit from it under huge stress.Enjoy it!
2016-07-12 - Reply
Thanks for the technique Augustin.
2016-07-14 - Reply
Hi Frederic ! I am your new reader from Asia. Finding you by your inspiration book which collected lots of useful and wise advices. you are really a great guy and sharing the spirit of courage! Your book and story really help lots of my classmate and friend! We will be your tribe and back you up! Best wish!
2016-07-19 - Reply
Thanks a lot for the kind words Weiting! I’m glad I was able to you guys.
2016-08-01 - Reply
I felt this way after my husband, father, and mother all died in a very short time. One day I came very close to ending it. It was a wake up call. I had two children and two grandchildren who could not lose another person in their life. Struggled for a long time but got back the will to live. Now every day is new and exciting.
2016-08-05 - Reply
Thanks for sharing your story: I’m glad you went thru it and are still there for your kids and grandchildren!
2017-01-12 - Reply
Very interesting website i have bookmarked fred.dev for future reference.
2018-01-02 - Reply
I like this idea and might do it as well. I also like the words you choose. I wish you a wonderful ’18 Fred!
2018-01-03 - Reply
Thanks Hugo, see you soon!
2018-09-10 - Reply
Good for you although I am a bit sad. I really love my Fitbit and was happy that you could contribute to its continuous improvements. With SF hills, that should help your fitness level.
Thanks Marc, but don’t worry, plenty of great people work at Fitbit!
2018-09-13 - Reply
Congrats, interesting to learn about the role! Jon is awesome to work with, I’m a little jealous.
Thanks, but you are nearly one year late Riaz 😀
2018-09-15 - Reply
Congrats Fred, that sounds like an awesome opportunity!!!
2019-05-15 - Reply
Congrats Fred! Happy you found a new home to share your love for tech. Hosting with DO has been a smooth ride for me! ✌️
2019-05-16 - Reply
Thanks Samuel! Happy to read that you are having a smooth ride with DO.
2019-05-22 - Reply
Happy to have you at DigitalOcean! Proud member of the Hatch community. Great to see it growing
Thanks Lars, looking forward to some Hatch action!
2019-05-29 - Reply
Thanks for sharing, Frédéric — the gesture of writing this for your colleagues is very thoughtful and creative. I find myself inspired to do the same (some day;)
2019-05-30 - Reply
The pleasure is mine!
2019-06-14 - Reply
Congrats fred. I have been following your story since you left #npm.
2019-09-05 - Reply
Deciding to be more active and healthy is the first step. Don’t overdo it and you wanting to develop new healthy habits is key. Muscles will be sore… get a foam roller and work out the soreness. You got this!
2019-11-17 - Reply
Thanks Brandon! You are an inspiration to me with your own journey.
Thank you so much for writing this blog!I am at my starting point of writing a blog of my own and face the same dilemma. It is a complex questioning as I assume just like me you must have much more range when expressing yourself in French. Although you seem fully bilingual at this time time, does it sometimes feel constraining as writer not having the same fluidity with words and ability to fully encompass an imagery?My topic doesn’t pertain to Quebecois people per se but geared towards a specific niche within the culture. I also feel like anglo-speaking cultures would have a larger interest in what I want to tackle. I might end up opting for the same solution as you to merge and mix both official languages 🙂
I truly admire your passion and integrity, thank you for demonstrating that anything is possible! Very much inspiring!
2019-09-20 - Reply
Actually, I wrote that article 6 years ago. Since, I only blog in English as I feel like even if I make mistakes and it’s not my first language, I find it easier and more impactful to express myself. Also, as you mentioned, you can reach a lot more people using English content, but you also face more “competition”.
2020-01-08 - Reply
I love the acronym you chose! I support and trust you with this project.
Thanks… Teresa! So far so good…
2020-01-21 - Reply
Great article Fred! I run a developer community at my school and I spend a bulk of my time doing some of the work you do (I have to start writing articles, making videos and code demos…). Think this is a great start for a fulltime developer advocate role?
2020-01-29 - Reply
First, congratulations for your involvement, it is amazing!
It is definitely a great start! In a perfect world, if I hire someone for his first one as a Developer Advocate I would like that person to have such experience, no matter if it was professional or at school: a community of developers is a community, no matter what. As an additional note, I would also love someone who had experience as a professional developer, as you would know the good, bad and ugly of that job. You had to deal with projects, customers, company expectation… You know the pain developers have day to day, you can relate to them based on your experience, but it’s also about your credibility when you talk to them.
2021-02-27 - Reply
Thank you for posting this. I was needing a good idea for a DSLR cam for recording.
2022-08-18 - Reply
Any tips for people with stage fright?
2022-08-21 - Reply
So I’m lucky as it was never a big deal for me when I started public speaking, which doesn’t make me better than you, but make it a bit difficult to give really good advice for that question 🙂
It depends on where this question is coming from. If it’s because you want to give your first talk, but didn’t confirm anything yet, I would say start smaller. Start by giving a talk at work for your colleagues during lunch time. After that, target a bit bigger and find a meetup where you can speak: user groups organizers are always looking for speakers since their events are usually every month. When you feel less frightened, you can think of speaking at a conference, but again, maybe start smaller.
If you already have something schedule, or once you do, there are a couple of things I guess you could do. First, practices a lot: the better prepare you are, the less stressful it will be. Remember that YOU are the one on the stage, not the people in the room: it doesn’t make you better, but YOU are taking the risk, and they are not, so give yourself some credit for that. The more talk you will give, the easier it will become. Be also compassionate to yourself. First talks won’t be as good as they could be. You’ll forget things. Your code won’t work (that happens even if you have a lot of experience). You’ll speak too fast. You’ll finish too early. You won’t have time to share all your content. You will say stupid things. IT IS OK! Be nice to yourself.
I wrote this article that doesn’t address stage fright, but contains a lot of tips for public speaking. They may help with the stress and anxiety https://fred.dev/publicspeaking/
2022-08-20 - Reply
Why are you constantly losing your job?
I unfortunately lost my job five times. It’s a lot, even for the technology industry. At some point, you start to think that you are the problem, but even if it’s not a huge consolation, I can say with confidence that only once could have I been the artisan of my own demise.
First time I got thank for my service was when I was a developer. The startup wasn’t being profitable, so the founder had to let everyone go. The only thing I have the right to say about the second time is that I wasn’t alone who lost his job, and it went to the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) who enforced employees’ law in the US: it was settled in our favor.
The third time, I was working for a startup and the product was not ready for anyone to use without our help. Developer relations was unwillingly hurting the business so the decision to terminate my employment made total sense. Who wants to have a negative impact, right? Before this one, I was also working in a French startup. Unfortunately, I associate the end of my contribution to building developer relations at that company to scorched ego done by my bold, and loud personality. I always said that I’m not for everyone, but I forgot that even if everything you do have the goal of helping the company do better, it may not be well received.
This time, the startup really need to focus strictly on sales, and standard lead generations to survive, so my team was let go. They acknowledged the good work we did, and the positive impact we had, but it is hard to sell the idea of medium to long-term impact to VCs when what they always want are the dollar signs, especially in these hard times.
Unfortunately, developer relations is often the first department or team to either, be laid off, or lose head counts or budget for “more important” focuses. It is one negative side of developer relations. In addition to the job I’ve lost, I left others for these specific reasons. Right now I need to think about what’s next for me, as the only thing I ever wanted is a place where I can do what I love, what I’m good at, and where I can grow, and stay for a while, but devrel didn’t give me that in the last 10 years…
Are you worried about money while you look for another role?
I am! I’ve been laid off in a difficult time for people looking for work in the tech industry. Many companies are letting people go, and others are freezing their hiring. There are still a lot of possibilities out there, but I don’t want to end up in the first place I see, nor I want to just jump into finding the same exact role. I need time to think about my career.
In addition to that, even if I was ready to interview right away, it takes time confirming a new role even when it’s easier for some people. Thanks to ADHD, I’ve never been super good at managing my money (for different reasons I’ll explain one day in a blog post about ADHD), but I was focusing recently on clearing my debts, which was going well, but didn’t leave me with a security blanket. The sad thing about that is that they gave me the worst “let go” package I ever had.
What were the warning signs you’ve seen that there would be layoffs? Any common patterns you’ve noticed?
When the discussion about difficult times started. We were promised that no one would lose their job, but I should have known better. As for developer relations, I started to have some doubts when our work was dismissed, flagged as unimportant, or not a priority anymore. Still, it was a surprised it happened, but not a huge one when I think about it.
What is your dream company/team to work for ? What is the reason you’re not working there ?
I want a company where my work and the impact I have is valued. A place which has a product I’m already passionate about or I can be once I take the time to learn about it. I need a place where open communication is part of the values, and asking or giving constructive feedback isn’t something that makes people uncomfortable or defensive. I absolutely want a place where I can continue to grow and stay for a longer time as I’m really tired of having to start over again…
2022-08-22 - Reply
I heard that you insist on flying business when travelling to speak at conferences. Why is so? Isn’t that prima donna?
I know exactly where you heard that and from whom: it’s crazy how people like to badmouth!
I do not insist on flying business even if most of my peers and I think it should be the minimum for our line of work. Of course, I prefer flying business and I’ve done it a lot using my personal status points and my own money for business trips where I shouldn’t have to. I insist on flying premium economy though.
I understand people flying once in a while do not mind flying economy, but when your work involves flying multiple times a year, and often multiple times a month, for the last 10 years, I think it’s the minimum a company can do when they really care about their employees. Flying economy is a pain for everyone, but even more for someone who is not skinny, nor short, who often have to work during the flight to prepare for an event and who is expected to perform on stage while networking with people at a conference in a different time zone for about 10-12 hours per day. I also have back problems and I’m not as young as I used to when I started to travel for work.
If an employee had to drive a lot to visit customers, or partners, would you think it is a prima donna move, to want to use a car instead of being forced to only take public transit? Would it be a prima donna move if a machine learning engineer insists on having a proper computer with a better CPU, GPU and RAM instead of the really basic and not powerful laptop the company gave them to do their job? Traveling is a tool to help me do my job better: both economy and premium economy or business will bring me to the same destination, but the difference will be how I’ll get there, how it will affect my health, and how my employer care about my work, and myself.
2022-08-24 - Reply
Would you ever try a job out side of Developer Relations ?
2022-08-25 - Reply
Yes, I would, but I have no idea what else I could do with my experience and expertise. There is also the fact that I love doing the tasks involved in developer relations, and that I have golden handcuffs doing that specific role. So in other words, I’m open to see in which other roles I could have an impact by bringing my skills, and still be passionate about what I’m doing for work.
Any interest in working at a large company like google, amazon, salesforce ..etc again ?
I’m still thinking about what’s next for me, but I only had bad experiences with startups, so there is a chance that I decide I’m done with startups as an employee. Maybe working for them as a contractor or freelance, but it certainly also mean to go back to medium to large companies. In that list, though, I wouldn’t work for Salesforce as I do not like the product at all. Amazon also is out of the scope: their interview style was created in a way that it’s impossible for people with ADHD affected by long-term memory issues. More on that in a blog post on ADHD I guess.
2022-11-04 - Reply
The three dots are called ellipsis. Vincent
2022-11-18 - Reply
Are there any technology areas you’re a SME on ?
2022-11-21 - Reply
Will you still be running your Developer Relations as a service company for any companies that need your services ?