How do you Build a Better Career in Software Development Without Abandoning What You Love to Do?

Event Video Package: Over 25 Hours of Mind-Blowing Video with Amazing Speakers


Let's Face Some Hard Truths...

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    There's no doubt that we software developers find software to be both fun and stimulating. We wouldn't be doing this if we thought differently. Despite that we look at software as worthy of our full attention much of the time, we're mostly alone in that. Most of the rest of humanity think software is valuable because it's useful - it solves problems and/or makes life easier in some way. They don't want to pay you to do software for the same reasons you want to do software. They have problems you can help them solve and that is the extent of their interest in you and in software development (not universally, but as a general rule).
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    You may have been around the block a time or two. You have many languages, tools, and platforms under your belt. You test first and consider yourself a software crafts(wo)man. You are well-versed in design patterns, DevOps, microservices, and all of the latest best practices and jargon. Or maybe not - maybe you reject the notion of best practices, you see flaws in the direction of the herd and you know better ways. Either way, your specialty in software doesn't tell employers/clients you're worth your salary/rate. In fact, they don't know what it means, and, not knowing the difference in quality, they probably want to hire someone cheaper than you.
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    You became a software engineer because you like coding. You remember the first time you ran a text file through a compiler and saw your creation come to life. The magic of that moment sticks with you to this day and you remember it each time you see the red in your test runner turn green. The time you spend implementing, though, is limited. Between sitting in meetings and dealing with process, you often find yourself longing for the magic moments you can just sit at your desk and implement and execute your code. Life in a development job just doesn't have enough development.
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    It's hard to establish a reason you should get a job/gig more than another "code monkey" and be paid more than any other replaceable cog. Business who view software development as a cost of doing business, rather than a core part of their business want to control costs. They aren't impressed with your Stack Overflow reputation. That may not be fair, but it's the way life works.
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    Ultimately, you have to decide what you want out of your career. If you're not thinking about it while you continue to pound your keyboard and lay out curly braces and semicolons (or significant whitespace), you need to start thinking about it. Traditionally, 

But There's a Bright Side...

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    You are a thinking, feeling, caring human being. That you write software is only a piece (perhaps a large piece, but a piece nonetheless) of what makes you into the you that you are. You are probably more socially adept than you think and you can get better. You know what it is like to practice empathy in your personal life because you consider other perspectives all the time in making decisions about your actions. With a little confidence in your interpersonal skills, you can be fully engaged in the human side of your career.
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    If you bow out of business conversations, thinking you have nothing to offer or you let others make decisions without voicing your opinion because you don't think you can articulate your position persuasively, it's not too late to get more engaged. If you can picture yourself confidently making the case for better decisions in the organization you serve, technical or non-technical, you are seeing your future.
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    You know you have more to offer than just filling a seat and pushing on keys on a keyboard. It's time your employers/clients know it, too. If your approach to  your career has been answer ads, interview, accept job, you can do so much more. You have skills, abilities, and talents with great value to many businesses. When you start treating yourself as more than a commodity, others will too.
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    There's no doubt that we software developers find software to be both fun and stimulating. We wouldn't be doing this if we thought differently. Despite that we look at software as worthy of our full attention much of the time, we're mostly alone in that. Most of the rest of humanity think software is valuable because it's useful - it solves problems and/or makes life easier in some way. They don't want to pay you to do software for the same reasons you want to do software. They have problems you can help them solve and that is where their interest lies.

If Only There Were a Way to Learn about Developing Yourself from Expert Software Practitioners Who Bridge the Gap Between the Technical and Non-technical...

20 top experts deliver talks and answer questions on making the most of your career

Learn to Treat Yourself not as Labor, but as a Business Of One - with Erik Dietrich

Learn about Applying Empathy to Create Better Teams And Solutions - with Indi Young

Learn about Goals and Practices and How to Use Them to Improve Yourself - with Reid Evans

Learn to Network and Interact with People in Ways that Are Positive and Safe - with Pablo Rivera

Learn How to Fit In Without Abandoning What Makes You Unique - with Terence McGhee

Learn about Diagnostics and Better Interactions via Asking Better Questions - with Jon Skeet

Learn about the Value of Mentors and Protegees and Learning from Both Sides - with Sarah Dutkiewicz

Learn about Your Brain, Psychology, and Dealing with Mental Health Challenges - with Art Doler

Learn How to Live Your Dreams and Leave Your Limitations Behind via Bold Action - with John Sonmez

Learn about the Benefits of Being Simultaneously Technical and Nontechnical - with Andrea Goulet

Learn How Leadership and How it Should be a Part of Your Career Approach - with David Neal

Learn What you Need to Know about Limiting Your Ego to Work Well in Teams - with Jeremy Clark

Learn about the Social Change in your Organization Enabled by Docker - with Rob Richardson

Learn ​How to Grow Highly Effective Software Development Teams - with Pavneet Singh Saund

Learn about Using Inclusive and Nonthreatening Language to Bridge the Communication Gap - with Sabine Wojcieszak

Learn about Software Teams, Opportunity, and Experimenting with Tools, Languages, and Platforms - with Chad Fowler, Jessica Kerr, and Ted Neward

Learn about Empathy in Software and Application of Understanding to Make Better Teams, Better Products, and Better Professionals - with Andrea Goulet, Pavneet Singh Saund, and Indi Young

Learn about Working with Teammates Who With Mental Health Challenges and What to Know about Your Own Mental Condition - with Heather Downing, Jason Lowenthal, and Art Doler

Dear fellow software developer,

I like writing code. I spent years of my career avoiding leadership positions and sticking to technical roles. This limited my ability to earn the income I desired and to have the influence to optimize my contributions to the organizations I served.

My aversion to the human side of the craft made me less a stellar employee than I would have been otherwise. My insistence on staying out of "office politics" and sticking only to technical concerns put an upper limit on the amount I could impact the systems I was building.

Hi, I'm Dave Rael

For most of my life, I've told myself a story consisting of the idea that "I'm good with machines, but not good with people." This story was a lie, in my case. I didn't lie because of a nefarious plan to fool myself, but because i was a true believer in the notion that I was purely technical.

In December 2014, I went to a small conference and decided I was going to shake the hand of every person at the event. I decided I was going to be the people-person I didn't think I could be. I executed on that and learned a few things about myself.

I still didn't think I was good with people, but I wasn't as certain of it. I was also motivated to try uncomfortable things a little more because of the great engagement I had from people I met at that conference.

It was in early 2015 that I decided I wanted to step up the blogging practice I had already started and go further. I wanted to create content and toil in less anonymity than before. I didn't expect to build an audience of thousands, but thought I'd try my hand at putting audio content on the internet.

And so the Developer On Fire podcast was born.

I didn't know what to expect in creating a podcast. I don't think I even had a clear picture on how it was going to help me. I just knew it was uncomfortable and scary, and so I had to do it.

The benefits that have come from being a podcaster have taken me by surprise. The biggest lessons I have learned and improvements in myself I have gained are:

  • If you want and/or need something, you must ask for it. If you ask, the results will surpass your expectations.
  • The story I have told myself about being good with machines, but not good with people is a lie. I am and always have been much better with humans than I ever knew.
  • Talking with other people about them and what interests them creates amazing connections.
  • Getting good at writing code is not enough to make you a good software developer.
  • The best part of a career is in the relationships you create.
  • Empathy is a prerequisite for delivering the most value you can.
  • Business isn't something boring done by boring people who pay software people to make awesome things they can use to profit. Business is the reason there are problems software can address. You can understand business and you can treat your career as a business.

Having learned and grown in my capacity to become a people person, I want to share that experience with you. If you've ever felt your desire to remain technical limits your earning potential and your inability to play the games people play in the office hurts your ability to contribute, you're not alone. I have felt the same way.

The things is, though, engaging socially is a powerful way to change your outlook for the better. I mean it when I say you're probably better with people than you think you are. I want to help you give it your best shot and work toward more rewards for your future.

You deserve it.

- Dave Rael

Here is What You'll Get

33+ videos

Carefully prepared, high quality talks from experts in the field and and questions answered by the same authorities

Panel discussions on important issues for anyone working in teams


What Attendees and Consumers Are Saying...


Thank you to all of the speakers for sharing so much of yourselves and your knowledge! Also, thank you very much, Dave, for making this happen! I learned a great deal.



With conferences there is usually that one talk that is worth the price of admission. This entire conference was slammed full of talks worth the price of admission. So many awesome presenters and they deliver so much value you can't pass this up!

Branden Jordan


“Thanks Dave and all the speakers, this has been so inspiring. Truly life changing.”



Thank you @dave-rael This has been an really amazing experience showcasing what community is all about. Thank you to everyone involved.



Huge props to @dave-rael for organizing such a great event! And also all the wonderful speakers who took time out of their schedule


Is This Package Right For You?

Who is this for

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    Software developers who want more from their careers
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    Aspiring software developers who want to make a mark as they get into the field
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    Technical people who think they lack personal skills
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    People-oriented people who think they lack technical skills

Who is this not for

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    Software developers only interested in technical content, technical topics, and who don't care about human interaction
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    Software developers who think themselves irredeemably bad with human interaction and incapable of improvement
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    People who already have everything figured out and have nothing left to learn

Bonus - More Learning Materials!

More resources to optimize the power of your learning efforts

Access to a private Slack Team

The first ever Developer On Fire Remote Conference is over, but the community lives on. You get to join the Slack team, including the original participants and speakers from the conference.


Slack Chat Export

The interactive nature of the Remote Conference led to some capturing of resource links, further discussion, and excellent insights in the community chat. These are archived for your convenience and included in the package.


Day 0 Panel Discussions

Before the remote conference event, speakers came together for "tech check" calls to make sure the conferencing software and local hardware setups were going to work for the Question/Answer sessions. Of course, when brilliant people get together, they talk. Recordings of the tech check calls are included as the Day 0 panel discussions. There were many gems and lessons to learn in the speaker interactions.

Start Today! Choose Your Method of Access Below

You can buy this package as a standalone product, or get full access by signing up for an annual "Ultra Lit Up" membership.

Full Package - Good With Machines AND People: Develop Yourself to Develop Better Software and Optimize Your Career

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    33+ Videos
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    Talks Carefully Prepared and Recorded by Mind-Blowingly Awesome Speakers
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    Questions and Answers with Amazing Speakers
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    Panel Discussions on Mental Health in Tech, Empathy for Software Creators, and Social Concerns in Software with Outstanding Panelists
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    Full Remote Conference Interaction History
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    Access to the Exclusive Developer On Fire Slack Community
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    Exclusive Bonus content
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    Lifetime access with on-demand download and in-browser video playback

Get Access to the Full "Develop Yourself" Package and More 

Rewards with your Annual Developer On Fire Membership

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    Everything in the Full Package - Good With Machines AND People: Develop Yourself To Develop Better Software And Optimize Your Career
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    Monthly Video Conferences with Dave, other members, and potentially special guests
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    Technical training videos
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    Social/philosophical commentary and content
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    Satisfaction in Expressing Your Gratitude for the Developer On Fire Podcast
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    Get Your Name Listed on the Developer On Fire Website
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    100% satisfaction guarantee               


Don't be Left Behind: Develop your Soft Skills Today!