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Tech Lead Journal

116 EpisodesProduced by Henry SuryawirawanWebsite

Great technical leadership requires more than just great coding skills. It requires a variety of other skills that are not well-defined, and they are not something that we can fully learn in any school or book. Hear from experienced technical leaders sharing their journey and philosophy for building… read more


#55 - It's Time to Own Your Tech Career - Don Jones

“Decide where it is you’re going and what kind of career you need to live the life you want and aim for that really deliberately. Because if you don’t know where you’re going, then you never will get there."

Don Jones is the author of “Own Your Tech Career” and the VP of Developer Skills at Pluralsight. In this episode, Don explained why it is important for us to understand the career we want and aim to build that career deliberately, instead of keep chasing promotion and more money continuously, and thus winding up in a rat race. He emphasized a few important things as part of owning our career, such as the importance of soft skills, showing yourself as a professional, building a personal brand, and being a better decision-maker. Do not miss a couple of showing up as professional tips that Don adopted from Disney!

Listen out for:

  • Career Journey - [00:05:52]
  • Owning Our Tech Career - [00:07:11]
  • On Money - [00:11:18]
  • Importance of Soft Skills - [00:13:24]
  • Showcasing Strong Profile - [00:16:28]
  • Showing as Professional: Be Your Word - [00:20:14]
  • Be Detailed and Precise - [00:23:15]
  • Cut Your Losses When The Time is Right - [00:25:21]
  • Let Blue Sky Mode Happen - [00:29:28]
  • Draw a Yellow Line - [00:31:38]
  • Building a Personal Brand - [00:34:45]
  • What to Contribute and Finding Time - [00:40:24]
  • RAPID Decision Making - [00:43:46]
  • Deciding What’s Enough - [00:45:29]
  • Deciding What to Believe - [00:47:55]
  • 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [00:51:23]


Don Jones’s Bio
Don Jones has been in the IT industry since the mid-1990s, and has worked in roles ranging from software developer to network engineer. He’s most well-known for his work with Microsoft’s Windows PowerShell, and he’s written literally dozens of books on other IT topics. Today, much of Don’s focus is on helping technology professionals become owners of their careers, through books like How to Own Your Tech Career and projects like his Ampere.Club website. You can view Don’s full bibliography at

Follow Don:

Our Sponsor

This episode is proudly sponsored by Emergence, the journal of business agility. This quarterly publication brings you inspiring stories from the most innovative companies and explores themes of new ways of working, reclaiming management, and humanizing business. Each issue is hand illustrated and 100% content. Use the promo code “techlead” to get a 10% discount on your annual subscription. Visit to get your edition and support the publication supporting your podcast.

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