Darren Beale Web developer, retailer & photographer

Half-time Q & A Session


So we’re 15 days into the challenge.

15 posts written, including today.

I didn’t think I’d get this far and I’m still not sure I can keep the pace up to the end. It definitely feels like an endurance event!

Anyway, Marc came up with the idea for today’s post on the 30DWC Slack channel; I think to give us a rest maybe.

We’re copying some of Tim Ferris’ stock questions that he asks the guests to his podcast.

When someone asks you what you do, how do you answer that?

I run a software development company.

My business helps the owners and managers of complex web software applications sleep better at night. We make sure that things keep running, that they remain secure, and that new features are delivered in an orderly and timely fashion.

When you hear the word successful, who is the first person that comes to mind and why?

Richard Branson.

Because he seems a nice enough guy. He appears to be enjoying himself and he’s good at whatever he turns his attentions to.

Oh, and because Virgin Galactic!

What are you not very good at?

That default interview question.

I wrote a blog post on this last year, turn the negative into positive. The thing is, mine is true.

I’m not very good at focussing in on the present. I think long-term but it can be at the detriment of now.

That can really suck.

What is your favourite or most influential book? Why?

The book I’ve most recommended is Leo Babauta’s Zen To Done.

I’m a productivity freak anyway, but this mellows it right out; it’s a good balance.

The book that most made me think in the recent past was Cal Newport’s So Good They Can’t Ignore You.

What’s a good documentary you’ve watched recently?

I have not watched anything remotely like a documentary in years.  Might have watched a wildlife thing with David Attenborough in with the kids, does that count?

I might occasionally watch some fiction on Netflix but that’s as far as my TV consumption goes.

If you could go back and give your 20 year old self some advice, what would you say?

I also wrote Things I would go back and tell the younger me last year. It’s one of my favourite pieces. It was certainly very cathartic to write.

But if I had to choose one of those it would be: Try really hard to stop worrying. Focus on now, not what has been or what might be.

If you could put a billboard anywhere, what would it say?

Look up.

Look around.

From the blog post mentioned in the last question:

there’s a lot of interesting stuff going on around you. Have a look around. See that bird? That leaf? Have you noticed the gargoyles on that striking building over there? (Yes, that one you’ve been walking past these 5 years)

Don’t spend your life inside your head, make sure you keep looking around and try hard to notice the beauty right in front of you.

What’s something that you’ve changed your mind about recently?

Daily company stand-ups. As in Agile and software development.

In a distributed team like mine, sometimes people working different hours, they were becoming a problem. Sucking up too much time at an inconvenient time of the day

We’ve paused doing them for now. I’m open-minded about whether we’ll start them up again.

What are you excited about right now?

Running the London Marathon next weekend!


Words: 580

Time: 20 minutes, I purposely didn’t agonise over each one; I treated it like a proper interview and wrote down the first answer that came to mind.

This post is one of 30 I wrote daily during April 2016 as part of the 30 Day Writing Challenge.

By bealers
Darren Beale Web developer, retailer & photographer