Dave Parker launched five startups (three sold, two closed) before shifting to mentorship roles. In 2014, he joined UP Global, the non-profit that operates Startup Weekend and Startup America, to serve as lead organizer. A year ago, he stepped into the role of CEO for the Seattle-based coding bootcamp, Code Fellows.
“Code Fellows has a great mission, to help people change their lives,” Parker said at the time. “At this point in my career, I want to help build something that’s about more than just financial return. While Code Fellows has tremendous potential, what’s especially exciting is growing the company and impacting more lives.”
One of his first moves as CEO was to introduce a tiered curriculum with beginner and intermediate courses that students can take before applying to the eight-week bootcamp. The new program, Parker says, gives students who aren’t ready for the intensive course somewhere to start.
Parker, a father of four, shared his tips for managing family and a demanding career for this installment of Working Geek, a regular GeekWire feature. Continue reading for his answer to our questionnaire.
Current Location: Just moving from SLU to Belltown (in the Shadow of the Space Needle!)
Computer types: MacBook Air.
Mobile devices: iPad Air 2, iPhone 6 Plus.
Favorite apps, cloud services and software tools: Slack , Audible, Twitter, Fitbit, TextExpander.
Describe your workspace. Why does it work for you? Standup Desk, near the students. No paper. Before we moved, my desk was in the open co-working space with the students. I’ll be a little farther away in the new space, but still close. It’s great to see the “aha” moment when someone new to code has a connect the dots moment.
Your best advice for managing everyday work and life? “There are the things you like to do and the things you have to do.” Do the have to do items first, everything else gets easier from there. You can always find time for the things you like.
Your preferred social network? How do you use it for business/work? Twitter for news, LinkedIn for Business.
Current number of unanswered emails in your inbox? Yikes — too many, I need to get back to my inbox.
Number of appointments/meetings on your calendar this week? This week was slow at 24. I time block my calendar. Projects in the AM, internal appointments and 1:1’s. External appointments at the end of the day. I promised my wife only two evening events any given week.
How do you run meetings? Three types of meetings
– Topical — agenda (usually) in advance, single topic.
– Internal check in — first 5 minutes we prioritize the agenda for the meeting.
– External startup meeting — come prepared: “Coffee meeting checklist.” Start on time, end on time.
Everyday work uniform? Jeans, long sleeve sport shirt (funky collar/cuff), dress boots or Converse All Stars
How do you make time for family? Early in my career not as well. Now I’m usually home for dinner with my kids and back to work later in the evening if there’s a pressing deadline. My team knows that if there something urgent need text and calls work great.
Best stress reliever? How do you unplug? Exercise and travel, regular breaks are important so you have a break to look forward to. With four kids, I don’t have many hobbies. Hanging out with them is the best.
What are you listening to? Audible is 3:1 over music. Most frequently played on iTunes would be Dave Matthews (I met him once in the airport, he’s totally what you’d expect) 90’s grunge with Nirvana, Jazz, it’s a range.
Daily reads? Favorite sites and newsletters? Twitter, GeekWire, TechCrunch, TechFlash.
Book on your nightstand (or e-reader)? Did I mention Audible? Just finished:
– The Industries of the Future – Alex Ross
– Originals – Adam Grant
– Third Wave – Steve Case
– The Life We Bury – Allen EskensNight stand – too many, but currently working on
Nightstand — too many, but currently working on Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.
Night owl or early riser? What are your sleep patterns? Early, up at 5:30 a.m. — usually done by 11p.m.
Where do you get your best ideas? For me, the key is idle moments, it can be on a stationary bike or early work time without a ton of people to distract. Aha’s are really a progression of working through ideas with a team — your aha is informed by the community.
Whose work style would you want to learn more about or emulate? Larry Page and Mary Grove @Google. Page from a scaling an organization and culture. Hiring people smarter than you is important. Mary runs Google for Entrepreneurs, an inspirational leader making a difference #changetheworld.