Accidental Mission Statement

Richard Kasoian over at has asked me to contribute as a writer. This is great because Newsmeek gets more readers than I do, and I have someone hounding me to actually write something. So far I've contributed one article, Loathing And Skepticism: A Look At The Myths of PHP, which I never even intended to publish for fear of rage-filled fiery doom. I haven't received any hate mail yet, so, thanks internet!

Today Richard asked me to write up a quick ~100 word bio for my Newsmeek profile. I started by looking at my blog's own bio and expanded on it. This is what I sent him:

"I build rich single-page web apps - usually for learning or play - and I favour JS, CoffeeScript and Python for that endeavour.

I love to mentor early-career developers and work with my local hackerspace's software development club to draw more of those folks in and keep them interested.

I believe developer empowerment is the core driver for successful recruitment, talent retention and productivity on technical teams of all shapes and sizes, and I'm vocal about it.

I also love a good book and playing games with friends.

I'm @jeffszusz on twitter, and I blog about these things at"

Bam. 99 Words, and I didn't even count until after writing them.

Looking over that text, I realized that each paragraph is a bullet point outlining what I'm really all about. It occurred to me that rather than a bio, I wrote myself a mission statement.

After a little further pondering, a common theme becomes clear to me:

  • I like to build tools that teach people or make them better learners.
  • I love to teach people stuff I'm knowledgeable about.
  • I believe one of the best ways to empower developers - and to attract and retain great talent - is to promote and support a culture of learning on your team.

In addition,

  • I believe the most effective way to make users or customers keep coming back to you is to teach them how to be better at something you're an authority on.

I've distilled it down to these four points:

My Mission:

I build applications for learning and play that delight the user.

I help companies to ignite passion in their customers through teaching.

I help new developers discover their potential and launch their careers.

I show leaders how developer empowerment and a culture of learning can drive successful recruitment, talent retention and productivity on technical teams of all shapes and sizes.

Some questions remain: How will I incorporate these four things into my business? Will I have to pursue some of them informally? I'll have to do some more exploring, but I intend to drive my career in one or more of these directions - and I may have to drag a bunch of people with me.


Jeff Szusz

I'm a professional web developer, a novice videography nerd, and I love a good book or games with friends. I'm @jeffszusz on twitter!