/Career Advice

Always Do Extra

- Ben Northrop tl;dr: Completing a project with some time left, you can do "more, extra or nothing," and "reasonably happy developers distinguish themselves by choosing extra" - providing a small, additional, tangential contribution to the project. If you're building a web form, research input security concerns. This provides a sense of "free will" and adds to your knowledge base.

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20 Things I’ve Learned In My 20 Years As A Software Engineer

- Justin Etheredge tl;dr: (1) Software engineers, like all humans, need to feel ownership. (2) Your data is the most important part of your system. (3) Look for technological sharks (old technologies that have survived time). (4) Don’t mistake humility for ignorance. (5) Software engineers should write regularly. And 15 more. 

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How I Built A Modern Website In 2021

- Kent Dodds tl;dr: "If you're interested in how to productively build a maintainable website using modern tools that is fast all over the world despite every user getting content that's completely unique to them, then please continue."

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Don't Worry, You're Not Wasting Your Mentor's Time

- Lara Hogan tl;dr: Lara illustrates a concept of a Manager Voltron: "a crew of people who support you as you grow, each bring a facet of what an imaginary ideal manager for you would be." And even if you can’t imagine how you could help them today, it's guaranteed you will in the future.

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Things Unlearned

- Jamie Brandon tl;dr: Things Jamie used to believe that he's changed his mind about: (1) There is actually a simple solution to a problem, and "everyone is doing it wrong." (2) Programming should be easy. (3) You should always search for the new thing. (4) Learning X will make you a better programmer. (5) Intelligence trumps expertise.

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Teaching By Filling In Knowledge Gaps

- Julia Evans tl;dr: "I’ll start out by talking about a “backwards” approach to learning that I think a lot of you will recognize (do projects first without fully understanding what you’re doing, fill in missing knowledge after), and then talk about I try to teach in a way that works better with that mode of learning."

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“Get Off The Floor” And Other Career Advice From Microsoft, Looker, Reddit & Twitter

tl;dr: Twitter Engineering VP Nick Caldwell's 8 lessons for eng managers: (1) Take full responsibility for what happens next & remove yourself from the day to day. (2) Map your org chart to to whatever product or objective the business is trying to achieve. (3) Code doesn't solve everything, and more. 

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Advice For Tech Workers To Navigate The Most Heated Job Market Of All Time

- Gergely Orosz tl;dr: More emphasis on total comp packages, seeing some companies move to one-year stock grants. Job seekers should optimize for happiness, identifying their "must-haves," and also have the opportunity to negotiate v hard. Employees can negotiate with current employers to improve their situation. Gergely also outlines how this is impacting more junior tech workers too. 

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Weird Languages

- Paul Graham tl;dr: Popular languages are equally good at "gluing together calls to library functions." To expand your concept of programming, find a "weird" language. They are weird for a reason e.g. Lisp macros, and ask "what can you say in this language that would be inconvenient to say in a popular language?" You'll probably be "learning how to think things you couldn't previously think."

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How To Break Out Of The Thread Of Doom

- Tanya Reilly tl;dr: The thread of doom - when an email or slack chain descends into chaos can be a challenge. Two leadership tactics: (1) The rollup - reset the thread at a new point by summarizing it and a call to action e.g. "we're leaning towards A." (2) Ask embarrassingly basic questions, safer for managers to do.

featured in #251