polishing ruby by ryan davis

Career Advice

Published 2012-09-12 @ 12:00

Tagged work, thoughts

I just got asked for career advice by a former co-worker and I thought I might share my answer here…

As far as career advice goes…

  • Learning and doing are paramount. People who do are much more important than people who talk about doing.
  • Make mistakes, be wrong, plan to throw at least one away.
  • Look at each bug and spend 5 minutes asking how you got there and how you’ll avoid it next time.
  • Make loud mistakes. When you mess up, acknowledge it, and then learn from it.
  • Be the worst in the band for at least the next 5 years. That will probably mean moving every 2-3 years or so as you plateau at each place.
  • Read 1 nerd book a month and you’ll be 12x the industry average.
  • Make sure your boss knows what your current career goals are (eg, become an awesome back end dev, focus on scaling, etc).
  • Go to conferences/user groups/hack nights and actually talk to people. Code with them too.
  • Read code. As much as you can get your head around.
  • Spend 30 minutes each day improving something about your process (automate the thing you repeat the most) or environment (editor, shell, OS, etc).
  • Focus on making it work, but then spend 5-10 minutes before each commit and polish. I often write 2 or 3 versions of a paragraph of code and weigh my options.
  • Read the original wiki and slurp up as much wisdom as you can. Those fuckers are smart.