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Sarah Dayan+ Your Authors @frontstuff_io Staff Software Engineer @Algolia. JavaScript, TypeScript, Vue.js, and CSS developer. TDD and utility-first enthusiast. Speaker and writer. Author of Dinero.js. Jul. 26, 2020 2 min read + Your Authors

I’ve been working as a software engineer for 10 years 🎂 Man, does time fly!

Here’s a list of ten honest takes on the job and the industry.


1. Years of experience don’t mean anything (without quality of experience) 📈

Doing stuff for a long time doesn’t mean you’re getting better.

Stagnation is real. If you’re not actively trying to improve, time doesn’t make it happen automatically.

2. Having coworkers is invaluable 👥

Not matter how much of a lone wolf you think you are, you won’t grow as fast alone as with teammates.

Feedback and mentoring (giving and receiving) are a privilege. Without them, you’re operating at a mere fraction of what you could be.

3. Identifying with technical choices brings nothing 🛠

It’s fine to like specific tech and want to be part of a club. But it doesn’t make you better than anyone.

Be careful of the golden hammer bias. You’re a problem solver, not a sandwich board man. Make educated choices.

4. On many subjects, there are no absolute truths 👁

The Internet is filled with opinions. Look at it as food for thought, not gospel.

Parroting the latest thing you read doesn’t make you smart. Consume content to stay current, but also keep a critical mind.

5. Nothing is beyond your reach when you master the basics 📚

You can start wherever you want. But if you’re finding yourself struggling a lot, it might be because you lack strong foundations.

New and fancy stuff is based on the basics. Mastering them lets you see the matrix.

6. Burnout is real 😓

Coding is mentally demanding. The constant stream of information is overwhelming. The pressure of staying current is heavy. The fear of job security disappearing one day is legitimate.

Depression is as real as COVID-19. It’s okay, and help exists.

7. Seniority isn’t about being the best coder 👩‍💻

If you think you should be senior because you’re a technical beast, you’re missing the point.

Seniority is about experience, impact, and efficiency. Seniors are usually technicially proficient, but soft skills play a huge role.

8. Diversity is crucial 👩🏻‍🦱🧕🏽🧔🏿🧑🏼‍🦰

Believing in meritocracy is like saying that kids who are good get presents for Christmas.

Diversifying culture in tech is necessary, and must be an active process.

Start here: 

9. Quantity is as important as quality 🧮

As cliché as it might sound, you won’t get better by polishing forever. Experience and knowledge mostly come from confronting what you do to the outside world.

The more you experiment, the less intimidating it will feel to ship.

10. Who you know is as important as what you know 🗺

There are humans behind computers. It’s not just about hard skills. It’s also about making connections and fostering relationships.

You don’t have to become Twitter famous, but reaching out to people goes a long way.

You can follow @frontstuff_io.


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