An Exciting Start to 2022
Some major updates, plus how NOT to waste time
This is Tech Career Growth — our goal is to help millions of software engineers get better at their job.
You’re probably noticing some visual changes to this email compared to ones we’ve sent in the past. That’s because we just migrated to Substack, which has some nice benefits (read: it’s free). We plan to send out quick insights to advance your tech career, sent monthly.
We sent our last email about 1.5 months ago, and a lot has happened since then:
We quit our jobs (I was at
The video I made about quitting Facebook went semi-viral 😮
We just incorporated Tech Career Growth Inc — we’re planning to work on this mission full time!
The result of the above means that our community has grown substantially. My YouTube channel has 39K subscribers, 10K people on Slack, and 1K subscribers on this email, which we plan to make more useful. If you want to help shape the direction of what we build, please take this survey. It’ll take < 10 min, and we’ll share the results in Slack or in a video.
To the main content…
Over the past year, Alex and I have had the chance to talk to hundreds of people in the community and we’ve noticed a pattern of how engineers waste time. These pernicious behaviors give you a vague sense of productivity, but they actually don’t result in you becoming a better engineer.
Tutorial hell. Tutorials are great for solving clearly packaged problems, but you need to extend them to properly benefit from them. Your goal should be to remove the “training wheels” of tutorials as quickly as possible.
Certificate collection. Certificates are basically more formal tutorials. However, traits like adaptability can’t easily be captured by a certificate. Our stance: Don’t waste time getting a certificate unless it’s required for your job.
Search for “perfect” tech. As an engineer, the metric you should optimize is “how much am I building?” Trying to find the perfect technology doesn’t contribute to building – just choose something and commit. Also, the perfect technology doesn’t exist.
Building in secret. The harsh reality: your idea is almost certainly not worth stealing. So rather than guarding your project, share your idea + progress with others. This gives you the opportunity to receive feedback AND motivation from potential collaborators.
Finally, we have a free, live session tomorrow at 10am PT about effective 1:1s - check the Zoom on the LinkedIn event. Hope to see many of you there!
If you want to help us out, please forward this email to anyone who you think may benefit 🙏🏽