To say I was inspired by each and every conversation is a massive understatement. I learnt so much.
My next question was always the same: “well, what’s stopping you?”. I often wondered why this session is even needed - each clearly demonstrated an aptitude for development. But we all have our demons. It’s what I call The Imp in The Great Sync - a devilish creature which rears its ugly head throughout our journey in tech. It goes by another name too: Imposter Syndrome.
These are some of the major pain points and struggles that were uncovered in the sessions, which I thought I would share for the benefit of all.
In tech these days is there is SO many damn things to learn. You learn one thing and and three more things getting added to the list. And then it turns out that one thing you learnt, you didn’t actually finish and needs to stay on the list!
You lose a lot of time when you focus on the list. The Imp loves it.
The reality is there is no such thing as a list. Those 100 thousand bullet points you see on job applications are all smoke and mirrors. Recruiters don’t even know what 99% of those words mean. I once got asked if I can style a website purely in React.
But Kylo, surely there has to be a list??!!
You never remove items off this list. You never master them. You will always be learning and adding to your knowledge.
And what about React, Tailwind, Regex, SQL, Next JS, Remix, Typescript, Jest, This, That, And This Too?
Rather than having a list of new things you need to learn, I encourage you to base your learning on one or two side projects. Create a list of problems, features or refactors you want to complete. And pick the appropriate technologies for each.
Problems can be things like:
Notice that you are not trying to master any of these technologies. They are simply a tool to solve specific problems. Courses and tutorials you take should be to move your project further along. Plus it gives you a lot to talk about in interviews.
Looking for opportunities to code with others is one of the most under-rated learning strategies theres is. Too often we focus only on our own projects, and building something you can proudly say ‘I did this all on my own’.
That’s great. You should have personal projects. But I highly recommend also finding ways to practise collaboration. These experiences teach you SO much. Working with someone else means gaining new perspectives, being challenged on some decisions, and best of all, you are forced to communicate your work.
It also really makes your portfolio standout, especially if you have no commercial experience.
And here’s the thing, it doesn’t mean finding a partner for a huge application that will become a startup and eventually earn you millions. Here are a few other ways to work with others:
You might be wondering why I haven't even mentioned The Great Sync yet. Having systems and strategies for consolidating what you are learning is essential to grow your craft. The Great Sync is one of many ways of doing this.
Stay tuned for part 2!