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Rach Smith rachsmith.com

I completely ignored the front end development scene for 6 months. It was fine

Wise words from Rach Smith:

What I’ve learnt through experience is that the number of languages I’ve learned or the specific frameworks I’ve gained experience with matters very little. What actually matters is my ability to up-skill quickly and effectively. My success so far has nothing to do with the fact I know React instead of Vue, or have experience with AWS and not Azure. What has contributed to my success is the willingness to learn new tools as the need arises.

Medium Icon Medium

An attempt to answer the question, “If software engineering is in demand, why is it so hard to get a software engineering job?”

I’ve often wondered this as well. My conclusion, after not thinking too deeply about the issue, was that it’s a combination of the difficulty in match making and poor tooling. (There are many startups trying to solve those problems, but it doesn’t seem like anybody has cracked the nut yet).

There’s lots of wisdom in this post by Curt Corginia:

A wise, mature person would treat the software engineer interview process as a pure learning experience. He, or she, would enjoy learning about companies out there for the sake of research, interacting with key players, and mastering the art of whiteboarding. It would just be like a fun game.

I don’t think of it like that, but a mature person would. Do what I say, not what I do.

Ivan Velichko iximiuz.com

DevOps, SRE, and Platform Engineering

Ivan Velichko:

I compiled this thread on Twitter, and all of a sudden, it got quite some attention. So here, I’ll try to elaborate on the topic a bit more. Maybe it would be helpful for someone trying to make a career decision or just improve general understanding of the most hyped titles in the industry.

Titles come and go, and it’s worth knowing which ones are coming and which ones are going. This article is a good place to catch up if you haven’t been tracking. Oh, and there’s a pod for that too. 😉

Alex Koutmos akoutmos.com

The human side of Elixir

Alex Koutmos:

If you follow my blog, you have probably noticed that my articles usually revolve around some deep technical problems and how to go about solving these problems using the amazing Elixir programming language. These posts usually discuss the technical merits surrounding Elixir and the Erlang virtual machine, but rarely touch on the “human” aspects of Elixir.

The goal of today’s post will be to address some of the non-technical aspects of the Elixir programming language and talk about the profound impact they can have on your engineers and your business. I’ll start off by addressing one of the most common concerns I come across when it comes to Elixir - that being that “It is hard to find Elixir developers”.

An excellent goal for a blog post. I’d love to see more like this for each and every sub-community in the software world.

Career revenuecat.com

The case for location-independent salaries

Miguel Carranza from RevenueCat lays out why he and his co-founder decided to provide equal compensation for the same role regardless of location. Here’s the bullet points of their reasoning:

  • The quality of the work is equivalent
  • Immigration can be a challenge
  • Keeping up with the competition
  • It’s simpler
  • It’s part of our company mission

Read his post for the details along with some downsides of this approach.

Jacob Kaplan-Moss jacobian.org

Software estimation is hard. Do it anyway.

Jacob Kaplan-Moss begins where I often do when discussing estimation:

One study by HBR found that one in six IT projects had cost overruns of over 200% and were late by almost 70%. Another study by McKinsey found that IT projects are on average 45% over budget and 7% over schedule. They found large software projects were particularly bad: software projects with budgets over $15M went over budget by an overage of 66% and had schedule overruns averaging 33%.

Nonetheless, there are good reasons to estimate anyhow… and you can get better at it over time.

One major “secret” to advancing in a technical career is learning how to give accurate estimates. It certainly has been for me: I don’t shy away from giving timelines, and I’ve learned how to be right often enough that folks trust my estimates.

If you always avoid estimation and don’t learn how to give a timeline when it’s required, that might become a limiter on your career. Being able to tell your bosses and peers what to expect by when – and then hitting those marks – builds trust in a major way.

If you like this post, maybe follow it up with the one where he covers his technique for estimation.

Chip Huyen huyenchip.com

A free book on how to survive the machine learning interview process

Chip Huyen has been on both sides of ML-related interviews and has a lot of expertise on the process:

If you’ve picked up this book because you’re interested in working with one of the key emerging technologies of the 2020s but not sure where to start, you’re in the right place. Whether you want to become an ML engineer, a platform engineer, a research scientist, or you want to do ML but don’t yet know the differences among those titles, I hope that this book will give you some useful pointers.

Petr Stribny stribny.name

Which programming languages pay the most? I made my own salary charts...

Synthesized insights from Stack Overflow’s 2020 survey data:

The dataset has 33,447 salary data points which probably isn’t that many given that there are probably around 25 million software developers in the world. You have been warned.

Despite Petr’s warnings, he did go through some trouble to make the data as good as possible (short of, you know, finding or creating more data sources 😉).

Which programming languages pay the most? I made my own salary charts...

Sarah Drasner CSS-Tricks

Mistakes I've made as an engineering manager

Sarah Drasner:

I’ve been a manager for many years at companies of different scale. Through these experiences, I’ve done my share of learning, and made some mistakes along that way that were important lessons for me. I want to share those with you.

The four mistakes that Sarah details, which we can all learn from:

  1. Thinking people give feedback the way they want to receive it
  2. Trying to do everything yourself as a manager is the best way to help
  3. Communicating something one time is enough
  4. You have to have everything together all the time

Career blog.nukemberg.com

Talent is largely a myth

As it turns out, most of what we hear about “talent” in the software industry is just plain wrong and based on naive and deprecated models if not outright self delusions.

The author goes on to explain how talent is multi-dimensional, isn’t static, and isn’t linear… then concludes by ruminating on these questions:

If all of these prevalent assumptions about talent are wrong, what does it say about our hiring and management practices? what do managers even mean when they set out to hire “good developers” given that their goodness cannot be measured and is highly volatile?

Related: I shared an Unpopular Opinion on my recent Go Time appearance (though Kris Brandow is convinced it will be actually popular) in this area of thought: I believe a primary trait shared by successful software developers is stubbornness. Not talent/intellect necessarily, but that downright refusal to give up until a solution is found. Listen in starting here and let me know if you agree or disagree in the discussion.

Career mihaileric.com

We don't need data scientists, we need data engineers

TLDR:

There are 70% more open roles at companies in data engineering as compared to data science. As we train the next generation of data and machine learning practitioners, let’s place more emphasis on engineering skills.

This vibes with what I’ve been hearing on Practical AI lately. Organizations are facing big challenges when it comes to deploying, maintaining, and improving data processing tools and platforms in production settings. Big challenges produce big opportunities. And what does a data engineer do? According to this article:

Develops a robust and scalable set of data processing tools/platforms. Must be comfortable with SQL/NoSQL database wrangling and building/maintaining ETL pipelines.

If you have that skillset, you are in high demand today. And if you can adapt that skillset and be considered a ML engineer, you will be in high demand for a long, long time.

We don't need data scientists, we need data engineers

HackerNoon Icon HackerNoon

Is it worth getting a CS degree in 2021?

I’ll admit, the TL;DR of this HackerNoon piece is a bit disappointing:

Is a computer science degree worth it? For me, partially. For you? You tell me.

Having said that… Sun-Li’s experience and results of going back for a CS degree despite already being a professional software developer with a full-time job are super interesting and maybe even informative about the state of the industry.

The Changelog The Changelog #422

Growing as a software engineer

Gergely Orosz joined Adam for a conversation about his journey as a software engineer. Gergely recently stepped down from his role as Engineering Manager at Uber to pursue his next big thing. But, that next big thing isn’t quite clear to him yet. So, in the meantime, he has been using this break to write a few books and blog more so he can share what he’s learned along the way. He’s also validating some startup ideas he has on platform engineering. His first book is available to read now — it’s called The Tech Resume Inside Out and offers a practical guide to writing a tech resume written by the people who do the resume screening. Both topics gave us quite a bit to talk about.

Jaana Dogan Medium

What did I forget by working for the same company?

Jaana Dogan, now working at AWS, reflects on her (long) time at Google:

My time was up for one exact reason. I no longer had no clue what the life outside Google felt like. My actual superpower was gone. I remember sitting in meetings only bringing insights from what I hear from customers without truly understanding how things worked outside of our bubble end-to-end.

Thoughtful reflection is a powerful tool in your life. Sharing that reflection with others, like Jaana does here, can be a powerful tool in other people’s lives. 💪

Vishnu Bharathi vishnubharathi.codes

Rejections

We are currently in tough times. With a lot of people losing jobs and struggling to get back one. I sailed the same ship and just got back a job. I wrote this post to help people who are currently in the job hunt and are facing rejections (by writing about all the rejections I had so far).

I want you to know that job search might be stressful (at times), but you got this! Prepare yourself and go out there; Don’t get hurt by rejection.

While writing the post, I just realized how common the culture of ghosting a person during the interview process has become.

I wish that we get better at not ghosting people as an Industry.

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