Notes - The Coding Career Handbook
February 19, 2021
These are my learnings from reading The Coding Career Handbook by Shawn Wang. Notes for my future-self. I highly recommend this book for everyone of all levels in their career.
Notes from Part I - Your Coding Career:
Chapter 4: Junior Developer
- “It is quite often that doing the things nobody else wants to do often ends up making you indispensable, because A) it has to be done and B) nobody else wants to do them. If you figure out a clever way of doing it, you could even make a career (or startup) out of it!”
Tests are the most common example of this. In fact, a really great way to start a new job is to volunteer to write tests.
“When one teaches, two learn.” - Robert Heinlein
Chapter 5: From Junior to Senior
Much of your learning from Junior to Senior involves gaining tacit knowledge. You can read all the programming books in the world, but, by definition, you are still limited to things that people can write down. Tacit knowledge in engineering is a real thing. Keep a look out for all the lessons you don’t learn in classes or from books. To really make your career explode, make a habit of writing them down for everyone else (Chapter 18 - Write, A Lot!).
In particular, anything you do in public - blogging, speaking, podcasting, making video tutorials, open source work - can help you grow your knowledge and your network at the same time, opening up the possibility for inbound opportunities to come to you. Remember to fight Impostor Syndrome every step of the way!
Chapter 6: Senior Developer
- “The best way to be a 10x developer is to teach 10 people what you know.”
“The most valuable engineers are the ones who habitually view their work through the lens of what the business needs to succeed. Which is a skill you have to practice and foster and cultivate, just like any other.” - Charity Majors
Chapter 7: Beyond your Coding Career
“Becoming a manager is not a promotion - it’s a lateral move onto a parallel track. You’re back at junior level in many key skills.” - Sarah Mei
- “The best individual contributors are the ones who have done time in management. And the best technical leaders in the world are often the ones who do both. Back and forth. Like a pendulum.”