Teach yourself programming in twenty years

25 July 2022

It has been a good ten years since someone decided it was a good idea to pay me to write code. And this really feels weird because for one I probably know about 5% of what I wish to know.

Similar to others my break into the industry was a lucky one, with a barely functioning iOS app under my belt, an advertising firm took a chance on me to write code for their newly formed tech solutions wing. I was equal parts confused and curious, having chosen to not intern during my summer breaks, the working world was antiquated, the PHP - exciting.

It was one lucky break after another, I got to meet so many people, each time they let me in before I was ready. Product, design1, iOS, web, management - some a lot more satisfying than others.

Larger companies come with more resources - benefits, workforce and the luxury of time. I’ve got my fair share of encounters with the power hungry, the opportunistic, the truly psychopath. And unfortunately most of them also believe themselves to be the most introspective.

Hiring is fucked, still, over indexing for confidence and leetcodeability. Culture provides tangible form to otherwise intuition to a good hire. But unfortunately culture distills and the innocents default to “nothing outstandingly bad”, and further culture distillation. I've come to also believe it's for the best to be “quick to fire if a recent hire doesn’t work out” when interviews continues to be poor indicators for the future working relationship.

It benefits no one but the firm to hide compensation details.

Nowadays I’m light on opinions2 in reviewing code, if software is more akin to creative writing3 than arithmetic. Other than jarring mistakes4 I’ve appreciated the creative expression than conformity. Software design principles are a man’s taste to design, not prescribed rules5.

A recent pet peeve: what you don’t know does not make it wrong.

I’ve gone through several career resets6 in these 10 years, definitely impacted my lifetime earning potential, doing too little too late.

Here's to another 10 years to teach myself to programme, a huge backlog7. Maybe take a break from career resets, and dive deep into the learning again. Got myself super deep into the board games rabbit hole these 2 years and I’m starting to see the edges.

Also to give myself a chance for brain burning thinking, as a treat. And maybe a chance to will the future into existence.

[1] I once got to the last round of a product designer interview at prestigious design focused product company, I would never have dreamed of [2] Or I'm just a novice [3] I chose electrical amongst engineering disciplines the day I knew we are making things up. [4] There are no correct ways to writing softwares, except CSS, there is exactly one correct way to write CSS. [5] Unfortunately often design patterns are sold as theories [6] Got to surprise several ex-colleagues each time I make a switch. [7] Who doesn't