There is so much I’ve learned about software and being a software developer in my post college years.  I’ve often thought “If only I had known that back in college” or “before I started my career”.  This is a collection of those kinds of things.  Essentials about what helps make a programmer a programmer and what makes a community a community.

Defining Skill Level

Keynote – Jacob Kaplan-Moss – Pycon 2015

Jacob talks about how we programmers measure ourselves and this strange view that programmers fall into 2 groups, great and terrible, when in reality, most skill distributions follow a bell curve.  Why are software developers any different?

The Role of a Senior Developer – A great explanation that skill level and seniority is not simply a function of time put in on the clock, but both understanding that 1) all decisions involve tradeoffs & compromises and 2) true leadership is about empowerment, not power.


Lessons in Process, Practice, and Passion

Burnout and the year of Hell – An important story and lesson about finding your passion and building up resilience to burnout. I’ve been there. It’s easy to fall into the burnout pit, and it’s a lot harder to climb out.  Life is too short to make all the mistakes your self. Learn from those who have already experienced it.

Ira Glass on Storytelling

(Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.)

If you have ever struggled or have been discouraged by an apparent lack of progress, this is a great reminder that true skill comes from lots and lots of practice.

David Heinemeier Hansson on Rewriting Basecamp

When you spend a long time on a piece of software, a strange sense of ownership and attachment can develop.  Over time, that can become crippling to the point of halting any innovation.  DHH talks about how BaseCamp overcame this and decided to rewrite their core application from scratch not once, but twice, and how liberating it made them feel.

(Video link)

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