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Work In Progress

Four years into my tech career and I'm still wondering what the heck my future in this industry is. That's why I'm so thankful I attended Raw Signal Group's Work In Progress event at the tail-end of February.

If you want a more in-depth read on the event, check out my pal Siobhan's Medium post for Bridge School.

Two major points were driven home time and time again -- no one cares more about your career than you and luck is not a strategy for career development.

Conversely, my development career has been incredibly lucky. I came to web dev because I thought it was fun. That's honestly it -- I was doing a little bit of JavaScript work as a tech support agent and fell in love with the challenges of programming and the delightful frustration of debugging.

Four years ago, I went to HackerYou and fell in love with interactive development. The web is magic, and we can create delightful experiences for people using bleeding-edge web technology. The more I learn and grow, the more magical it all feels.

The last four years I've built incredible things -- interactive web experiences, web application platforms and distributed systems. I'm only getting started, but the breadth of systems and software development methodologies I've been exposed to has been incredible.

Now I'm struggling to figure out where my career goes next. I want to do it all: create incredible user experiences from the back-end to the front, owning and scaling the entire stack.

But I don't want to build widgets, or meaningless crud. Web development is my super power and I'm incredibly privileged to build these great things. As I look towards the next five years of my career and trying to puzzle together what that looks like, it's time to get back to the principles that have served me so well the past five years.

  • Start small, iterate quickly, learn and reflect.
  • Find value through small-scale, low-risk experimentation.
  • Take risks.