Your diverse background can be your main advantage. Supercharge it this quarantine.

I’ve seen in twitter a lot of people learning and coding on this quarantine, which is great. Learning and doing hard stuff can keep your mind healthy and you won’t get bored. There is something I think we should not miss while spending time at home learning.

Imagine that in the whole industry everybody came from the same background. Everybody majored in Computer Science, watched the same movies, had the same interests and liked to work in the same problems. We were not very far from this some years ago. Now we are in a very different place as an industry, we have a lot of folks coming from different places (education, work experiences, interests, culture..). Which is what need to solve the most challenging problems. We are good, but we can be better.

I’ve seen a lot of people studying frontend, backend, ML, Blockchain and similar things. Which is good and you need to do it, although don’t forget the other stuff. By that I mean, the stuff that makes you unique. As I mentioned at some point, hiring decisions can be very tight and sometimes you want to hire 2 people but just can’t. It’s the small stuff that makes the difference (happens very similar when thinking about promotions and raises). The good news is that small stuff it’s hard to copy because it has to do with you.

Here you’ll find a list about “other stuff” and how you can supercharge it this quarantine:

  • Your past work experience: This is a great tool from people transitioning into tech. These experiences can be a great advantage if they align with the role you are applying to. For example, you were a tour guide before jumping into Computer Science and you are applying now for a Software Developer role in Tripadvisor. And in order yo supercharge it, learn more about the industries you’ve worked, take a small MOOC, read some news about it or read a book on that field. We tend to underestimate our knowledge about a certain industry, trust me after a couple of years working on a specific industry you’ll have a ton of knowledge, use it!

 

  • Your interests: Humans tend to be curious about a group of fields and these can be uncorrelated. You might want to learn about anthropology, astronomy, medicine, sports, food or almost anything. Take a small break from coding and learn about a field you are interested in. This will have two effects: you might find relationships between the field and coding, and this could help you in a future interview. Either by the industry, you are applying or to build rapport with the interviewer. Just taking a break from coding can bring great results.

 

  • An action related to coding: You’ve been coding for the past 2 days non-stop that’s good. But also have in mind other related tasks that are not just coding. Try writing a Blogspot, create a video-tutorial or write a small book. These are great superpowers that can make you a better developer.

The main goal of this quarantine is to stay safe. It’s great that a lot of people are learning new stuff and hopefully a lot will be able to land new gigs soon. Keep coding (and doing other stuff)!

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30 things I learned at my first job (Daniel Rojas)

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