Explicitly track everything learned : ) Iteration on ideas is just asimportant as having them to begin with

Learn in Public

Always create while working!

  • Don't judge results by feedback; talk to yourself from some time ago.
  • It doesn't matter how many people are reached with your content. Thebest beneficiary of you helping your past self is future you.
  • Connect with others:

    • Make PRs to libraries you use
    • Make your own libraries
    • Clone stuff to see how it works
    • Summarize learning in the public
  • Build a persistent knowledge base (like this one!)
  • Always, always, always document what you did and the problems yousolved.
  • If people doubt you, have them explain their perspective!
  • Focus on teaching yourself.

Provide feedback

  • Write everything publicly.
  • Ask and answer things on public forums. Do not spend time helpingothers on private forums.

Do not end the week with nothing

article, frompatio11There is nothing wrong with day jobs! Some really enjoy them. If the jobis right for you, that's wonderful.

If the day job is not right for you, learn on your own.

"It is in the employee's personal insterest to stop selling hours oflabor and start renting access to his accumulated capital as soon ashumanly possible."

In other words, to become valuable, you must accumulate valuableexperience, hard skills and trust, then leverage these to continue to beconstructive.

If you end the week with nothing, nothing about your life will change!No matter how hard you work you'll come back the next week having builtanother internal product or having worked with another internal system.This is not valuable to you, and as a student you should prefer pursuingthings you benefit from.


Work where people can see you.

This is not exactly the same as 'working in public'. Working in publicis working entirely on public projects, while working where people cansee you is working in spaces where your work will be seen, recommendedand commended.

  • Work on places and projects with above-average visibility. You'll bemost likely to be hired and more likely to be noticed.
  • Don't necessarily optimize for 'sexy' projects; most engineering workisn't 'sexy'. Optimize for impact and optimize for visibility.
  • If you cannot gain exposure at your day job, network actively to gainexposure outside of it. Talk about things you create and show them topeople!
  • 'Stack the bricks'. Theindividual who has accumulated an impressive appearance is really oneday at a conference talk, one day writing a good library and anotherwriting a blog post. "Brick by brick, the wall gets higher."

Work on things you can keep

You rarely get to keep ours, bank them in the future, etc. Widespreademployee ownership of the enterprice is an excellent improvement, butthe work you produce concretely matters more than the shares and stakesyou hold.

Buying side projects with sweat equity may give you future financialbenefits, and there are real benefits to having an object that isyours to curate. Make a standalone web prescence for open sourcelibraries to give others a stake in them.

Consumption can be valuable but creation moves you forward

Reading is valuable, but actually shipping something is so much morevaluable. "You'll learn so much more shipping a failure than you'lllearn from reading about a thousand successes. And you stand anexcellent chance of shipping a success – people greatly overestimate howdifficult it is. Just don't end the week with nothing."


Continue to ask myself whether my contributions are valuable, whetherthey are noticed, and whether they could be touched by others.