Illuminate your career 💡

If you are a developer, this article is for you. In this article, I will share some tips that made my career grow and you may find them useful.

Be passionate

Let’s start from the beginning. When I was 18, I went to a university in Portugal where I have made a Master in Computer Science. I wasn’t the traditional geek or a super talented developer. I liked computers and programming but I simply preferred football and being with friends.

While I was at the university I also started my first job, in a startup near my hometown working with Codeigniter and html/angular.

Everything went perfectly. I was making money while being a student at the same time. But I had a problem: I wasn’t passionate about my job.

I was lucky though, while I was on my first job I got embraced by the Laravel community. I followed people that put care and love into their work. I could name several people in the community, but since I don’t want to be unfair, I will just quote Laravel’s creator Taylor Otwell: https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/90954/is-there-any-benefit-to-obsession-with-making-code-look-pretty

Sometimes I spend ridiculous amounts of time (hours) agonizing over making code “look pretty”. I mean making things look symmetrical. I will actually rapidly scroll through an entire class to see if anything jumps out as not looking “pretty” or “clean”.

Normally a developer that uses Laravel don’t care about how Laravel is coded behind the scenes, but Taylor Otwell still puts afford making the code clean.

You must be passionate. The lack of passion will become an issue, and other developers will just become better than you. You must seek that passion, don’t rest until you find it.

Find your way of learning

Eventually I got redirected to Laracasts. I started to consume 4/5 hours a day of Laracasts lessons. Consuming it like a drug. I felt that my brain was consuming so much knowledge that I couldn’t stop taking advantage of that hype.

Laracasts makes you understand that words like testing, solid, rest, ioc, etc are just that, words. And everything that was complicated became so simple.

Below are some examples of lessons that are, in my opinion, truly amazing:

You must find your way of learning. There are a lot of tools that can make you wise. You must search until you find something that makes learning easy for you.

Expose yourself to criticism

Eventually, mainly because of Laracasts, my town in Portugal was just too small for me. I moved to Paris in France to get in touch with better professionals and developers. And at the same time, I have started my journey in open source.

After Laracasts, open source is probably the best thing that happened in my career. I was exposing coding, implementations, ideas to everyone. That exposal made me grow as a developer. And after some failed projects I have created two successful projects: Laravel Zero and Collision.

BluecodersTalks #1 — Nuno Maduro, creator of Laravel Zero & Collision
BluecodersTalks #1: Illuminate console applications with Laravel Zero

You must expose yourself to criticism. Only criticism makes you grow. You will never become better if you don’t know each part of you can improve. Start with a podcast, a talk, an article, or open source. Just start.

Illuminate your career

Finally, Illuminating your career depends on yourself. I always made yearly goals that deal with passion, learning and criticism. For 2018 I want to meet the following goals:

  • Keep being active in open source
  • Keep proposing features/fixes to the core of Laravel
  • Speak at one conference
  • Launch a product

If you found this article useful, please comment below and clap, if you like.