Don’t be in a rush to move up

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The other day, I overheard a coworker say, “By my second annual review next year, I want to be a senior developer.”

That’s a pretty noble goal.

They had been there almost two years, had started feeling really comfortable with the technology, and felt that they should step up their game a bit in hopes of moving into a senior role by the following year.

But it got me thinking… “Why?”

Perhaps it’s a desire for more money. Money is a good motivator.

Perhaps it’s a desire for more of a challenge and growth. Also a good thing.

Perhaps it’s to wear the senior badge or to claim that status. …

It’s all about navigation

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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Learning to code was hands down one of the most exciting journeys of my life. And I’ve heard similar statements from hundreds of other developers out there.

Writing that first line of code, that first program or website, catching the bug that has you building things on a Friday night, it’s truly a fun time.

Next thing you know, you’re prepping for coding exams in hopes of a career change.

I took the same journey five years ago. I documented it on a blog, joined the community on Twitter, dropped out of a bootcamp, freelanced for two years, and finally dove headfirst into corporate software engineering. …

Mistakes aside, success is rather easy

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It's been five years since I learned to code and changed careers.

Prior to that, I spent ten years at a job that I only intended to stay at for 6 months. Time flies!

Since picking up the new skill, I’ve worn a handful of different hats — a freelancer specializing in PHP and WordPress, to working at with new (to me) technologies like Ruby on Rails and Redis, to now a DevOps engineer who one day is managing Kubernetes and another writing Java.

And peppered between all these are my own endeavors to share with other developers what I’m learning along the way. …

And add an additional 20 hours to your week

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Photo by Aaron Betts on Unsplash

Several years back I quit my job and began freelancing full-time.

In addition to the web development work I was pursuing, I had fresh new goals of creating an online course, blogging regularly, and growing my YouTube channel.

But when would I find time to do all this?

After putting the kids to sleep of course.

From 9 p.m. to midnight, I would conquer the world!

But some nights I would fall asleep while reading the kids only to wake up at 1 a.m. to a missed opportunity.

Or alternatively, returning to my desk and by 10 p.m. find myself zoning out. You know what I mean. You lean your cheek into your hand for a minute to gather your thoughts and magically 15 minutes blow by without having achieved anything but a red face! …

There’s a rule for balancing the two

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Photo by Laura Smetsers on Unsplash

I came across a tweet the other day asking this question. As expected, among the hundreds of comments it seemed to be a 50/50 split. It’s a hotly debated topic and there are great points to be made on both sides of the fence.

Many claim that you should specialize in a particular language and possibly even an associated framework. In doing so, you can position yourself as the expert and have a successful career. This is mostly true.

Others claim that this locks you into a language that may not stay in demand. Thus you should instead nail down programming concepts, learn to adapt to any language, and demonstrate your marketability by being a “jack of all trades.” …

With these under your belt, you’ll become a more marketable developer in 2021.

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Photo by: Matthew Henry

There are so many technologies to learn these days, sometimes it can feel overwhelming. As soon as something becomes adopted as the standard, another alternative comes to rival it. This can leave many developers lost as to what they should be learning next.

I understand. There’s so much exciting technology emerging and I want to learn it all too. These are truly great times to be living.

But there’s a wiser approach. It involves taking note of which technologies are sticking around and which aren’t.

In 2020, there are a few that have not only gained a lot of ground over the past several years but have set the precedent for new ideas to revolve around. Becoming familiar with these will make you a more knowledgeable and marketable developer going into 2021. …

And why neither are really the best option.

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Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

It’s been a little over a year since I’ve been back in the corporate workplace.

Prior to that, I spent two years freelancing as a web developer.

I wanted freedom, flexibility, and no boss. After being assigned the ghastly task of helping plan the new software that would eventually take my own position, I ventured out on my own.

But now that I’m back as a software developer, now fully-remote, I realize that these two situations are actually the same things. There is really no difference between freelancing and remote work.

In fact, working remotely for a company in 2020 can be far better than freelancing. …

These tips will put you weeks ahead

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Photo by Benjamin Child on Unsplash

After two years of freelancing, I made the shift back into the corporate world. It’s been a little over a year now and I’ve learned a lot of things. Things that would have saved me a lot of time and energy if I had known them beforehand.

Perhaps you’ve just landed your first software developer job or are a few weeks in. You may be confident in your coding skills and logic, but there are many other relational and non-technical facets to this career that you may not be prepared for.

Well, let me lighten that load a bit for you. …

Utilizing the speed of other servers

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Many of us live in locations where internet speeds are slow.

Mine is currently a max of 1.7 Mbps.

So we have to always seek workarounds and do antiquated things like leaving something uploading overnight.

But there is an approach I always look to before relying on my own internet speeds and that is utilizing the speeds of other servers that are faster than mine.

For instance, if I am working in Azure cloud, I’ll utilize their cloud shell instead of Azure CLI locally on my computer.

And the same approach can be taken with transferring a WordPress site, that is, utilizing the speeds of the destination and source servers for the transfer, leaving yours out of the equation. …

And you’re the only one not “getting it”

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Photo by Adrian Dascal on Unsplash

I’m a software developer and I work with some amazingly smart people.

Many of these guys are girls are in their 20’s with Computer Science degrees and witty minds.

Others are older but seasoned. They’ve been programming for double-digit years and seem to know how to handle everything.

The former are zealous to take on new challenges and don’t need much sleep to do so.

The latter are big-picture focused, careful, and make big decisions that keep the company afloat.

And there I am … a 39-year-old, self-taught programmer with 4 years under my belt (only one of those in a corporate environment). …


Travis Rodgers

Self-taught Developer sharing what I learn | Teaching people how to Code and change careers at | YouTuber @

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