How I Discovered the Secret to a Successful Programming Career

Here’s how I discovered — the hard way! — that specialist programmers are more in demand for full-time software engineering jobs than generalists, and what it means for you.

Dr. Derek Austin 🥳
Career Programming

--

Photo illustration by the author, Dr. Derek Austin 🥳. Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my career.

  • There was the time I left a “sure thing” web dev job to be an extra on TV.
  • There was the time I dropped my biggest freelance client after 15 years.
  • There was the time I thought anyone cared I used to be an Airbnb Host.

(Let’s not even mention the whole “physical therapists aren’t seen as good programmers” thing, since I’ve been lucky to meet several other former PTs and PTAs who now have thriving physical therapy careers!)

In this article, I’m going to share with you how I discovered the secret to a successful programming career through my own stubbornness.

To get there, I want to first talk about the video game Call of Duty: Warzone. My wife and I were about to play Battle Royale, the game mode where 120 players drop into a fictional battlespace and aim to be the last survivor.

--

--

Dr. Derek Austin 🥳
Career Programming

I write about real-world programming career advice, MongoDB vs. PostgreSQL, Git, React, JavaScript, VS Code, TypeScript, and Next.js. Doctor of Physical Therapy