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How to Navigate a Recession

Over the course of my 18 year career in tech, I’ve had the interesting fortune of experiencing 2 recessions. Both marked periods of transition in my life: I graduated into the recession of 2001–2002 and kicked off my first startup in the recession of 2007–2009. I learned more during these periods than any other, and those recessions carved an indelible impression in how I view employment, learning, and career-planning.

It has also profoundly shaped how I’ve approached running Launch School for the past 8 years. If you’re a current student at Launch School, you’ve already been affected by recessions, because the curriculum you’re going through is a result of those experiences.

Now, all signs point to another recession right around the corner. In this talk, I’ll share some stories about what the previous two recessions felt like, what chaos I saw, and opportunities, too. I’ll also share how it changed the way I view employment, learning/education, and managing one’s career.

This talk will be mostly geared towards Launch School students, but may also be useful to early career software engineers (<5 years). In fact, it might be interesting for anyone who hasn’t yet experienced a recession.

This talk won’t be about Covid-19 or anything outside of tech. It’ll strictly be about my experiences as a software engineer and so it’ll be of interest only to aspiring or existing software engineers.

The recording for this webinar is now available at:

Note that this is an internal Launch School link so you’ll have to log in to see it. If you don’t have a log in, it’s free to register and free to watch.




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