Are you thinking about end-to-end knowledge?

Taking the first step, going beyond, and making an impact — August 2021 Newsletter

Madhav Bahl
9 min readSep 6, 2021


Here’s a question for you — Recall your memories from the school days, college days, and when you started your first job, did you notice how one or two people were always able to make an impact, even though they were complete beginners?

Think about it! I’ll come back to this question.

The Lean Programmer Publication — August, 2021

(A quick introduction — skip this section if you have read my newsletters before)

Hey there! This is your friend, The Lean Programmer. Welcome to August’s newsletter.

In each newsletter, I share the best blogs from the previous month, and talk about one topic that can help you grow in your career and life.

Check out the previous newsletter — What’s louder than your voice?

How was the month of August?

Photo by Wil Stewart on Unsplash

The month of August was super exciting for The Lean Programmer publication. Here’s something exciting I wish to share with you -

  1. We are now a family of 160+ writers on medium
  2. We crossed 4k followers on our LinkedIn page —

And this is just the beginning! We’re aiming to build THE MOST AWESOME community of SUPER ENTHUSIASTIC programmers.

Here are a few top articles from the month of August

And many more 💯

I really want to mention all of the blogs that were published last month, but I am limited by the newsletter space. I really wish to say that all the writers that we have in our family are so skilled and so amazing that it makes me so happy to call them a “family”.

Coming back to the question…

Did you think about the question I asked you in the beginning?

Recall your memories from school days, college days, and when you started your first job, did you notice how one or two people were always able to make an impact, even though they were complete beginners?

I bet you were able to recall a few names! I know that was a very broad question, now let’s keep that limited only to your first job — I bet the answer remains the same.

Yes! You are able to tell a few names — the people who were so amazing even though their skill level was less than you.

Do you want to know how?

I’ll tell you my tips and advices on how can you grow in the early stages of your career. In case you enjoy watching videos more than reading blogs, you can directly go to my YouTube channel and check out my latest video — 8 Tips on how to thrive in your new role.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel :)

Now without any delay, here are the 8 tips that can help you grow in your new role — Don’t you want to make an impact?

1. Don’t get overwhelmed when you’re given a new responsibility.

If you get overwhelmed by the amount of things you have to do, you’ll just end up wasting your time.

Photo by Christian Erfurt on Unsplash

Whenever you start a new role, or a new job — most likely, you’ll get to work on an existing project. And let me tell you, the real world projects will not be anything like your college projects!

The project you’ll work on will have a HUGE codebase, there will be a lot of new stuff to ramp up on, and a lot of new things to understand.

But remember — nobody expects you to understand everything in a single day, do your best, but don’t worry!

“Mistakes & pressures are inevitable; the secret to getting past them is to stay calm” — unknown

2. Take that first step.

Expecting someone else to come and solve your problems will never work in the long term.

Photo by Lindsay Henwood on Unsplash

Most of the companies provide a mentor to the new hires who will help and guide them in their initial days. And the worst mistake that you can do as a new hire? Be over-denpendent on your mentor.

DO NOT be over-dependent on your mentor or colleagues to come and solve your problems, and teach you how things are done. Go ahead and ask what you don’t know.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” — Lao Tzu

3. Don’t be shy.

Most people don’t communicate their problems — not because they aren’t good at it, but because they think they are too good at it!

Photo by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash

I can totally relate with this point. In my initial few months, I was shy and afraid to ask solutions for my problems — not because I am an introvert, but because I was too afraid that people will judge me.

NEVER be shy/afraid of asking about the things you don’t know — nobody is perfect, but if you ask, you will always get to know new knowledge and perspectives.

Here’s a simple tip —

Try to work on the issue you are facing for 2 hours. If you think you are still nowhere close to solving it, ask someone’s help. Time is precious!

4. Learn to unblock yourself.

Getting stuck is not your fault, remaining stuck is your fault!

Photo by Aubrey Odom on Unsplash

There will be times when you will be stuck on various doubts or errors or problems. There will be times when you will be blocked on someone else’s work.

Those who succeed have one thing in common — they not only know how to get their work done, but they also know how to get others complete their work.

Remember, no one’s going to automatically come and unblock you, you will need to reach out and ask for updates/help.

If your work is stuck on someone else’s work, reach out and follow up regularly. Learning to unblock yourself is a super important skill.

5. Don’t forget to take feedback continuously.

You will never grow if you aren’t even aware of the areas where you CAN grow!

Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash

Unless you ask for feedback — no one will explicitly come and tell you if there’s something that can be improved.

Make sure you take the first step and ask for feedback — both from manager and colleagues, maybe once or twice a month.

“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” — Elon Musk

6. Review your own work before sending it out!

And that’s true not only for coding, but for any profession

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of freshers and new hires make — they are too hasty to deliver!

Excitement and enthusiasm is good, but make sure that it doesn’t lead to silly mistakes. At least in software development, I’ve seen that almost all new hires are so excited to get their first pull request merged that as soon as they think the code works, they raise a PR and send it for review.

Do not raise PRs or send them for review immediately, make sure to do these two things -

  1. Add tests that cover your changes
  2. Review your own PR at least twice (I’m sure you’ll come across silly mistakes, fix them)

Make sure to review your PRs yourself before asking someone else to code review — it can save their time, plus save you from embarrassment

7. Take reviews/perspectives seriously

It’s not enough to get suggestions, it’s not enough to get reviews, it’s not enough to get feedback, working on them is MORE important!

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

The heading says everything!

Although, I wish to talk specifically to about software engineering — Take your code reviews seriously. Initially, they might be annoying, but they are SUPER necessary to maintain the quality of code, and improve your skills.

In the initial days as a new hire, ask at least 2 or 3 people to review your PRs, so that you can get multiple comments and perspectives, and then work on them to improve the quality of code you write.

Now generalizing it a little more —

Whenever you get any reviews, and if it’s coming from multiple sources — make sure to work on it so that you can continuously improve yourself!

8. Don’t stay limited to your area of work — always seek end to end knowledge

Having end to end knowledge makes you much more valuable!

Photo by JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash

You will never be given a whole project to handle on your own — that’s what a team is for!

But, if you always stay limited to your own area of work, you will miss out the bigger picture. One of my favorite quotes — when Bruce Lee points a finger to the moon and asks his student to look above.

“It’s like a finger pointing away to the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of the heavenly glory!” — Bruce Lee

When you know the bigger picture, you will be much more valuable, much more impactful, and much more irreplaceable!

For example — If you’re working on react, don’t limit yourself to your work only,

  • Ask about deployment processes,
  • Ask about various CI/CD pipelines,
  • Try to get knowledge about what style rules your company follows,
  • Try to get to know the whole product — get some bug fixing work assigned to you so that you can get knowledge about the whole codebase (apart from your feature work)
  • Try to know your customer base, and about the sales of the product

Understand the product completely. It’s not going to happen in a single day, enjoy doing it gradually, daily!

Ready to take up a challenge?

In the previous newsletter, I motivated you to build a personal brand — What’s louder than your voice?

This month’s newsletter agenda was to tell you the importance of going one step forward, no matter if it’s your job, or your college, or your school — you will make an impact, only when you go one step beyond!

If I could motivate you to go one step beyond, here’s a challenge for you — 60 Days 60 Posts challenge.

Rules —

  • You have to study/learn something new each day
  • At the end of the day, write a post on LinkedIn about what you learnt
  • Tag me in your post (Madhav Bahl — @madhavbahl) — I would love to see how many people are working on learning and documenting their journey
  • Do this for 60 days with #TheLeanStudyChallenge
  • After 30 days, write the first blog about what all did you learn
  • After the next 30 days, write the second blog about the same

By doing so, at the end of 60 days, you’ll have a lot more knowledge and skills than you have today. See you after 60 days 😉

That’s it for The Lean Programmer August 2021 Newsletter. Hope it motivated you to go one step beyond! (Don’t forget to start the 60 days challenge)

Before ending, I really want to thank everyone who is currently a part of our lean programmers family, it includes everyone, our super amazing group of writers, subscribers of our newsletter, our readers, everyone who consumes our content, and you.

Remember, all the lean programmers have one goal — to help you learn new stuff and explore more domains in a fun way 😊

So, have a great month ahead, and keep learning!



Madhav Bahl

✨ Tech, Fitness and Lifestyle - Helping software professionals stay fit and grow in career ✨