Solve Problems That Scare You

Every great developer you know got there by solving problems they were unqualified to solve until they actually did it.
Patrick McKenzie

I have friends that ask me about my journey to becoming a software engineer. A lot of them think that I have a job as an engineer, so my journey is complete. The truth is that self-teaching code is a lot like writing code for a living (read: the journey never ends).

The most important skill I have is the ability to ignore my own qualifications. When I see a problem, I’ll volunteer to solve it even if I have no business solving. By the same token, I have to remember to ask for help when I need it.

The great thing about ignoring your qualifications is that you’re always in a position to stretch yourself and grow. It’s a necessity for people who take building software seriously. Daily learning is a reality in software engineering.

A roadmap for being a better software engineer:

  1. Challenge yourself
  2. Fail
  3. Learn
  4. Repeat

Eventually you’ll start to succeed somewhere between step 3 and 4.