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Tech About Life
Five Life Lessons I've Learned as Software Engineer
4 min read
Have you ever wondered if software development could teach you life lessons? If you are like me you want to learn as much as possible and implement the lessons you learn throughout your day. When I sat down and thought about what life lessons my day job has taught me, I came up with these five lessons:
- Your Code is important - Both the code you write and the code you live by
- Planning is Essential - little things make big things happen
- Humble yet Hungry - Be willing to teach and learn
- There is more than one way to traverse a tree - In the end, all nodes get visited
- REST is Important - Do not burn out
Your Code is Important 👩🏽💻
How you write code is important, you always want to make sure you are trying your best not to leave any broken windows. John Wooden said that the best way to teach someone is by leading by example, when you leave good practices behind people will follow your lead.
This way of thinking also applies in everyday life. The values you hold affect how you live your life to the fullest. David Bach (Yes I know the guy who essentially said buying lattes is the reason you're not rich), places a lot of emphasis on spending money based on your values. How you spend your time should also be dictated by the values you hold. Think about your values and do your best to live by them daily.
Planning is Essential 📅
It can feel like half the time at work is spent on planning. Plan the Epics, then plan which stories go in the epics, and plan what is needed for each story. After all that planning we still need to think through how we are going to put this together (Remember, avoid broken windows).
As a person who uses credit cards for traveling, I often plan which cards to use when, for me, this is essential to maximize my rewards. After accumulating points, I plan whether I want to take a relaxing trip or a jam-packed trip full of activities. Then I have to choose a hotel and/or flight that I have enough points for.
I wouldn't describe myself as the epitome of health, but I do want to be able to go on hikes and other outdoor activities without having to catch my breath every 5 minutes. To accomplish this, I have to actively plan to do some form of exercise throughout the week.
Taking the time to plan the time you need to wake up, leave the house, and pick up kids from school goes a long way.
Humble Yet Hungry 📖
When we know a technology really well it is very easy to believe that we know it the best. In these moments we must remember that we do not know it all and that there may be something new to learn. We mustn't make someone feel inferior just because they do not know something.
This may be the most important life lesson I can give you. In fact, I am not giving you this life lesson, Socrates already did. Socrates gave us a profound quote to live by "All I know is that I know nothing."
One of the ways I stay hungry is through creating a Second Brain, to do this I use notion and obsidian to capture notes, thoughts, quotes, and technologies that people mention that sound interesting to me.
There is more than one way to traverse a tree 📝
Just like any other subject writing code can be learned via reading/listening to a book, watching videos, and doing it yourself. The order you do it in does not matter. The important thing is that you learn. As the years go by people will give you feedback and because you are a person that remains hungry, you will pick up newer, better, and more efficient ways of doing things.
I am a messy person, this is true no matter what activity I do. When I cook, the kitchen is a disaster. On the other hand, mom picks up and stores the ingredients as she finishes. Some people like to pay their smallest debt first, some people like to pay their highest interest debt first. You will learn and grow in a matter that is right for you, so don't worry about learning something the same way the person next to you does.
REST is important 🛏️
How you design a REST API is important. You want your API to be intuitive and respond quickly. You wouldn't expect a
/cat endpoint to return a dog breed.
But to design APIs, have a good workout, or have the mental capacity to get through a day, you need rest. So take PTO on a random Wednesday and sleep in, go outside, forget about work for a day or two, heck even a week! You will do your best work when focused.
I hope you can resonate with these life lessons and apply them in some way, shape, or form. Let me know down below any life lessons working with tech has taught you!