Swizec Teller - a geek with a hatswizec.com

    How *do* you standout as a developer?

    Course creators are always telling you to learn this or that but how does any of it help your goals? That's the missing piece 🤔

    Courses come out of 2 places: passion and opportunity.

    Person stumbles into a technology, gets excited by the possibilities, tells everyone. "Wow this thing is amazing look what I can do!"

    The super power is the goal
    The super power is the goal

    They found a flower and it gave them superpowers. But the flower was hard to eat.

    You need to cook it right. Cut off the stem, avoid the poisonous seed, boil the leaves, and flambé the petals. Then you gotta freeze for 2 hours before warming up in the microwave.

    That's opportunity. Help folks avoid the poisonous seed and the months of research.

    A new course is born. 👼

    When to buy a course

    You buy the course when you want the super power.

    Lots of engineers cherish the discovery process. Pick a technology and figure it out. It's fun and rewarding. Bang your head against the wall until it breaks.

    You end up with lots of knowledge.

    Little details you've figured out, patterns you've uncovered, and massive gaping holes you don't even know you're missing. The typical self-taught challenge.

    We see this a lot at my dayjob when interviewing experienced engineers.

    "You know SQL right, use it all the time?"

    "Oh yeah lots, our entire database is SQL and I fetch data like at least once a week"

    "Okay how would you design a schema for a user table?"

    Oops, candidate "knows SQL" in that they know where to find mystic incantations in their codebase and cobble them together into something new.

    Knowledge, no understanding.

    How to leverage a course

    A good course helps you in 3 ways:

    1. Skip the long research process
    2. A guide through unknown terrain
    3. Understand, don't just know

    You get the super power faster and you avoid the bad parts. When you're done, you understand the material.

    Understanding compounds over time, knowledge doesn't.

    Understanding beats knowledge
    Understanding beats knowledge

    Once you understand cooking, you can look in the fridge and whip up a meal. Bit of this, bit of that, everyone's happy.

    Or you can follow recipes and get stuck when there's a bug or your ingredients don't match ...

    Same with code: When you understand the rules, you can use the recipe as a guideline. No need to memorize. But if there's a bug, something doesn't quite fit, you got dis. 💪

    Can courses make you money and supercharge your career?

    No. Not on their own. You have to use them.

    Technology is ever evolving and you have to stay sharp. Yes there's still demand for COBOL programmers, but you don't wanna be stuck in a stack.

    Use your understanding to jump ship. The more you understand, the easier new tech feels. "Oh Thingabob in NextJS is just Bobathing in Gatsby, d'oh"

    You can learn new things fast.

    That's what employers and clients pay you for my friend. Solving new problems.

    You don't wanna be a factory worker churning widgets until the day you die, you want to design the factory.

    Swizec Teller published ServerlessHandbook.dev avatarSwizec Teller published ServerlessHandbook.dev@Swizec
    The important work is the work you haven’t done before.

    We’re engineers not line cooks.

    You're solving new problems, building assets, saving and creating money. When you build something, it's used for months and years.

    That's your job as an engineer. You create the flower for others' superpower.

    Cheers,
    ~Swizec

    PS: the Standout Developer Bundle is on sale until Monday

    Did you enjoy this article?

    Published on November 26th, 2020 in

    Learned something new?
    Want to become an expert?

    Here's how it works 👇

    Leave your email and I'll send you thoughtfully written emails every week about React, JavaScript, and your career. Lessons learned over 20 years in the industry working with companies ranging from tiny startups to Fortune5 behemoths.

    Join Swizec's Newsletter

    And get thoughtful letters 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career. Real lessons from building production software. No bullshit.

    "Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only newsletter I open and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"

    ~ Ashish Kumar

    Join over 14,000 engineers just like you already improving their careers with my letters, workshops, courses, and talks. ✌️

    Have a burning question that you think I can answer? I don't have all of the answers, but I have some! Hit me up on twitter or book a 30min ama for in-depth help.

    Ready to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own?  Learn how to build scalable dataviz components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization

    Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, modern backend for the frontend engineer.

    Ready to learn how it all fits together and build a modern webapp from scratch? Learn how to launch a webapp and make your first 💰 on the side with ServerlessReact.Dev

    Want to brush up on your modern JavaScript syntax? Check out my interactive cheatsheet: es6cheatsheet.com

    By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️

    Created bySwizecwith ❤️