Don't try to learn all the things

Yesterday I finished by drawing a distinction between an imposter and a beginner. You are a beginner, and there's nothing wrong with that. You may not like the sound of that specific term, so come up with whatever sounds better to you: junior dev, early-career, whatever. But the point is that if you're going to make a career of software development that lasts 10, 20, 30 or more years, then even if you're a year into your first job, you are only a tiny percentage of the way through your career.

That means you only know a tiny percentage now of what you will ultimately know as an engineer. And when you've been doing this for decades, you'll still only know a tiny percentage of everything that there is to know about software development, to say nothing of computer science on the whole. In fact, the number of things that are available for you to learn is increasing far faster than you could possibly keep up with.

And that's ok.

Let me say that again. It's ok to not know things. You'll never know anywhere close to all of it.

It can be disorienting to come out of a bootcamp program having mastered a specific stack, and then suddenly be presented with the infinite possibilities of frameworks, languages, paradigms, etc. When you've just spent several months learning a finite set of tools, it's difficult to let go of the impulse to LEARN ALL THE THINGS, even after you've landed your first job.

The number of things that you can learn is infinite. It makes no sense to gauge your competence by a percentage of infinity.

Tomorrow we'll talk about what to focus on instead.


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