People when talking about things that matter to them, often show conspicuous excitement and zeal when it comes to sharing their ideas and views. Their scintillating brain emits ideas ready to be captured. You might not agree with all of them, but generally, they do qualify to be paid some heed to.
Recently, I had a 1 on 1 with our CTO, and in that conversation, we discussed some, what I feel very relevant and important career gyaan. Relevant especially to where I am in my career.
1. On growing in an org or even outside
The input metric to growth and to gauge your growth is Impact. That’s the yardstick that is the best indication of your growth.
The impact is a much more important metric than working on several problems or time spent at an org or skills you have developed.
Actively seek areas where you can create the most impact. Figuring out these areas is also an art and you get better at it with experience.
2. On doing meaningful work
Over time, we work on essentially 4-5 meaningful problems. All the others are just noise. Differentiating between the meaningful problems and the noise is important.
These 4-5 problems are where most of your time energy must be spent, others are just small battles. Solving these problems also unlocks the possibility of creating more impact.
These problems can’t be picked randomly. They have to be picked very consciously and must be worthy of our pursuit.
Don’t work on 10s of problems. My coffee is cold, it doesn’t taste good, I wish I had this, I could be this, etc. Pick your set of meaningful problems and it is okay to suffer over that one, let go of other things they are simply not important.
Stress comes when you do multiple things at once with expectation. Peace comes when you do one thing at once with intention.
3. On opportunities
Opportunities come to you as problems.
The secret to success is to be ready when your opportunity comes. But opportunities often come disguised as problems. Problems that are in dire need of solving and high potential impact.
Be receptive to these problems and pro-actively reach out to help solve them.
4. On high-level design
Why we should care about the high-level design more than anything? Simply because it ends up affecting more people. A lot more people care about the high-level design if your system, than the lower-level details.
The business or operations or other engineering teams, almost all will be affected by how your system works, its flexibility, components it’s built by, APIs it exposes, etc.
A lot fewer people care about the low-level details like coding standards, variable names, etc.
Make sure you nail the high-level design. Involve PMs, and other stakeholders and make them understand the high-level design.
5. On tech stacks
More often than not a fancy new tech stack means that there’s a new solution to an existing problem. Not that there is a new problem that needs solving.
Sticking to simple tech stacks allows you to focus on the real problems that need solving. You can build very decent tech capabilities without using every flashy new tech that comes out.
Again pick your battles carefully.