title: Dan Moore went from sci-fi to devrel... and other things I learned recording his DevJourney
description: Dan Moore went from sci-fi to devrel. After interviewing him for the DevJourney podcast, here are the key takeways I personally took out of the discussion.
tags: DevJourney, Career, Learning, Networking
This week, I published Dan Moore's #DevJourney story on my eponym Podcast: Software developer's Journey. Among many other things, here are my main personal takeaways:
- Dan's journey really started when he realized he could eradicate the pain his parents were having, doing mail-merge for their business, creating a small application for them. From there on, he was hooked! And bytheway, this is the first time I hear "fun" and "mailmerge" used in the same sentence.
- Dan picked a college to become a science-fiction writer, while tinkering with computers on the side. During his first internship, his boss gave him logs to parse, thinking he would need a couple weeks or months to finish it. When Dan finished it in a couple days, he knew something was off. His subsequent internships and jobs involved more and more computing until it became his career.
- Our careers being centered on learning, people caring about developers and the ability to earn a good living were decisive factors for his decision.
- Very early on his career, Dan realized the power of (people) networks. He obtained his last internship in 99 through an ex-coworker, internship which became a job soon after. We talked about applying nowadays. How easy it became to find a job offer, but hard it became to pass the interviews. And thus, we touched on the power of networks, communities and personal relations.
- Working for his first consultancy company, Dan learned a ton. But he also learned that a company will never value your time as much as you do. So don't stretch yourself too thin. Don't try to do too much, don't throw 90-hour weeks, even if it is saving the company, or do it, but knowingly. We also flipped the problem on its head and talked about our reaction if we were to be engineering managers in this situation. How we would handle the situation and reward the effort without creating a precedent.
- We talked about the book Dan is currently finishing (head over to the episode page for a 20% discount on the preorder). This is a book I tried to write a few years ago with the beginning of DevJourney. I am glad to see it out, even if I'm not the one who wrote it!
- In order to better network, simply join a community and help organize a meetup (it's hard work but not complicated). Or practice talking to people. Once you realize that people love to talk about themselves, it becomes easier. And don't forget to do the work and follow up!
- I shared with Dan a trick I use to break the ice during social time at conferences. Go to someone and tell them "I'm very interested in topic X, do you know anybody I should talk to?". Dan immediatly said that he uses a similar trick when searching for a job: "do you know anybody who would be interested in my skillset?" :D
Dan gave us more than one advice this time:
- Never stop learning
- 4 things to do to stand out as a developer
- Say what you are going to do and then do it
- Ask good questions (do your research, but also know when to stop researching)
- Handle mistakes well
- Show-up consistently
- "LinkedIn is a rolodex that people keep updated"
Thanks Dan for sharing your story with us!
You can find the full episode and the shownotes on devjourney.info.
Did you listen to his story?
- What did you learn?
- What are your personal takeaways?
- What did you find particularly interesting?