This week, I published Jamon Holmgren's #DevJourney story on my eponym Podcast: Software developer's Journey. Among many other things, here are my main personal takeaways:
- Jamon's story started with a C64 in the 80s and a blinking prompt that looked so tempting. He tried to type commands which didn't really work... but this curiosity never left him since. A couple of years later, a math teacher recognized his interest in computers and gave him a book on the BASIC programming. That's when he understood what he could do with a computer. Again a confirmation if we still needed one of the crucial roles of mentors.
- Jamon learned to program tiny games with QBasic. I love his description of the weird workarounds he used to make his games work. And I loved even more how he described his joy of discovering trigonometry and applying it right away to "old" games he had created.
- Jamon is a very good and practical learner. He tries to apply his learnings right away and always have a few projects running to learn something. For instance, programming an A* pathfinding algorithm. This very example is one of the go-to projects Jamon reaches to, in order to learn a new language. He recently programmed an A* pathfinding algorithm (Hamster in a Maze) in order to learn ELM.
- Since he worked for more than 10 years alone on his projects, for fun but also for-profit, Jamon had to learn how to work with others and value other ideas and participation as his own. He described how it came to be when he hired his first really-senior-contributor. He described it as hiring a mentor. I love the idea... and the guts!
- Jamon had his first taste of web development helping out building his church's website. Again, a first selfless action snowballed to become a business.
- Jamon described the impact the conference "RubyMotion" in 2014 had on his career. He met his future partners there and made other connections. He still continues to talk about it nowadays.
- In 2015, Jamon joined forces with a competitor, to cover each other's weak spots. When that happened, it was again learning to work in a team, instead of being a lonely CEO. Even better, Jamon attributes the low-energy-point he experienced in 2015 - just before the merger - to him being alone facing all the problems.
- Connect with others in our industry! Extensively!
- "Open Source opened a ton of doors"
- "I like to jump in headfirst and see what happens"
Thanks, Jamon for sharing your story with us!
You can find the full episode and the show notes on devjourney.info.
Did you listen to his story?
- What did you learn?
- What are your personal takeaways?
- What did you find particularly interesting?