This week, I published Alice Goldfuss's #DevJourney story on my eponym Podcast: Software developer's Journey. Among many other things, here are my main personal takeaways:
- Alice started with a warning: "Beware, when you listen to someone's journey, you have to put it in context of where that person is coming from, the resources that were available to them, the privileges and experiences they had and the sheer luck [...] don't try to replicate my past"
- Alice always loved maths and puzzles, but the school never encouraged her toward computer sciences. That's how she ended up with a film degree, and not finding a job in Hollywood. She applied for an office assistant job but thanks to her HTML & CSS skills, she landed a tech-support position. There, she was bored to death and as she cannot stand inactivity, she started learning. She said: "how did I get into programming? Because I got bored. So I did other things in the evenings. And those other things became my job."
- Throughout her story, Alice showed the same pattern again and again. Whenever she understood a system well and started getting bored she would start digging deeper. Eventually, she reached the logical-gate-CPU-level of bare metal... and she is still digging.
- I love how in each of her jobs, Alice slowly but surely got closer to software dev. First from office assistance to tech support. Then from tech support to server management at NewRelic. Then from server management to SRE and incident response. Finally from SRE to containers and Kubernetes-Management at Github. Where will she slide next? :P
- Again, Alice provided us with a great example of the sweet spot between skillsets. Alice has a very deep technical know-how. But she also used to be a "film set assistant director". Throughout this role, she learned how to organize, coordinate, put out fires, being a taskmaster. Put 2 and 2 together, and you get a world-class incident-responder.
- Alice has suffered imposter syndrome. Not having a CS-Degree, she always assumed that others around her knew better, she thus had to buckle-up and dig on her own. This quite often turned to her advantage when she realized that she learned her way around very complex problems - like kernel crashes analysis - by simply not knowing that it was complex in the first place.
- "Make connections, be active on Twitter, go out and meet your local communities"
- "I don't believe in soulmates, and I don't believe in soul-jobs"
- "The skills that make me a good software developer would also make me a good epic fantasy novelist, or a good murder detective"
- "I had tried learning Ruby, but it felt like talking to a 5 yrs old"
- "Dan was the closest I had from a mentor, he put up with so many excited-puppy-eyed questions from me!"
Thanks, Alice for sharing your story with us!
You can find the full episode and the show notes on devjourney.info.
Did you listen to her story?
- What did you learn?
- What are your personal takeaways?
- What did you find particularly interesting?