How Do I Use Strategy?

Let's explore how you can use strategy in your coding career.

Where we can apply strategy

Everything I have described may feel a bit out of reach. You aren’t a general or a founder. You aren’t even a senior engineering leader yet. I get it.

However, strategy applies anytime you make major irreversible decisions in the face of uncertainty. This makes intuitive sense. If a decision is reversible, you’d just try it and “see what works.” And if you have no uncertainty, your decision would be obvious. As with all decision-making, “no strategy” is also a strategy; it is you trusting your fate to the strategic choices of someone else. If you hope to grow professionally, nondecision will be increasingly less valid.

Major strategic aspects of a coding career

This section will help you think through major strategic aspects of a coding career, including how to bet on technologies, whether you should be a specialist or generalist, technology business models, and everything in between.

You should also try to develop a mental framework for understanding reality. Yes, that felt as absurd to type as it was to read. Tech is immensely complex and noisy, yet there are clear supercycles and winners that you need to stay on top of. You need a way to filter and organize information about information technology. We will touch on systems thinking, ecosystem awareness, and megatrends.

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