Preface: Real Talk

Here's an overview of what to expect from this course

Why take this course?

Code will always be the easiest part of a coding career.

The more I talked to my friends about their careers, and the more I progressed in my own career, I increasingly realized that the non-code part of coding is both a hugely important and under-discussed topic. It is under-discussed because nobody else is as invested in your career as you are.

And so, the idea for this course was born.

What to expect?

There are a lot of courses that teach you the specifics of frameworks and languages. There are a lot of courses on quitting your job to do something new. There are a lot of courses on becoming an engineering manager. This course is none of those. This is a course about getting coding jobs and succeeding in them.

This is an ambitious goal that presents its own problems. It’s scary writing a career advice course. I’m just one person, and I haven’t made a career in coaching developers. I can’t guarantee success. All I have is hundreds of hours of listening to people’s stories and living my own. I have biases that make my situation different from yours. I am a US-based, Asian male web developer who has seen decent success after a career change at age 30.

However, I think the bar is very low. I’ve met with developer career success advisors and read conventional career advice. You deserve a more intelligent discussion than fits in a fifteen-minute YouTube video or yet another Medium blog post. That’s why this is NOT going to be a conventional career advice course.

This is a linear discussion of Career Guides, followed by a nonlinear collection of principles, strategies, and tactics, which are independent essays of ideas that you may or may not agree with but are worth considering anyway. Please skim and skip as you see fit. This course is a buffet, not a five-course meal. You will see some repeated ideas because the ideas are strongly interlinked. Unfortunately, we can’t normalize this. This course isn’t a relational database!

I have designed this course to last. A typical code newbie to senior developer journey might take four to eight years. I want you to discover the full context of everything I’ve researched with me as a guide rather than an omniscient narrator. I’ve embraced the digital format and made heavy use of links to the original sources. Feel free to pause at any chapter, go down the rabbit holes I layout for you, and see for yourself. Don’t try to read this course in one sitting.


My job here isn’t to tell you things others already do. I will cover important points, but if other people do it better, I will simply link to them rather than regurgitate. My job is to introduce you to things that might take years to learn and to honestly discuss the tech industry like an older brother who is just a few years ahead of you, acknowledging that what works for me might not work for you.

This course is a conversation starter, not a conversation ender. I am not an expert. This is not the final word on how to make it in tech. There are multiple ways to succeed in a coding career, and I cannot possibly cover them all. Consider me simply another companion on your own career journey.

With all that disclaimed, it’s time to have some real talk about your coding career.