Dispassionate Programmer: Chapter 03 - Find joy in learning new things

Dispassionate Programmer: Chapter 02 - Beware of sweet talkers

Vikram: So, I joined a new organization, and they were in the process of migrating their existing applications into Java tech stack. In that company, luckily I got a manager who is extraordinarily skilled person.

He is like the head of the operations for offshore development center, but didn’t lose the hands-on development experience. Later I heard he worked on many C++ projects building low-level infrastructure, that’s why he has very good knowledge on how things work behind the scenes.

There I got a chance to work with him closely, and I really enjoyed working with him. There I built some internal library using Spring that later became a default library in most of the Java based applications.

As I said, getting an opportunity to work on such interesting projects is luck.

Sumit: Yeah, very true. Currently, there is one guy in my team who is really passionate and always try to keep up to date with latest technologies. Unfortunately, he is working on an existing legacy application where mostly he had to work on fixing bugs or making some minor enhancements. Given a chance, he can become a rockstar developer.

I noticed that he is always learning something or other. Whenever I see him, it reminds me of you.

Vikram: Oh, I enjoyed learning every day and I still enjoy learning new things.

To be a software developer, one should have an interest in learning new things. With the pace of changes happening in the software development world, if you are not willing to acquire new skills, then it will be difficult to stay relevant in the job market.

Some people say, you need to have “Passion” for software development to be a good developer. But I don’t think so. You don’t need to be “passionate” about it, having zeal to learn and discipline to follow good practices is enough to become a good developer. If you are passionate about it, then it’s a bonus because you find joy in learning new things.

While building an application, we use various technologies, and most likely we don’t know in-and-out of each of those technologies. Many of us use application servers, databases, etc and we may have a very high-level understanding of how they work. But we may not have in-depth knowledge of how exactly they work internally. In most cases, knowing how to effectively use them is enough to build our applications. But spending sometime to understand how they internally work will give some “Aha” moments.

You may go like

I have been simply configuring this property here, but never understood why I should do that. Now I understand what that configuration does.

Those “Aha” moments give enormous joy and energy to learn more things.

Sumit: Totally agree.

But you know, it’s really challenging to keep up after marriage and kids. I don’t know how you do it.

But I am glad that all your hard work eventually paid off.

Vikram: Hmmmm. I would be a fool to think I am having a comfortable life because of “all my hard work”.

Sumit: What do you mean?

Vikram: When I was in college, my parents were not rich enough to pay my college fee. Some relatives helped me.

In our first job, our salary was 5000 rupees(~ $60) per month and most of the time the money gets over 1 week before the next salary. Then some of my colleagues helped me until the next salary came.

I was able to upskill myself without spending a fortune because of the good people on the Internet share their knowledge for free. I didn’t pay a penny for stackoverflow answers, blog posts, etc using which I learn and complete my tasks.

I am lucky enough to have some good people whom I can ping and seek help.

  • If I have any Spring Boot related questions, I ask Maciej Walkowiak for help.
  • If I need help on SQL or JPA, I seek Vlad Mihalcea help.
  • If I need guidance with jOOQ or SQL, then I ask Lukas Eder for help.
  • When I need some career advice, I ask Marco Behler for help.
  • and many more…

These are all amazing and kind people that helped me over the years.

So, my “comfortable life” is not just because of my own hard work. My “comfortable life” is based on thousands of people’s kindness.

Sumit: Very true. We don’t appreciate the people enough who share their knowledge for free.

(Next: Dispassionate Programmer: Chapter 04 - The first time TechLead) Coming soon

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