This month my professional career as a Software Engineer sums up to 10 years (although I’ve been programming longer than that). Here is a summary of what I think is really important for a good career.
Technical skills are important.
As you might have noticed, my blog is mostly technical.
But in this article I’d like to praise soft skills.
Being good with everybody, communicative, adaptable, helpful, truthful, modest, and being a good listener, observer, and learner is just some of the most important skills.
I would also like to quote our creed here at Automattic:
I will never stop learning. I won’t just work on things that are assigned to me. I know there’s no such thing as a status quo. I will build our business sustainably through passionate and loyal customers. I will never pass up an opportunity to help out a colleague, and I’ll remember the days before I knew everything. I am more motivated by impact than money, and I know that Open Source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation. I will communicate as much as possible, because it’s the oxygen of a distributed company. I am in a marathon, not a sprint, and no matter how far away the goal is, the only way to get there is by putting one foot in front of another every day. Given time, there is no problem that’s insurmountable.
If you try to look 10 years back, you will mostly see memories of events and people and the time spent with them, not how you optimized that loop or that DB query (not that the latter is not important, thus the reason I said “mostly”).
Find inspiration and motivation in your successes, yourself, your family, nature, and other people. Maintain inner peace, and most of the soft skills will come naturally.