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Being toxically masculine to become a greater coder
There were days when boys were boys and masculinity was respected. Well, not anymore.
Recently, American Psychological Association (APA), the body that sets professional standards for people employed in the field of psychology in the US, has defined traditional masculine personality traits as "toxic". And those are not the traits that feminists quote in defense of the phrase "toxic masculinity". No, the listed traits don't include violent behaviour towards women.
What APA defined as "toxic" are, in fact, the traits that have been traditionally respected, especially in men. Those include stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression.
Biggest misconceptions about full stack developers
There are many different types of software developers out there. Some are generalists, while other are more specialised. And the distinction in specialism is not only between application types, such as web vs native. Even in the same type of app, there are programmers who can build the whole thing and there are the ones whose expertise is only limited to one part of it, such as user interface.
This distinction is particularly prominent in the world of web apps. There are those who only ever do the front-end. There are those who don't touch anything other than the back-end. There are those who are experts in databases that wouldn't do anything else. And there are also full-stack developers, who are seen as the ones who would be able to tackle all these parts of the software.
However, many people wonder if there is even such thing as a full-stack developer. Technology moves forward at a fast pace; therefore even being a specialist is hard. In the web front-end alone, new libraries and frameworks get released at an incredibly fast rate. So, even in that narrow domain, keeping up with all of the changes is incredibly difficult. So how can somebody keep themselves up to dat with front-end technologies while, at the same time, keep up with the developments in back-end and databases?
The truth is, however, that full stack developers do exist. And they are neither geniuses nor mediocre programmers who have a superficial knowledge of many technologies, but aren't masters in any. Perhaps, some do fall into either of these categories, but this is not how the things are overall.
The most important skill for 21st century
We are living in the information age. Many traditional industries and jobs associated with them are on the way out. Internet and smart technologies have radically changed how we live and work.
Although technology has improved our lives overall, it also made certain things much more challenging. One of the biggest of these issues is the fact that our attention span has been substantially reduced.
Therefore, if you want to be successful in the 21st century, the most important skill is probably not what you think it is. It is not the knowledge of programming languages. Neither it is the knowledge of online marketing or SEO. Without a doubt, those skills are in demand and are great to have. But they will mean nothing unless you have mastered one particular meta-skill:
The ability to focus for prolonged periods of time
How to think like a hacker
Contrary to the popular belief, hackers are not always the people who breach website security and steal personal data. The word also refers to the software developers who build revolutionary software by putting together some components in such a way that nobody thought of before. This is why when you hear somebody referring to Mark Zuckerberg as a hacker, this doesn't necessarily mean that he is out there to steal your data, as many assume. What it means in the context is that he has built the most successful social media network in the world from his university dorms.
What is more interesting, however, is that the hackers think in a particular way and this way of thinking is not only applicable to technology. It can be applied anywhere. Regardless of who you are and what you do, if you learn to think like a hacker, the quality of your life will improve significantly.
This mode of thinking is not exclusively present in those who are traditionally referred to as hackers. Some of the best scientists, artists and other creative individuals have it too. And, at its base, it is quite simple. It is all about thinking out of the box and not accepting the status quo. This is the core skill that needs to be developed before anything else if one aspires to become a hacker or learn to think like one. This way of thinking is what allows the hackers to use various things for something other than their intended purpose. The rest of the equation, the specialist skills, are much easier to learn.
One human trait that slows down humanity's progress
There is one thing in the IT industry that happens often, yet makes no sense. When a given project is not progressing at the pace it was planned to, quite often this has nothing to do with how efficient the participants of the project are. More often than not, this is due to underestimation of the effort required at the beginning of the project. In such case, unless there are clear indicators that there are other factors affecting the speed of the delivery, there is little that can be done to improve it.
Unfortunately, this is not how some project managers think. In some teams, when certain deadlines aren't met, the measures that are introduced from the above are increase in length and frequency of meetings and the requirement on each team member to write all of their tasks into a weekly, or sometimes even daily, time report. Of course, as stretched as the team members already are, they can now spend even less time doing the actual project work. So do the managers themselves. After all, they are the ones who have to read all of those time reports. After these measures are implemented, the progress usually slows down even further.
The practice is obviously irrational, so why is it so widespread? The answer to this is simple. These seemingly irrational actions are driven by a deeply ingrained human trait:
The irresistible urge to take action when things aren't fully satisfactory, regardless of whether any action is appropriate in a given situation or not
How society conditions you for mediocrity
Why, despite a strong economy and virtually unlimited opportunities, only a small number of people in developed countries live the life that they are fully satisfied with? There are many reasons for this and, sometimes, there are individual circumstances beyond people's control that get in people's way. However, there is one key reason why most of the people are not achieving what they personally would define as success: the society deliberately conditions people for mediocrity.
This is not just another conspiracy theory. As you will see, there are plenty of observable and demonstrable facts which suggest that the society indeed conditions people for mediocrity, or is at least trying to. There are many things going on in the society which are widespread and socially acceptable that either provide no benefit to people who do them or even make their lives worse. Likewise, there are things that, despite not causing any harm to anyone, aren't considered to be socially acceptable, despite the fact that practicing those can have a great positive effect on one's life.
Before I continue, I need to make an important statement: there is, actually, nothing wrong with being mediocre. If you are living an ordinary life and are fully satisfied with it, there is no need to change anything in your life. This article is not aimed at you, although you may still want to read it out of interest. However, if you, just like me, have a nagging feeling that you are not living up to your full potential, read on.
Dark side of software development
I would say without a doubt that software developer is a great profession. As I wrote previously, it is a career that pays above average and has some other perks associated with it. I do enjoy it and can't imagine myself doing anything else as a vocation. However, there are certain negative aspects of the job that make it an unsuitable career choice for many people.
Just as there are many young guys out there who think it would be cool to join armed special forced, but only very few would be willing to go through a tough physical and mental training to achieve this goal, so there are many people who chose a career of a software developer, only to abandon it shortly afterwards and tell everyone how much it sucks. Because of this, I have outlined 10 of the most prominent negative aspects of a software development career that anyone who enters the profession is very likely to encounter. If you can cope with those, then a software development career is something you should probably consider.
Why software developers earn more than average
The great global economic recession is over and the global economy has bounced back. However, reports on the news about people being dissatisfied with their salaries became very frequent.
There are many professions that have been gradually declining in value for various reasons, for example increasing adoption of automation and new technologies. However there are some professions where salaries have historically been high which shows no sign of change in pattern. Software engineer is one of them.
10 things to know when using a recruitment agency
Recruitment consultants are very popular in tech industry. They can be extremely useful to both employers and candidates. The former can benefit by filling an open position very efficiently with the total cost pretty much limited to the agency fees. To the latter, recruitment agencies are even more beneficial, as they allow job seekers to find suitable positions without dedicating too much effort to job search. Indeed, these days it is possible to find a good job by simply registering your CV on a job board site, ticking the box to make the CV searchable and waiting for the barrage of calls and emails from recruiters.
Why writing employer review is important
Recently, we saw a lot of articles about working culture at Amazon. It all started with an article in New Your Times, which has presented the company as the place where employers are exploited to the most extreme levels imaginable. This provoked reaction from many senior Amazon employers, who have defended their company by clarifying that, although company is certainly not for everyone, it can be an extremely rewarding place of work for right candidates. With this opposite spectra of opinion, how would you decide if Amazon would be the right place for you to join?
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