The Job vs. The Art

“Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status quo, and changing people.

I call the process of doing your art ‘the work.’ It’s possible to have a job and do the work, too. In fact, that’s how you become a linchpin.

The job is not the work.”

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Pick Any ❷

It seems to me if you are any 2 of the following 3 things you will be well received on a dev team:

1. You write highly maintainable code (which means readable and documented and best practice driven), that is a little buggy.

2. You write poorly maintainable code (which means very hard to read or poor use of patterns, obscure patterns, etc), but bug free – all edge cases handled not elegantly, but correctly.

3. You’re humble, team oriented, positive, and enthusiastic – aka a pleasure to be around. This is what we call a “culture fit” .

If you are any 2 of those 3 you will be fine for the first 4 years of your career.

That means that you can be a junior that writes bug-free well thought out code, but be so ugly about it. Or you can be a junior that writes very well structured code, but has a little more trouble with edge cases (bugs) and grows over time – as long as you are positive and willing to grow with it.


The Map 🗺 Is Key 🔑

This was the missing key in my life. You have to have a sophisticated plan.  Your plan has to include all of the attributes of success below, any 1 missing your chances drop immensely.

In project 1, we have a goal of walking to Los Angeles, from San Diego.

Here are the project attributes of success:

  • The Current Location = San Diego
  • The Goal = Los Angeles
  • The Hard Work = ~24hrs of Walking to get there
  • The Belief = “I will achieve this!”
  • The Map = Shows me I need to walk South

What the above illustrates, is that IF you DON’T have the map EXACTLY right, you can put in all the hard work, have the goals, have all the belief, and still fail. The map that you follow has to be legit.

It’s true that you can correct course on your own without having a map, by noticing the scenery around you looks like Mexico not California, but then so much time has passed for most people they have lost the energy, motivation, capital, or the years to be able to execute.

We are skipping all of that mess, and going straight to the MAP.

The MAP is found very simply.

Decide what you want, go find someone that has done EXACTLY what you want, and then ask and OBSERVE how they did it, use massive creativity in finding what to model, and then copy EXACTLY what you see. This is why the quote “Great artists steal” was written. It’s the same lesson. If you pick it up and run with this lesson, it’ll change every area of your life you apply it to faster statistically than any other method. Because no other method involves exactly copying someone else’s map.

Don’t be afraid to go against the grain of what society has raised you to believe, as long as it’s not unethical or immoral.