Pet-projects without an idea as a sign of an average developer or whoever you are – we look wider than ourselves

I’ll make a reservation right away: this is not a cross on a career. I see this as a kind of growth ceiling and it must be broken through, if there wish jump higher – in a good senior, team leader and beyond.

It’s something like T-shaped and a wide look, but rather even about the skill with the letter E from Adizes methodology (thanks Sonya), but in fact we are talking about the basic skill of understanding business requirements, the ability to generate ideas outside the technical background based on the needs of the user (I also wrote about this here).

I can only explain this by the fact that I don’t know a single cool team / tech lead who is still employed and at the same time does not think about the project in the context of the business. And it always infuriates me that there are colleagues who do not want to think in this direction – we are working on one project, it seems!

person who follows t-shape thinking style by DALL-E 2
person who follows t-shape thinking style by DALL-E 2

Other roles have the same story – remember everyone you consider cool in their position and very likely these will be people who in a good way “climb” into the affairs of others in order to understand the tasks, the needs and pains of every department and every piece of business, because the coolest thing is that it has always been at the junction of something, right?

And you need to pump this skill, because further they pay not for the ability to write an elaborate sorting algorithm, not for knowing their properties, but for the ability to use it with real, not imaginary, benefit.

That is, globally, everyone does not care about knowledge of the theory and even some practice of its application, if in the end it all remains a store of knowledge and a question for boring interviews, and does not go in favor of business.

And, unfortunately, this will not save you from stories where a conditional startup hired a harsh techie and is forced to fire him, and vice versa – a startup comes to the team from tough techies and knocks out of there in the early days, because in each scenario the trouble is the same – everyone has different landmarks and goals that no one outlined at the interview stage.

How to download this skill while being hired? Find out why a certain task is needed, what is the real benefit of it to the business, how it is measured. If it’s not customary for you to discuss such questions and you start asking them, passing through your own filter and criticism – I guarantee that you will not only learn a lot of new things, but also open a small pandora’s food box, because very often not all tasks on the board are useful. But it’s better than doing it is not clear that the whole company. You can also listen to daily videos, watch demos of other departments.

To start from scratch, this will give a huge new and, most importantly, safe experience – already within the framework of your project, you will move to the rank of “guys who care about what to do.”

Further – more, and here pet-projects already help to pump the skill. Pet-projects without an idea and just to try out a technology or language are a waste of time. It is better to come up with an idea / test a hypothesis with a new technology within the framework of the project, or if you really want something new, quit and start doing something else.

A good pet project for a developer is something like a one-man nano-startup, not just another todo list from a tutorial. Any new idea for you, any anything, the goal – begin do something in this direction, at least minimally, and reach the first question “how will my users do X?”, answer it and move on. Repeating this from time to time, you will not only begin to constantly ask yourself grocery questions, which in itself will qualitatively elevate you to a different level of development, but you will also notice a funny side effect: some answers and solutions can be put into a separate pet project and startup.There are a lot of startups that do one function well and they are successful.

Last couple of thoughts:

gpt and conditional google copylot developers will not be replaced soon, but it becomes more and more obvious to me that the demand for simple code writers will be less and they will cost less

no code for pet projects with an idea, it just works perfectly, unlike everything they talk about

Moved from my channel here – the post resonated with both developers and founders

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