#008 - Accelerating Your Coding Career with Charles Max Wood

Download MP3

# Charles Max Wood

**Charles:** [00:00:00] what's worked for me is I've actually offered, if they're local, just said, Hey look, can I buy you lunch and can you give me career Because then it's not, Hey, can you gimme direct feedback on the thing? Cuz usually there's HR and liability and they're worried about whatever.

Yeah. But, but it's just like, Hey look, can I just come ask you career questions as a human to a human? And a lot of times they're open to that and it'll cost you, you know, 15 bucks​Charles, great to have you on backend banter welcome man.

Hey, thanks. Looking forward


**Lane:** it. Yeah, absolutely. So, okay, for my listeners, they need to know, I, I've obviously known you for a while now. You host Uhhuh Myriad podcasts, JavaScript, Jabber, Ruby Rogues adventures, and DevOps. All, all these podcasts, um, you run topenddevs.com Um, But why don't you take just a second and introduce yourself to our guests. Tell them. Why you are such a big deal.

**Charles:** Why I'm a [00:01:00] big deal. Yeah. I always, I always ask people why they're famous and it makes 'em uncomfortable on my shows. But, um, yeah. Anyway, I think most people know me from the podcasts. I've been podcasting since 2008 about, uh, various topics. Uh, it started with Ruby on Rails. kind of expanded from there as people came to me and said, Hey, I want a show about this. And so I'd start one. So at this point we're producing about nine shows at our height. We were producing about 19 shows every week. And a few years ago I went through some things that kind of rethink where I was headed and realized that a lot of people are feeling stuck in their careers.

They're trying to figure stuff out. They're not sure what to do next. What do I learn? How do I learn it? How do I figure it out? How do I meet people who are gonna help me get ahead of my career? I rebranded dev chat.tv, which dev chat was kind of like, we're talking about tech to top end devs because I want to help people.

Level up kind of get to that place where they can achieve whatever it is they want. And then the other thing is, is that, um, through my career, it

people kind of surprised at, at the velocity at which I [00:02:00] advanced. My first dev job, within a few months, they gave me senior developer title. Uh, the next job I was at, I became the team lead. know, after that know, it was just a matter of. know, Showing up and, and doing stuff that nobody else would do or could do and that, that's what got me my career going. And then doing the podcast obviously opened a ton of doors. And so that's what I'm trying to teach other people is, Hey you know, there's a method to growing your career that has a little more to it than just, Hey, I'm just gonna show up for 10 years and I'll be a senior developer and helping kind of get to that point.

But I also want to help people be excellent with their technologies, and that's why we have the technology focus shows.

**Lane:** Awesome. So it's actually, fortuitous. I was listening to a different podcast today, a psychology podcast, behavioral Uhhuh psychology podcast, and they were talking about this idea you need to spend 10,000 hours doing something to like truly master.

It came about in Malcolm Gladwell's book. Mm-hmm. Uh, outliers. But then on the podcast, uh, basically the Yeah, fantastic book. but the, the, the topic in this podcast [00:03:00] was uh, of the day at least, was basically that that's actually not true at all. And some people tend to, know, advance much faster than others. so I'm curious, mean, senior developer within a few months, lead dev at your second job. Like, why is that? What are the different factors that go into, know, you advancing so quickly in your career?

**Charles:** Well, There were a couple of things. One is, is that I was super passionate about what I was doing. you know, I had already started the podcasts right by the time I was going to get that second job. interesting story. I will summarize cuz I've told the story a million times, but, uh, it was my wedding anniversary, I think it was our third wedding anniversary. I showed up to work and I got laid off. And so I went and I applied to a bunch of jobs. I got a job interview that afternoon. I went in, I did the interview, I left, they watched some of the screencasts I put together building stuff in Ruby on Rails. I got a call back within 15 minutes of my walking out the door, like I was driving past my mom's house cuz it was on the way.

It was down by where, where their office was. [00:04:00] And they're like, when can you start? And I was like, tomorrow. And so I started the next day. I was like two months and they were like, Hey, we need you to be the team lead. Because I was way more invested and understood the framework better than anyone else there, even though they had more programming experience than I did.

**Lane:** Got it. Do you like like gimme a sense of how big these companies are. I know for example, at smaller companies, sometimes there's a lot more flexibility. They was smaller companies in terms of Yeah. How, how quickly you can advance, On that note, would you recommend that newer developers start at smaller or medium size companies? Would you recommend they go straight for the feig companies? Like how do you think

**Charles:** about that? It, it depends, right? The Feig companies are a lot. Pickier, right? And so you probably need to know somebody there or if you're new anyway, right? And, and have somebody going to bat for you. Cuz they'll look at your resume and they're just gonna say, Hey look, this person can't deliver what we need.

And so they're gonna, know, they're not gonna give you a shot. But, uh, some of the other larger companies, down to some of the smaller companies, it just depends on what they need. And so you may as well apply because they may have [00:05:00] some idea that, Hey, look, we just need somebody on this team that can deliver or.

The other thing I see is a lot of companies, what they wind up doing is they're trying to hire somebody who is a senior developer. They can't find the kind of people they want, and so somebody says, Hey, look, if you hire a junior, I'll mentor 'em. And so then they'll pick somebody up. And so it's, it's. It's usually worth it to at least try. But the other thing is, is that, yeah, so the, those first two companies, the one that made me a senior developer, they were actually a consulting firm. And so the second that they were comfortable that I could deliver on a level that their clients would be okay paying senior developer rates, that's when I got a title. Um, got it. At the next company. I mean, I just got in and I solved all the problems and so it didn't matter that I didn't have the experience. Right. But yeah, it was also a smaller company. But at the end of the you know, there were a dozen of US developers at the company and yeah, they, they promoted a couple of us who were newer as far as our career went.

And it just came down to this is the person that's fixing the issues and so this is the person that we're gonna. We're gonna give [00:06:00] a raise to and put in charge of, of delivering product. uh, at the end of the day, What I found is that cuz my next job, I, I, was told by my boss after a few months of being there, like, I almost didn't hire you because you only like two years of experience on your resume.

But then he explained, you knew how to deploy a CI/CD pipeline. You knew how to set up a Git server, you knew how to deploy the apps. You, you are right. I had these other things that weren't as common. They're still not as common really. That, that helped me move ahead and so they hired me for that and then figured out that, yeah, my resume said I was really green, but when I showed up, I showed up.

As a senior dev, and it was because I wasn't afraid to get my feet wet, get my hands dirty, and figure out how to, how to move things forward. And I think a lot of that is really what it boils down to. And yeah, I was spending extra time after you know, doing podcasts and screencasts and stuff like that. Incidentally with that third job, they weren't as impressed by that, right? It was just, oh, they, they had so stuff that they [00:07:00] wanted and they saw that I could set it up and deliver it. By having some of these extra skills, you know, understanding some of these new tools that, that really comes into play a lot.

And mostly it's just cuz I would go fiddle with stuff in my spare time. And, and, and I found that that moved things ahead.

**Lane:** That makes sense. kind of been preaching a similar thing, uh, for the last couple of years, which is Man, after, after running en engineering team for a few years, it becomes really obvious that years of experience do not directly correlate to how you know, useful someone on your development team is going to be in terms of shipping, working product.

Mm-hmm. Right. Yeah. how do you go about thinking Like you mentioned, you knew all these kind of tangential things that ended up being useful. Things like setting up a GI server. Right. And now kind of forgot what those other things are. What are those things and how did you know to go learn those on your own?

I think a lot of people struggle with the idea well, I know I need to get better as a developer and I know if I get better, you know, by some definition of better. Mm-hmm. That'll have an easier time finding work and advancing. But how did you know where to spend [00:08:00] your time?

**Charles:** uh, there are two things that I tell people just to start with in general. One is learn something new every day. And two is go implement it. Okay? Now that those can be soft skills too, right? It can be, Hey, this is how I talk to people. This is how I explain things. I learned how do documentation and stuff like that. In, in the cases, you know, where it was like the ci c cd pipeline.

Incidentally, if you went and learned, what is it, GitHub? Their their new ci. Yeah. GitHub actions, right? If you get, if you get your head around that, that's something new that people are looking to figure out and Right? Because they're already using GitHub or something like up. so the question that I always get is, how do you right. How do you know to learn this instead of right. or the other thing, I talk to a lot of people who are doing JavaScript, right? And there's always something new coming out in JavaScript, and so they're like, how do we know which one to And even doing like Ruby on Rails, it's well what do we stick on the front end of it, right? Ruby's kind of stabilized at this point. It's not as hard to keep up on all the things, but JavaScript is still rapidly innovating. And so people are like, I just can't keep up on all of it. I've talked to a [00:09:00] few people that just well, I just gave up, which I think is not a great idea.

Yeah. But the thing is that you can pick and choose, right? You can figure out what's gonna move the needle for you. And the other thing is, is that because there are so many opportunities, you don't have to take advantage of all of them. You can just pick and choose the ones that make sense to you, right?

So Hey, look, there's Flutter and React native and all these other things in Mobile, I. Not really doing mobile right Right? And so maybe you go look at Felt kit or Astro or solid or like that, right? Something new that's coming out. And so I tell people kind of think ahead as to where they want to go.

I have seven steps and, and planning is seven is the seventh you know, just, just think about, okay, where do I want to end Right? I wanna be an architect, I wanna be a senior developer. I wanna speak at the conferences. know, whatever it is, right? And then what you can do is kind of backfill from there and say, okay, these are the skills I need to pick Right? So if you wanna be a conference speaker, then it's I need some expertise. In general, I need some expertise in [00:10:00] some area where I can of an expert, right? And then I need speaking skills and presenting skills. And so you can start to pick those up and you can say, okay, I'm gonna learn, uh, presenting skills twice, a twice in a week.

Right? Cuz you're learning something new every day and then practicing it. And then you know, I'm gonna learn the JavaScript fundamentals, right? And I'm gonna write code and commit it, right? And so you get the idea. Those are the kinds of things you do. And so what you can do then is you can say, well I'm gonna be an expert in spelt kit, right?

So then, then you can narrow the field a little bit and you can say, know, two or three days a week, the thing I'm gonna be learning is. SEL kit, and so you, you just level up and then if you feel like, you know what, this isn't really getting me what I want, or I'm not excited about selt kit anymore, or whatever, you've still picked up a bunch of skills that are transferrable.

And so if you go into React or something like that, a lot of the concerns are the same, even if the solutions aren't. And so you can think you, you have this broader way of thinking of things as you go into the new area, and so it's not a, a loss to spend time on one [00:11:00] thing over another, and you can always adjust.

And so that's, that's where I tell people. And the thing is, is that if you're consistently learning on a regular basis, I don't know if you've uh, James Clear's Atomic Habits.

**Lane:** Not yet, but I've heard a lot about it. Yeah.

**Charles:** So he puts forward the idea that if you make 1% progress every day, mean, seriously, it's one, 100th of whatever your skills are, you, you level that up that much every day.

By the end of the year, it compounds to 37 times. Okay, so that means that if you're consistent and you make 1% progress in your skillset somewhere, then by the end of the year you will have compounded a 37 times more effective than where you're at. and and that's where people show up, right?

That's the people that shine, the people that are out there that you're watching, going, how do they do all this stuff? It's because year after year, even if they're halfway as effective and they're only getting, you know what? 17 times as [00:12:00] effective, you're still, you're still compounding and you're still growing at that rate, and that that's where this shows up.

And so if you're doing that work, right, that's why after a year or two or three, because I was doing it every day and I was picking up new stuff every day, I was in a place where I could effectively lead a team. In rails because I understood, know, the, the ins and outs of what was going right. And later in my career, know, why I could contribute in these other ways, you know, maybe in some of the DevOps arenas and stuff like that is because I was, every day I was picking up something new and I was practicing it.

And then the other thing I was doing is I was either putting out a Screencast or a podcast about it. right, not only did I have to learn it well enough to do it, but I had to learn it well enough to explain it to you. And, and by doing all these things over and over and over again, it really created this opportunity, me opportunity for me to show up as an expert.

And then the other thing I want to put throw in there is, is that through the podcast and things, I also built relationships. And so those [00:13:00] relationships were places where I could go and either have a sounding board for, Hey, I'm thinking about learning this. Is it worth it? And also can you help me learn it?

And finally, I need a place where I can go and apply my expertise and they'd help me find jobs. And so it all, it all paid off that way. And so I also recommend to people that they put out some kind of content on a regular basis. Blog is not my favorite. And, and I think I've explained why you don't build those relationships.

You don't, people don't hear you or see you. And, and that's important. And so by doing all those things, you really open up a lot of opportunities in a lot of cases. And then as you consume content, you go to conferences and things like that, you'll get ideas of other things you should be learning, and it all builds together in order to get you to this place where you can achieve what you want to achieve in your, in your career.

**Lane:** Wow. There was so much stuff in there. Okay. I'm gonna rewind a bit and, kind of b play back through. All of that, all of that advice. The first thing that I want to retouch on really quick was how you [00:14:00] mentioned you can spend a lot of time learning something and then maybe, a few months down the line for whatever reason, you decide to switch to a new technology or to switch to a new tool.

But as it turns out, like. 80% of what you learned is typically transferrable knowledge. Yes. And I think a lot of beginners don't realize that. I talk to a lot of people that are just starting their programming career. Mm-hmm. And they get really stressed well, if I learned Python and then I learned go, like I wasted all the time learning Python and I'm like trying to explain to them, no, actually, it's really good to understand the difference between an interpreted language and a compiled language.

And like all of those programming skills you'll learn while building a few projects in Python, those don't go away. They apply to pretty much every programming language out there, uh, right. That you're running in production. Yeah. So I, I love that you mentioned that and then you moved on to talk about, The, the idea of creating content, which I think is, there were two benefits that you primarily mentioned.

Mm-hmm. Uh, the first was one that I'm super [00:15:00] familiar, which is, uh, basically when you explain to someone how to do something, Not only do you have to understand it better, but it actually, like in the process of explaining, of figure out where you had your own gaps, um, in your knowledge, right?

Mm-hmm. Because as you go to explain it, you're like, wait, I don't actually understand why, like, that is the way it is, and you have to go do some more research. Um, And then I've actually

**Charles:** stopped recording a couple of I, in fact, a lot of the videos I put out, I have to stop recording for a minute, and.

Go figure it out. Research and come back. Yeah,

**Lane:** yeah, yeah. No, I'm the same way. I'll be putting together a course on something. most of my courses aren't videos. kind of text in an interactive base, but like same thing, like I'll get to a thing and I'll be like, okay, this is how you do it. And then as I'm like writing out the how I go, wait, I'm not like a hundred percent sure on the why.

Yeah. Go do some extra research. I will lose

**Charles:** people right here. Right. It'll work. Yeah. But I'll lose people. Yep.

**Lane:** Yeah, exactly. So I I I love that. And you mentioned, the difference like blogging, maybe podcasting videos, and I wanna throw another one in which is like, being active in discord communities and like helping [00:16:00] people kind of one-on-one, like mentoring.

How do you think about those Like, Is it right for everyone? Does everyone need to do it?

**Charles:** Yeah, I think everybody needs to be involved somewhere. Right at, at a minimum, right? So if you're contributing to an open source project on a regular basis, or you're showing up in a discord, know, that's fine, right? uh, I'll, I'll give you credit for it. The, the problem that I, I see is that, people tend to opt for the ones. know, Cuz they, they're, they're not confident. And so what happens is, is they'll opt for blogging because they don't have to interact with anybody in order to do And the whole point is, is that if you're contributing to open source, if you're replying to GitHub issues know, and interacting with the other contributors and things like that, you build those skills and those relationships. The same thing with the podcasts and the, and the, the screencasts, right? Um, even if you never have guests, you're still speaking to people.

**Lane:** cool. So it's funny, I actually published a blog post, what, last [00:17:00] week, maybe two weeks ago now, Uhhuh, um, talking about part of this idea, and it, it, it's funny, I actually basically took the opposite stance in one way, but I didn't talk about a key point that you talked about. So let me, let me like tell you what I uh, distilled down in this blog post, and then I want you right to respond to it.

Basically, I said, look, Very few developers that I've worked with in the real world are actually bloggers, um, sometimes. Mm-hmm. It's easy, especially if you listen to a lot of like tech influencers, people on Twitter and, and wherever. Um, To think that you have to put out blog posts if you want to be able to get a job, like it's this necessary thing, um, that will make it a lot easier for you to land a job.

And my stance is like, no. Your time is probably better spent elsewhere because most people who write three to five blogs, they never get seen by anyone. You don't make any personal connections. So unless you really love blogging for the sake of blogging, I recommend against it. Um. Mm-hmm. And that's, as someone who's written a lot of blog posts, right. what, but there's a crucial point that, [00:18:00] that you made, which is that blogging is like, has no networking component to it. Right. Whereas like speaking at meetups, interacting in a discord or even like podcasting does have like a mechanism built in where you will meet people and make connections. Mm-hmm. So is that the more important

**Charles:** side of it?

Oh yeah, absolutely. Uh, personal connection will get you much further than, content that kind of proves you're an expert, but that content does help. in, in other ways, mean, I've used my content platforms to get to know people right? To open doors, right? A lot of it does show up when I am applying for jobs or trying to get a contract or something like that, right?

Where I can essentially say, Hey, look, go look at my body of work, and then. Right. And then you can hire me. Yeah. And so it does work out, like I mentioned know, when I got laid off after that first developer job, right? They went and watched my screencasts and then they were excited to, [00:19:00] to hire me because they could see that I could do the job.

And so there, there is something to it, but you get the same thing out of the screencasts and the, the videos and the, the audio and things like that as you get out of. The blog posts. um, as far as that goes, and so you may as well get the other interactivity and, and things like that and just get comfortable behind a microphone so that people actually feel like they're talking to you or listening to you or having that conversation with you.

**Lane:** That, yeah, that makes a lot of The way I like to think about it is when you are looking for your first developer job, mean, and this advice actually keeps applying after your first job, but as we all know, that first job is like the hardest one, right? It's, it's basically your job to provide the signal to the hiring managers and to whoever you're go is going to be your employer, right?

To say, mm-hmm. Basically, I have these skills, like they're not necessarily gonna go out of their way for everyone applying to every job to find out whether or not you qualify. Like you really have to [00:20:00] put in the work to show upfront like, Hey, I know what I'm doing. I've built these projects, I've written these blog posts.

Mm-hmm. know, been on these podcasts. If you had to rank like a, a, aside from having the technical like let's just assume all of our listeners at the moment have the technical knowledge to get an entry level job as a full stack or a backend developer, right? What are the top three things they can do?

Now in, in the job search, like if you had to break you know, the difference between, let's say, you know, writing blog posts, apply, like cold applying for jobs on LinkedIn. Like, What are the like three most important things or best uses of these like job seekers time,

**Charles:** a couple of things. It's funny, I wrote a book on this. The first thing that I tell people to do is just make sure your resume is up to date. That it's ready to go. Now this is not the resume you're gonna send to. Anybody you apply to. Okay. I'm just gonna tell you that upfront. But what it does is it gives kind of a baseline to start from, and I'll [00:21:00] come back to that in a second.

The other thing that you need to do is you need to be going out to meetups of some kind, right? Because again, having that networking, talking to people, you get the sounding board if you're not meeting your future coworkers, right? And for a lot of people, you wind up meeting me, your future coworkers or your future boss.

Okay? so so that, that just pays off. Dividends. The other thing is, is that a lot of those folks that show up to the meetups, they're pretty well connected, and so they may know of a job that you can apply to, that you can actually get, because they'll go to bat for you and mentor you into succeeding at the job.

And so if, if there's anything that is super helpful, it's that right because the, the networking component works way better for having a higher percentage of getting any given job than just cold applying. Right. But then what you do is, know, if you are cold applying, get a pretty good idea of what you're looking for, right?

Is it the salary that matters most to you? Is it benefits? Is it, know, just having a good [00:22:00] mentor? Because you can start to screen jobs for that stuff, right? As you talk to people about those companies, you'll get a good idea of whether or not they offer that, right? know, Go find people who are junior developers like you and, and ask 'em how their job there's one person who lives here. Um, I think she lives closer to you than to me. know, We met up for lunch, me and a bunch of guys, and she showed up, right? Cuz we put it on meetup.com And it turned out that her company had hired her as a junior developer, but didn't really support her as far as her ability to grow and learn.

Mm-hmm. And so they eventually like demoted her to tech support. Because they weren't supporting her and she didn't know how to learn so, know, you, you wanna be looking and making sure that you're not gonna have that kind of a thing happen to you. But yeah, so there are all those things that go into it, but then when you start applying, you do the work of finding out what the company's about, what they care about, what the boss is looking for, know, what kind of a culture they have and things like that, what their corporate values are, and whether or not it's lip service, corporate values, or whether they actually mean 'em. And I hate to say that [00:23:00] because. Some companies, that's how they Right? They know they're supposed to happen, so they have them, but nobody looks at 'em. Yeah. It's more of a

**Lane:** marketing thing than like an internal right.

**Charles:** Values thing. Yeah. But some of them mean it, some of them really care. And so if you can incorporate some of those ideas into your resume, you can, wink and k nod at 'em in your.

Cover letter, then you start looking like the person they wanna hire because they know they want people who are gonna fit that mold. And so that's why I'm saying that's not the resume you're gonna send to people because you're gonna highlight and move up in, in your order, on your resume, the stuff that's going to tell them, I can do the thing that you need and I'm the kind of person you wanna hire.

And so when you're doing all those things, that kind of what works. But if you're going to the meetups, the other thing you can do is if it's a local company, you can say, Hey, has anybody worked for such and such a company? Do you know what they look for? Do you know what they care about? Do you know anything about the hiring manager or the, know, whoever's gonna be doing the interviews and you get [00:24:00] way further because yeah.

Then you know the kinds of things to talk about that are gonna get them excited to hire the other thing that I recommend, so I recommend the three things at the start of my book, I recommend that you update your resume and cover letter and just have it ready to go so that you can modify it. Cause if you meet somebody and you wanna send it off, it's easier to just, Modify it per your conversation and then send it uh, go to the meetups and meet people.

And then the last one is, is to have a side project, especially if you're brand new. Because if you have actual work experience, then you can say, Hey, at my past job I did the geolocation piece for the crime data, right? This is what I was doing at at some of the job interviews I went through. But if you don't have work experience, then what's nice is cuz if they know you know, this is your first job.

They'll let you get away with some level of I'm new and I don't know. Right. My first job interview was like that, but the thing is, is that I would ask questions and try and learn the answers from them, and that really impressed them. The other thing though, is that I had some side projects that I'd worked on, [00:25:00] and so some of the time the answer when I worked on my side project, I picked up on this thing, and so I got away with a lot of stuff because I had a whole lot less of the, I'm brand new and I don't know the answer. And and then when I didn't legitimately didn't know the answer, I would just tell them I don't know. I would probably Google this term or that term, or maybe you could just explain it to me.

And a lot of times I would get the answer back and I got like three or four times and it really helped. So, Yeah. So tho those are the things, if you're looking for a job, it's your first job or second job, if you've got that side project, it has to be moderately complicated, right? It can't just be a hello world we're talking like, uh, a Twitter clone or a blog engine, or um, I had one guy.

He was a big fan of Diablo too, and so he kept track of all the equipment and stuff. Yeah, he could enable, right? And so he built that, right? And people could come and they could add their own stuff. But it was something that was complicated enough to where it showed, Hey, look, I'm not just managing one or two data en [00:26:00] entities and I'm fiddling with this stuff over here, and it doesn't really do anything.

But Right. But it opened a whole bunch of doors for him because, know, a, he found people that liked what he liked, right, because it was Diablo too. And then the other thing that paid off for him was that, yeah, he could explain, Hey, I had these interactions and this is how I dealt with it. Yeah. Yeah. And

**Lane:** if, if you're, if you're specifically looking for like a backend job, the more you can do with data, the better, right?

Mm-hmm. Cred apps are really boring, but if you're like, aggregating some data from a game or a system, or scraping data from online, like that's potentially really cool and really interesting. Yeah. Comparing stuff. Yeah. That's, that's awesome. Okay, so you've mentioned your book. What's the name of your book and where can people go find it?

**Charles:** So that, that's a slight misstep on my part. I'm actually, uh, re uh, rewriting it. Um, Right now, if you go look for it on Amazon, it's the Max Coder's Guide to Finding Your Dream Developer job, which is a mouthful. I'm, I'm just shortening it up you know, find your dream developer job. There were a couple of things that I found that I didn't have in it that I wanted.[00:27:00]

That help people Depending on when you're listening to this, you can go find it under the Long Max Coder's title. If you look for Max Coder, you'll find it. but uh, yeah, after a few months, a few months from now, you'll be able to get it from under the other name and I'll have taken the other one down.

So just look for Dream Developer job.

**Lane:** I I I love a ton of this advice. One of the things I, I'm just really quick in a recap, cause I, I wanna make sure it gets, the emphasis that it deserved is, th this idea of, of networking and incorporating. Kind of what you're learning from your networking and the, kind of the, the hiring managers that you interact with in interviews back into your You'd kind of tailoring your resume to the individual jobs, and I think that's super important. Um, especially in terms You know, when you're writing code, you wanna have this really tight feedback loop, right? Like you write some code and then you want to like run the code and immediately be able to like, did it work?

Did it not work? Mm-hmm. Um, Maybe, maybe if you're doing tests, did the test pass? Did they fail? Whatever, right? like, you want this quick feedback loop, and I think mm-hmm. So many developers don't get that [00:28:00] in the interview process, but if you can get that in your job search as well. You'll improve so much faster.

And what I mean by like go out, apply to some jobs, get some rejection feedback, figure out what it is you don't know. Figure out what it was missing on your resume. Figure out you know what you don't know either from the jobs themselves or from your network. And then incorporate that into your learning and

**Charles:** move forward.

Yeah, I'm gonna just add a slight caveat to that. A lot of companies will not tell you what you're missing. You'll ask 'em for feedback and they'll just tell you, we don't do that, but some will. don't, don't be sad if you get the. know, Sorry. No, people tell you

**Lane:** no. Yeah. Yeah. I, I think it means you just need to apply to more So, because you're Like You know, some percentage of them will give you some feedback. Um, Yeah. Especially if you like, are able to kind of connect personally with whoever interviewed you some way, like through LinkedIn. Yeah. You can be like, Hey, what, what went wrong? What did I not do well? Um, it does take some legwork sometimes, for sure.

**Charles:** Yeah, occasionally what's worked for me is I've actually offered, if they're local, just [00:29:00] said, Hey look, can I buy you lunch and can you give me career advice? Right. Because then it's not, Hey, can you gimme direct feedback on the thing? Cuz usually there's HR and liability and they're worried about whatever.

Yeah. But, but it's just like, Hey look, can I just come ask you career questions as a human to a human? And a lot of times they're open to that and it'll cost 15 bucks to feed 'em for their

**Lane:** lunch. Yeah. That's a great idea. I like that. Chuck, this has been fantastic. Where can people find you?

Find what you're working on, and find more career advice?

**Charles:** All everything's at top end devs.com. Um, I'm launching a new show called Catapult Your Coding Career, uh, that should get launched here by Friday as we record this. the other thing that you can do is you can go to top end devs.com. Um, I'm working on deploying the homepage right now, and right there at the top, you can enter your email address and it'll send you a link where you can subscribe to a podcast. It's a hidden podcast. It's secret. but what, what you get is, It's Uh, Right now, I, I'm, I have it planned at five episodes. [00:30:00] You might get a few more, but they're basically half hour episodes and we break down each of the steps of growing your career.

So learn something new every day. Commit code every day. know, meet somebody new every day. Go to the meetups. Go to the conferences. plan your career. so so all these things, and we talk about how to do each one, right? So you know what to learn and when to learn it so that you know how to go network with people at the meetups.

How to go make these connections, what your commit should look like. know, we'll talk a little bit about. With the commit stuff, know, your side project. And so it'll go through all of that stuff. Just go to top end devs. Like I said, it'll be right there at the top. You can click to watch the video of me telling you how smart I am, and then you can go put your email address in and click the button and it'll send you a link.

And then you'll just get one episode every day for about a week. Awesome.

**Lane:** Thanks so much for coming on Chuck. Everybody go check out top end devs.com and we'll have Chuck on again later to talk about Ruby on Rails. His, his favorite tech

**Charles:** stack. I've only been doing that for about 18 years, so [00:31:00] Cool.

We'll look forward to it. Thanks Chuck. Yeah. Yep.

#008 - Accelerating Your Coding Career with Charles Max Wood
Broadcast by