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May 17 2024

Transferrable skills

This was meant to be a lighter post as mentioned in a heavier one, but it will just be a regular post. Maybe even with more insights about myself than I’m actually currently consciously aware of. We shall see.

Note for my future self: stop making promises on what you will write.

Anyhow, inspired by what a fellow bootcamper shared on LinkedIn, I want to think about the ways my background(s) inform my current professional persona.

The baker

Which was also the chef and, more broadly, the hospitality worker.

You got the usual suspects there which are the ones that many people claim on their CVs and cover letters, but aren’t actually as common as those unreliable trusted sources make us believe.

  • Organisational skills;
  • Working under high pressure;
  • Resilience;
  • Multitasking;
  • Communication;
  • Good at prioritise;
  • etc.

Some of those come included in the migrant package.

However, if you ever entered a kitchen or worked in hospitality, you now have a better understanding of what high pressure can actually mean. If you endured years, you also get the resilience badge. Personally, I was a Head Baker jumping into barista and chef roles while being Shift Manager. And let’s not forget dealing with customers.

However, there is another aspect of the job I’m bringing with me.

The way I’m learning new tech is the same I used to learn new baking skills.
I have a plan, a mission. I want to make a vegan chocolate bun. I want to create a Letterboxd clone for all the media I consume. I read some theory and then I jump straight into work. I pick the recipe that’s closest to what I want to achieve and I adapt it to my needs. All of this, while learning a new proofing method, a new language, a new folding, a new framework. And I have fun.

I could spend hours reading docs and books. And sometimes I do, because I’m a nerd. But I fully learn something through my hands. Like the Rams in Bird of Empire. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re missing out.

The actor

This one is easier.

Coming in and out of roles. Changing costumes. Learning new lines. Embracing a new voice.
One day I’m a Commedia dell’Arte mask, the next I’m a depraved French aristocrat, by dinner I’m a revolutionary priest.

It’s not just about acting. It’s the ease to seek and embrace novelty, the ability to adapt on a whim, the power to stretch your comfort zone outside its boundaries and immediately make it yours again.
That doesn’t mean being indifferent to change. More like don’t let it overwhelm you. Knowing how to deal with it. Accepting it.

Then, finally, move on.

The writer

Writing equals creating to me. And that’s what software development means too.

In both cases, the most exciting aspect of the craft is building something new and giving it life. It could be a small tracking app or an infinite multiverse. The process is the same. The planning is the same. The work is the same.
Either you’re programming a solution to a problem or coding a tool that isn’t a tool, you need to have a story. You need to know where this story goes, how the characters evolve, add plot twists and avoid plot holes. You should know who your target audience is and tailor it for them. Ask feedback and adjust for errors. Ultimately, you will type words, one of the most powerful human creations.

Communication is key as well. Although, everyone claims to be good at it, we read emails every day, so we know the truth. And don’t let me start with docs. I personally don’t feel like I have mastered how to write them, but I’ve read loads, and for something that is so vital to a whole field, the situation is actually grim.

Stop assuming things. If you do, be upfront about it. Write knowing someone will read you. Ask someone to read you. No, Bill, your friend Bob doesn’t count. We need d i v e r s e perspectives.

That’s quite a lot

Is it?
I don’t know, I have a life, and a past. This is only one small part of it.
Some people marry their high school lover and do nothing but working the same job for 40+ years until they retire.
Some other don’t.
I don’t think one group is better than the other.

I just don’t judge.

And I would advise more people to do the same.