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Episode 200!

Published 2/29/2016

Today's episode is the 200th episode of Developer Tea! In this episode, I skip the stats, and instead share with you some of the things I've learned along the way of building this podcast since last January.

Today's episode is sponsored by Digital Ocean! Use the code DeveloperTea at checkout to get one month of a 1GB droplet, completely free!

And lastly...

Please take a moment and subscribe and review the show! Click here to review Developer Tea in iTunes.

Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
Hey everyone and welcome to Developer Tea. My name is Jonathan Cutrell and in today's episode I'm going to celebrate episode number 200 of Developer Tea. Thank you all for making this happen, for supporting this show, for listening since the beginning. Some of you have listened to every episode. I am incredibly humbled to be able to talk to you three times a week and I don't plan to stop now. Today's episode is sponsored by DigitalOcean, the fastest growing cloud service provider on the market. We'll talk a little bit more about what DigitalOcean has to offer later in today's episode. Today is a huge day for us and in the past I've shared a lot of statistics with you. The number of listens, the number of people in the Slack community, the number of questions we've received and of course those numbers help explain where we're at with the show. But today I want to celebrate the 200th episode a little bit differently, the only number being the number 200. While making the show I've learned a lot. I started out making the show for developers primarily and I realized that the show truly is most often applicable to just about anyone who shares a few common traits. The first trait is the drive to be better at something. It doesn't even matter what. If your drive is to be better at being a developer or being better at being a parent or to be better at being an athlete, really any of those things can be put in place for this particular trait. Continuing to learn, shape, refine and really to grow continuously. If you're willing to take the long road to get to that place where you feel like you are the best, but not only becoming the best, but staying on top of yourself to continue being better. Even if you are the best, you can always improve. That is a trait that the people who listen to the show share. This show is made for those who are interested in learning the hard parts, putting in the time that it takes to become truly great at what you do. Just for the people who realize that your job isn't just about having the ability to do something well, but that it's also about people and relationships. In fact, most of the time, it's more about people than it is about technical proficiency. Those are the kind of people that the show is crafted for three times a week. I'm thankful to say that it seems to be reaching a lot of people who fit exactly that description. There are a lot of you who have talked to me directly and there's a ton of people in the Slack community who have talked to me about those particular traits and those have resounded very well with the people who listen to the show. Everyone who listens to the show is a learner. Pretty much I assume. I'm actually speaking for a large number of people who listen, but I assume that most everyone who listens to the show, unless you're just wasting your time, that you are interested in learning because that's what we talk about on Developer Tea. We talk about focus and continuing to refine our relational abilities and continuing to refine the way that we look at our job every day. The future of Developer Tea, the next 100 or 200 episodes, is going to be more content certainly just like you've been used to in the past, but we're going to continue opening up that discussion that we are currently targeted almost exclusively to developers, but we found that so many people are actually enjoying the topic. We can have any type of person come and be on the show as an interviewer or we can talk about just about any topic through this lens and it's going to be applicable to the people who listen to the show. Be on the lookout for even more flexible topics and discussions. I'm looking forward to those immensely. So today I want to share a few of my big takeaways from my experience in making the past 200 episodes over the last year and a few months. I've learned so much. I've met so many amazing people. So today's episode only represents a few of the things I've learned from this journey with all of you, but I think these are some of the most important lessons that I've learned, some of the most important facts or principles, I guess you could say. So let's jump straight into the first big takeaway from the first 200 episodes of Developer Tea for me, the creator of the show. Big takeaway number one is that most people are not 100% sure about what they are doing at any given moment. Most people are not 100% sure about what they are doing at any given moment. This is something that's so important for especially young developers, but also older developers, more experienced Developer To know. And that is that most of the time we are figuring something out. We are becoming more confident in our solutions. And in fact, most of the code, for example, that we write, none of us would put a 100% mark of approval because it takes time to learn whether or not the code is going to be efficient or that it's going to solve the problem perfectly. But this is true about job applications as well, for example. Most people when they apply for a job, they're not 100% sure that this is the best company for them to be at. Most people who apply for a job are also not totally certain that they are the best candidate for that job, for example. Most people who are in the position of hiring are not totally sure that they have found the best candidate. And so many things that we do in every single part of our job is reliant on us being willing to accept the reality that not everything that we do are we going to be sure about. It takes time to refine the process of learning and implementing and even the best at their jobs, even the people who are the best at their craft. The absolute experts will tell you that the more they learn, the less they know. In other words, the more they learn, the more they realize is missing from their learning, the more they realize they have left to learn. So this is such a common misrepresentation to young developers is that you will one day be much more sure. But really, your confidence shifts from one thing to another. You may be sure about the stuff that you weren't sure about a year ago, but you have new things to be unsure about today. And that's that is a fundamental misunderstanding. And really, in my opinion, is kind of the root cause of a lot of our kind of imposter syndrome. So if you are a young developer, this is specifically for you, realize and be okay with the fact that everyone that you appreciate at some point was unsure of what they were doing. When you look up to every expert at some point and is most likely still unsure about something, even the things that they practice every single day, there's still a level of uncertainty. So learn to become more aware of that uncertainty. Number one, but also more comfortable with being uncertain and more comfortable with trying things out, experimenting, which we'll talk about more in just a moment. The second takeaway that I have from the first 200 episodes, creating these first 200 episodes and the experience of talking to all of these different developers in different walks of life, is that almost every good question has a multitude of answers. Almost every good question has a multitude of good answers. Now this kind of requires a definition. A good question, in my opinion, is one where the answer is not necessarily immediately available. Obviously, when you're talking about discrete math, there may be an obvious true answer for those questions. But when I say good question, I mean a question that is challenging and complex. Those kinds of questions typically have more than one good answer. So for example, what is the best sorting algorithm? Well the answer depends. It depends on what your particular constraints are. Do you have a lot of computing power? How many items are you trying to sort? And this multiplicity of answers, this multiplicity of good answers, occurs in many different scenarios, especially when it comes to injecting opinion and injecting expression into the mix. When you start asking what is the best x to do y? When you start filling in those blanks with what is the best programming language or best framework, what is the best company for x? That isn't necessarily going to give you the most productive answer. If you only look for a single answer to those questions, a lot of the time, in fact, most of the time, there's going to be multiple good answers. And your decision should include a true weighing of multiple answers to really understand what is the best in your particular scenario and what is the most optimized for your particular computing environment, for example. So the first takeaway was that most people are not 100% sure about whatever it is that they're doing today. Most people are not 100% sure about really anything that they're doing today. And secondly, almost every good question, almost every good, sufficiently complex question has a multitude of good answers. Now we're going to take a quick sponsor break to talk about digital ocean and then we're going to come back and I'm going to give you two more takeaways from this first 200 episode period that I've spent building Developer Tea. Digital ocean is the fastest growing cloud infrastructure provider because they're laser focused on their mission to create simple and elegant solutions for you as the developer and for your teams. It's incredibly easy to spin up a droplet on digital ocean that you can pre-configure these droplets with open source platforms like Node.js or Maginto or Docker. You can spin up a lamp server for example and just a few seconds all just by clicking a few buttons in the control panel. It's built to scale. They have an API and they have floating IPs and as you grow you can manage the apps that you build with team accounts. It's reliable and available. This is incredibly important. You can select from their data center regions that are around the world. You can select them based on latency or you can deploy across regions for redundancy. The most important thing for you to know is that they have straightforward pricing. You only pay for resources that you actually use by the hour. If you wanted to try out a large array of droplets for an hour that's not going to cost you very much at all. Go and check it out digital ocean.com. When you check out, first of all there's no setup fee and there's no minimum spend. But secondly, if you use the promo code Developer Tea, you can get one month for free on a gigabyte droplet, an entire month of free time on a gigabyte droplet. Go and check it out digital ocean.com. Of course the link will be in the show notes and that special code Developer Teawill be in the show notes. Thanks so much to digital ocean for sponsoring today's episode of Developer Tea. That's actually a pretty good segue here into my third takeaway. That is that you learn and accomplish more faster by simply taking action. You learn and accomplish more faster by simply taking action. A lot of people spend a lot of energy and time trying to decide if their ideas are good enough to try out. They're trying to decide if they should build this product or if they should start a podcast or a blog and they don't spend enough time actually trying an experiment or two. Actually, maybe writing a single blog post or recording a single episode and testing it out with some people. Taking action instead of deliberating for so long, this is going to teach you much more. If you've wanted to learn a language for a long time and maybe you've read a few books but you haven't really done anything with that language, you're going to learn so much faster, so much more effectively if you actually take that language and do something with it. Build something with it. We've talked about this on the show many, many times and we're going to continue talking about it the most effective way to learn anything. Regardless of programming or any other skill is to actually do something with the materials you're trying to learn. Build something with that language and that's really what this takeaway is about. You learn and accomplish more faster by simply taking action. This is the concept of zero to one. If you do nothing, you're infinitely less effective than if you do even the smallest thing. If you've been deliberating over doing something, try the smallest version of that thing. That's a challenge to you. Try the smallest version. Even if you wanted to start a blog and you've made the excuse that you don't have the time to create the website, try medium or try blog spot or something similar. Just try it out. See if you are going to be effective in that environment. See if you enjoy it. See if you learn anything from that experiment. You don't have to go from zero to 100 to learn something. You only have to go from zero to one. Again, you learn and accomplish more faster by simply taking action. The fourth and final takeaway for today is that kindness, compassion and honesty will take you further than almost any hard skill. This one doesn't take a lot of over-dramatization. There's not a lot of examples to give, but kindness, compassion and honesty. These are things that are effective across every single aspect of your life. There are very few times where being a good person, being a kind person, having a kind response when somebody offers you a harsh or maybe undeserved criticism. These are the kinds of skill sets that are infinitely more valuable than the hard skills that you may learn from in any given programming language. The ability to have relationship with people, it starts with developing kindness. It starts with developing compassion for those people. Anyone knows that the best businesses operate with honesty as a primary value in their business structure. Develop these skills, kindness, compassion and honesty. I can't really give you a metric for how that affects your life and how it affects your relationships, how it affects your career. I can tell you that without these skills, you will never be able to develop adequate relationships. If you're listening to this show, you know that relationships and people are the cornerstone of a successful career. They're the cornerstone of what this show is even about. If you don't believe in these things, then you probably are listening to the wrong podcast. If you don't believe in being kind and being compassionate and being honest with people, then this is not the podcast for you because these are values that I hold and that many of the people who listen to this podcast hold very dear. That's a major takeaway for me in the past 200 episodes. I have seen kindness and compassion and honesty be such an important part of this process. Through building spec, through building the audience of Developer Tea, those things have come up again and again as themes and they will continue to come up as themes. I highly recommend that you develop the ability to be kind and compassionate. Practice those traits because they're important. The first takeaway was that most people are not 100% sure about what they are doing at any given point in time. The second takeaway, almost every good, sufficiently complex question has a multitude of good answers. The third takeaway, you learn and accomplish more faster by simply taking action. And finally, kindness, compassion and honesty will take you further than almost any hard skill you can develop. Thank you so much for listening to Developer Tea. Thank you for listening to all 199 episodes before this episode. If this is your first episode of Developer Tea, go and check out the back catalog. You can find it at spec.fm. Of course, it is also available in pretty much any podcasting app that you use. And speaking of podcasting apps, Developer Tea was honored to be on the front page of iTunes podcast page. Thank you so much to iTunes, of course, for featuring Developer Tea as well as spec and design details. All three of those things were on the iTunes front page. And that was a huge celebration moment for us, the team here at spec and specifically at Developer Tea. So thank you to iTunes and thank you to those of you who are coming through that channel. If you found Developer Tea today on iTunes, thank you. And I hope you enjoyed today's episode. And if you did, please subscribe to the show. This helps you not miss out on any future episodes of Developer Tea. We published this show three times a week, which is quite a few for those of you who are not used to a show that has published that often. So subscribing can help you keep up so that anytime you're on a commute or something, you can listen to the latest episodes very easily. Thank you so much to all of you who have listened to the show and thank you again to today's sponsor, Digital Ocean. If you are looking for a cloud hosting provider, Digital Ocean is the fastest growing cloud hosting provider. For very good reason, go and check them out. Of course, a gigabyte free for a whole month by using the code Developer Tea. You can find the show notes and every other episode of Developer Tea at spec.fm. And until next time, enjoy your tea.