👋 I’m Josh!
Pretty much every experienced developer I spoke with, I asked some variation of:
> How did grow to become a better software developer? What do you recommend to others as they pursue improving their skills?
I got answers like:
- "Read lots of source code"
- "Work on side projects"
- "Make open source contributions"
This never has sat right with me, though, for a few reasons:
- Selects against women.
- Pace is slow
- relevance is low
- I still had to "fill in the gaps" to make the new knowledge actionable
- Difficult to port the learning (from a book or video) over to my own environment.
### Obstacle Courses
One project I've made so far is a [obstacle course for parsing webpages with Nokogiri](https://github.com/josh-works/intermediate_ruby_obstacle_course/tree/master/nokogiri). I spent about thirty hours learning Nokogiri, and the way it's packaged, you can learn most of what I learned, in about _4 hours_.
from the VP Engineering standpoint:
> if I can get anyone to take a course, and they learn even one thing, the ROI on that is insane. not even measurable how high it is.
> If I can get an engineer to focus on their craft, the job is done
> If they have not used sidekik before, there's some fear, because that's what I know
> to get an engineer to spend a few minutes on some new technology, the attitude of making things better.
> It's hard to get people to care.