How do you get better with experience?

Bloomberg MYBB <GO>
Jun 14 25 Comments

I feel like all my career I have been going from project to project and company to company without really getting better at software design or debugging or anything else. i have just hit a ceiling and I just stay there. Yes the company I work for I get to know their tech stack inside out but once I move on to a new company I get in the same bucket, new tools, new tech stack , internal processes, starting at square one.
I also feel I’m not opinionated enough compared to others to push for an idea. Like there are two correct ways to design something, I would normally be okay with anyone. However I do see people who can push their idea well are generally better engineers.
Do any of you face this issue?
What are some steps to systematically improve this situation?

Some reasons that could be responsible for this.
1. Lack of personal projects is probably one reason for this but I absolutely have zero motivation to work once I leave office.
2. I also approach a project from execution point of view in that my sole focus is on finishing it successfully. Like let’s say assembling a piece of furniture cabinet you just got. But once it’s assembled it’s just a completed project. And there is nothing that I can use to let’s say assemble a bed next except the tools.

Yoe: 4.5 TC:200k

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TOP 25 Comments
  • Amazon tro37
    Wait, what?!? You’re talking about stagnation in your career as if you were working for 20 years. Then you say you have 4.5 yoe. You’re just a beginner, don’t sweat it. Most engineers can’t tell their ass from their elbow before 6-8 yoe.
    Jun 14 3
    • New / Eng QTdN03
      Yeah, strong opinions on code before 7 yoe are probably wrong opinions.
      Jun 14
    • Google / Eng QrJx75
      This is a really bad generalization
      Jun 14
    • Bloomberg MYBB <GO>
      OP
      That's a perspective I hadn't heard of.
      Jun 15
  • Google / Eng QrJx75
    Side projects are cool, but not the answer to your problem.

    Seems like you lack initiative and, more importantly, technical depth. You need to retrospect and see what you would do differently next time. You need to understand business, team, and code well enough to have a strong opinion as to what to work on next. You need to take the long term view of building software. All of this sounds like it's stemming from you thinking deep enough about your situation and taking ownership of your codebase. Hopefully the motivation comes soon, otherwise you'll soon be 30 and looking back at a career that could have been so much more.

    Good luck!!
    Jun 14 3
    • Ford / Eng poiuq
      ok, but why make 30 sound like end of the life.
      Jun 14
    • Google / Eng QrJx75
      Because I haven't hit 40 yet :)
      Jun 14
    • Bloomberg MYBB <GO>
      OP
      Thanks!
      Jun 15
  • LinkedIn Humphrey G
    There’s nothing wrong with the way you feel. You’re execution focused.

    Ever heard of 5 dynamics?
    Explore, Excite, Examine, Execute, Evaluate.

    People are good at one or more of the above and it’s up to the management/organization to use those skills of engineers appropriately.
    Jun 14 2
    • Bloomberg MYBB <GO>
      OP
      Interesting, I had never heard of this. Good book on this?
      Jun 14
    • Google uberproxy
      Usually a person start with something he is good at, gradually expand to the e2e perspective of product life cycle.
      Jun 15
  • Apple / Eng tWBu16
    I Read textbooks. I also challenge myself to build projects
    Jun 14 3
    • Bloomberg MYBB <GO>
      OP
      Do you do this after work? On weekends?
      Jun 14
    • Airbnb kYFK02
      Not just text books because they can be boring. Best practice books
      Jun 14
    • Bloomberg MYBB <GO>
      OP
      Best practices. Good point.
      Jun 14
  • Apple public2.
    It’s a good goal to have however you are too young to think that you hit the ceiling. But overall I think you should strive to challenge yourself and try to make career moves that support this goal.
    Jun 14 1
    • Bloomberg MYBB <GO>
      OP
      Yes. like the first commenter said, it’s probably the lack of tangible goals, that’s giving me this vague thought I have hit a ceiling. Thanks for your input.
      Jun 14
  • Snapchat eeXB43
    In terms of being non opinionated , it is actually interesting that as you get more experienced you get more un opinionated, in a good way, i.e being less dogmatic and more flexible.
    Jun 14 0
  • Oracle EUwH05
    What goals have you set which are not just the ambiguous ‘get better’? Set real, tangible, measurable goals and work towards improving that way.
    Jun 14 1
    • Bloomberg MYBB <GO>
      OP
      Good point. Need to write down these tangible goals first.
      Jun 14
  • Airbnb kYFK02
    Study. Read books. Going to work makes you better slowly
    Jun 14 0
  • Snapchat eeXB43
    I was in the same boat, until I started my personal project. The joy that you get by making all the tech decisions and making mistakes (without any cost) and realizing your own idea is really empowering.
    Jun 14 1
    • Bloomberg MYBB <GO>
      OP
      Good to know, I will try to get started with this.
      Jun 15
  • IBM dwt
    You sound like you don’t really love what you do. Is that the issue? Or maybe you just don’t have the drive? Some people just cruise thru, others are like sponges and thrive on learning. And others honestly are just not happy with it and feel unmotivated.
    Jun 14 1
    • Bloomberg MYBB <GO>
      OP
      Love is a strong word, so no I don't love what I do. But honestly i also don't think most people in tech are in tech because they love what they do. But yes I agree it might be what is preventing me from going the extra mile.
      Jun 15