I'm Alex 🌮
QueerJS = 💖
Debugging the Ghost of Stagnation
This talk is WIP 🚧
Oh the romantic, idealized and damaging tech industry clichés! ✨
Super rational, brilliant, performant 10x dev.
Making 15% more money every year.
Conference speaker jet-setter life.
- Climbing the IC ladder and becoming a Principal Engineer or EM
Twitter celebrity status (free of drama)
- Happy family and brilliant kids on the side.
Stagnation in the tech industry is real and common
(and it's time to start talking more about it)
Stagnation is a taboo
What is stagnation?
As most things, it depends on who you ask.
"Stagnation is the state of not moving, flowing or growing."
An stagnated developer
(A developer that it's not developing its own self)
A hamster on a wheel, not learning anything new or deriving happiness from the turning of the wheel/coding. It was just going through the motions
No one else can decide for you if you're stagnated
It's a personal call
It's about realizing if you are deriving happiness and satisfaction from your work.
- Are you learning? It's not precisely about your tech stack.
Is it age specific?
Not precisely. But sometimes.
The pace of new frameworks and conventions in the tech industry is a hard pill to swallow.
- Statistics about getting hired after 35 can be scary.
So, what can lead to stagnation?
- Raising a family, getting sick.
- Being in the same company for too long
- Poor management and/or crappy communication
- Burning out.
- Not being able to be able to code on the side?
- Code was an escape mechanism in my 20s 🎉
- Being "good" made me able to travel and become a "digital nomad"
- Met wholesome humans. "Made it out".
- Also...stopped doing side-projects.
Moved to Berlin with the love of my life...and then, reality hit me
The tech industry had changed...
"That" conversation with my manager...
When I realized I was feeling stagnated, I told my manager, this is not a matter of ego, this is a matter of mental health
So, what’s the cure?
The obstacle is the way
Discomfort does lead to growth
How we see ourselves
Rational beings having goals and developing skills.
But then, failure
they must be either
Lazy, stupid or bad
We are not rational actors taking rational decisions.
We don’t fail out of lack of intelligence.
We are emotional human beings.
The narratives we tell ourselves protect us from the world.
Intuition is the real connection to experience.
The experimental approach
Approach every single day as a series of experiments instead of a series of TODOs
Debug what you’re feeling. Observe your thoughts and reactions.
What are you deriving happiness and purpose from?
Where can we learn and find purpose?
The best place is work.
Coding outside of work is amazing but also an unhealthy habit to reinforce
A healthier approach is to foster the environments in our work places to experiment.
(10% time, education budget, space to be playful)
Humans are like little islands of universes trying to understand each other.
Radical Candor Framework
Please don't use it to be a terrible human
Talk about it
Talk to your manager
Talk to your peers
Talk to anybody in
Aim to be compassionate in a truly caring way.
(to yourself and those around you)
A quote from my favorite person
"If you're wondering if you're stagnated, it means you care, it means you belong here."
Sara Vieira ❤️
Being a human is fucking wonderful, but it's not always easy.
Talk. Give yourself and others kindness. Fight for what you want.
Thank you! 🎉
The Ghost of Stagnation
By Alejandra Villa