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  • 2011.10.28 - Kalzumeus - Don't Call Yourself A Programmer, And Other Career Advice
    • 90% of programming jobs are in creating Line of Business software
    • Engineers are hired to create business value, not to program things
      • You really want to be attached to Profit Centers because it will bring you higher wages, more respect, and greater opportunities for everything of value to you.
    • Don’t call yourself a programmer
    • You are not defined by your chosen software stack
    • Co-workers and bosses are not usually your friends
    • You radically overestimate the average skill of the competition because of the crowd you hang around with
    • “Read ad.  Send in resume.  Go to job interview.  Receive offer.” is the exception, not the typical case, for getting employment
    • Networking: it isn’t just for TCP packets
      • Networking just means a) meeting people who at some point can do things for you (or vice versa) and b) making a favorable impression on them.
    • Academia is not like the real world
    • "How much money do engineers make?" is the wrong question.

      • People who are skilled in negotiation make more than those who are not.
    • How do I become better at negotiation?
    • Equity is generally worthless.
      • You radically overestimate the likelihood that your startup will succeed and radically overestimate the portion of the pie that will be allocated to you if the startup succeeds
    • Are startups great for your career as a fresh graduate?
    • So would you recommend working at a startup?
    • Your most important professional skill is communication
    • You will often be called to do Enterprise Sales and other stuff you got into engineering to avoid
    • Modesty is not a career-enhancing character trait
    • All business decisions are ultimately made by one or a handful of multi-cellular organisms closely related to chimpanzees, not by rules or by algorithms
    • At the end of the day, your life happiness will not be dominated by your career