This is my first topic on this fantastic platform. Please read it to the end.
Note: These are not my suggestions. All these suggestions have been gathered from top software engineers and business people who worked at amazing companies, including Google, Nike, Mercedes, Facebook, YoL, etc.
I recently got an internship offer at a startup where we work on some mind-blowing real-world problems using Machine learning; we also use Drones, Cybersecurity, and Blockchain in the other projects. I work in an Artificial Intelligence suit in Drones projects where we try to add AI to Drones(like intelligent swarming, Autonomous flight, etc.).
The guy who started our company was a Data Scientist at Nike and Amazon, and he also holds a Ph.D. in satellite communications, He did his Masters and MBA in top universities. And his friend worked at Mercedes as a design engineer and has a business degree from Stanford.
We went out for lunch and talked a lot about career development and moving up the tech ladder in these competitive days, where people who know tech are in abundance.
Some pointers before starting:
This post is not meant to make you a better programmer or any as such but to help you go beyond programming.
This post is not meant to degrade anything over the other; I just attempted to understand what my CEO was trying to make me know.
Planning your future carefully is the key! It is not about what you do now, As you age you won’t be able to take risks nor have time to take risks.
Most people take up tech jobs as they are easy to pick up. What they don’t understand is if they get stuck at any point or did not like what they are doing. There is no going back!
The Guidance I got which was worth sharing:
Don’t waste a lot of time learning frequently updating technologies like Web development, Mobile application development, etc. These things are easy to learn and hard to master due to a massive pool of people who already are experts in it.
By the time you master technologies like these, a new version or new technology shows up in the market, which is faster than the previous, and you have to learn it as the industry keeps on adapting new things.
Learning new things in iterations will be nice until you reach some age, and you can’t push yourself after that.
Learn state of the art subjects like Math, Physics, Machine Learning, Electronics, etc., which will always have an enormous scope in the future. And there also won’t be any changes to concepts!
Get yourself more involved in research projects. There is a massive demand for high paying jobs in R&D in any company. This way, you are not only working on cutting edge technology. You now will have that satisfaction that you are actually solving something which affects people in real.
See technology as a tool rather than something which earns you money, Look at technology as a problem solver for any problem you see every day. If you are good observer, who can observe real problems and use a tool called technology, you can now become an entrepreneur. Simple Enough!?
Become an Applied Engineer. Make projects which do something useful rather than just work. Example: If you are learning Machine Learning, build something useful which you can use. (I built a drone that could follow the road and take photos if there is an accident on roads using Deep Learning, and this is how I got hired as an Intern.)
Do not become a researcher yourself but leverage other’s research work and implement things in the real world! (Did I invent Deep Learning? Am I a Math Expert? NO!!! I used a research paper that detects accidents in photos, another paper that identifies the road, a tutorial which thought my python and deep learning, and I just combined them all!)
Move to Business and Management side of things before you turn 40!
Just google any tech CEO, all of them worked in tech for a while, did their MBA, and boom!
(Ex: Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, Prashanth Chandrasekar-CEO, StackOverflow and many many more)
Do you know the advantage we techies have compared to the Business lads?
We know how tech works and how it affects the industry, with the right amount of money management skills, business skills, and professional technical experience anyone can do wonders!
An average software engineer in the US earns about 86400$ a year. Suppose you are given 86400$ every day and are asked to spend all of it by the end of the day, or else you lose the money by the end of the day. How will you spend the money? (I think everyone will spend it like crazy)
Fact: We have 86400 sec in a day, are you spending those secs with the same energy you spent the above money?
Learn to fail, to risk, and to work hard. (Work till 2 or 3 A.M till you get your work done.)
An average billionaire works for 14 hours a day(This is the truth, what you see on TV’s is just a lie.)
Time and Health are invaluable.
Anyone can earn money, earning it with satisfaction is important. There are a lot of people who left jobs in top companies to start own business, to do good projects!
I feel lucky to get all the great suggestions, and I want this fantastic community to know the same.
I will update the article once I get any new suggestions.