Hackernoon logoOn Spreading Yourself Too Thin (and Other Dev Career Reflections) by@anandsafi

On Spreading Yourself Too Thin (and Other Dev Career Reflections)

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@anandsafiAnand Safi

Engineering Manager | Tech Leadership | Advisory Board Member | Mentorship & Coaching

 *Stop spreading yourself too thin!*

I attribute this trait to our wandering minds. ‘The grass is always greener on the other side’ notion seems apt for this.

* When I started doing Frontend web development, I felt I should also learn Backend Technologies (Java for ex.) since that might be more valuable.

* Next, when I started doing a little more full-stack development, I really felt I should level up my DevOps skills and get familiar with AWS/ Azure/ Google Cloud, Deploying code, Bundling code, Package Management etc.

* Next, when I started focusing on these aspects, I felt I need to establish my presence in the open source community i.e. do some side projects, contribute to existing projects, speak at meetups, conferences and so on.

The list almost seemed never ending as I tried to jump from one thing to the next to get more skills under my belt. This is exactly what I believe led me to spread too thin for a brief period of time.

I was scratching the surface on a variety of things but not really solid or expert with any. It was during my 1:1 meetings with my then manager that we realized I might be trying to excel at too many things at once. It is great to have a growth-oriented mindset of continuous learning but it has to be meaningful, phased out and planned carefully. One must pick their battles in order for quality development and skill building.

I would suggest each of you to reflect on the same i.e. list down what are your areas of focus for growth. If the list seems too big, then you are in the ***spreading too thin*** bucket and need to downsize it to the top 1-3 items depending on time and resources at your disposal. If there is not a concrete list that you can come up with, that is an indicator as well. You need to ideally come up with the list on your own or work with your manager/ mentor on one.

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to connect with me on Linkedin: Anand Safi and always interested in a chat!

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