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JC Smiley
JC Smiley

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How to have a growth mindset?

I asked “Can you give advice on how to have a growth mindset for a learner, developer, or leader?” to my local tech community. The following is a curated list of their answers:

Dennis Kennetz
Growth mindsets consider everything an opportunity. Do not be discouraged by failure, or by being shot down, be encouraged that you have something to take away from the experience. Someone without a growth mindset does the minimal work to get the job done. They don't take setbacks as an opportunity to learn and grow, they just do things. People with a growth mindset do not get defeated, they store these failures up like treasures to take into future projects and opportunities. Become comfortable being uncomfortable. If it is uncomfortable for you to ask a question in a group meeting, ask a question. Attend more meetings and ask more questions. Always be challenging yourself to do things that push you outside your comfort zone. That is different for everybody, but for everybody there is room for growth.

Lawrence Lockhart
Growth Mindset -- lots of useful ways to consider this one:

  1. Growth mindset reminds me that for whatever I know, there is something I don't know yet which will be critical to my future. I have to keep learning.
  2. Growth mindset reminds me that for the assistance I've received on my journey, it's a good idea to offer that same help to others
  3. Growth mindset reminds me that complacency is dangerous and can result in missed promotions, or missing a window when one needs to change companies
  4. Safe to say everything about our human existence is centered around growth in one way or another. To grow is really in tandem with being human

Joe Ferguson
“Growth mindset” is just business speak for “Can this person learn a hard thing?” Often “hard thing” ends up being their proprietary application or workflow. They also want you to be able to magically pivot to new tool, stack, framework in some cases. Be cautious with places that are interested in having lots of buzzwords instead of actual skills they're looking for. Be the applicant that can solve a business problem they're having. Don't be the influencer of DevOpsFooAgileButActuallyWaterfall lingo that's going around these days. As a leader? Be humble, empathetic, and don't gate-keep. Celebrate the win that makes learning a thing easier and don't punish people because it was hard when you learned it.

Corey McCarty
Our industry is always in movement. There is always something new happening. Sometimes the new thing looks a lot like what was done 30 years ago. If you aren't learning new things then you are falling behind. Whatever language that you are working with (unless it's Cobol) is changing, and you have to learn the new features. Some of those new features will be amazing and make your work much easier, and others will be like burning garbage. You have to learn about them before you know which is which.

Eric Burden
I know for me, it really helps to have a compelling end goal product in mind, and it REALLY helps if I'm working on something that will be helpful to ME down the road (which I guess is also fireproofing, in a way). It's one thing to learn a cool new programming concept because it's cool and new, but it's a whole other level to learn how to solve a real problem I'm having.

JC Smiley
A growth mindset is the mental attitude that knows where you are and where you want to be. That mindset is positive that small actions each day will produce big outcomes tomorrow.

A learner thinks about learning HTML, CSS, JS, and hosting an application. Later the learner has enough knowledge to build a website.

A junior developer will think about learning the company tech stack, ask what will it take to be successful in the current or next position, and master the tools used on the job. All of these considerations completed leads to asking for a promotion later.

A tech startup leader thinks about the company's tech stack, the business modal, and competitors' products. Later the leader will suggest a feature that gives his startup an edge in the market. He will repeat this process over and over til his startup dominates the market. A leader knows that continuous success is based on consistent growth over time.

Ryan McGovern
I don't know if anyone can tell you how to have a growth mindset. I suppose just try to always learn from everything you do. Whether it's a success or a failure. And if you've got it in you, seek out further learning opportunities. I word it like this because I don't always have it in me to go learn something new everyday lol.

Michael Harris
I'm still trying to figure this out for myself. I have found that it is easier to get motivated if you find what you're trying to get better at interesting.

Ben Young
Read something new every day, exercise your mind to push yourself.


What is a Growth Mindset?

  1. Growth mindsets consider everything an opportunity. Its being willing to fail, succeed, be uncomfortable, and to constantly challenge oneself.
  2. Knowing that knowledge is critical, helping others is essential, and complacency is dangerous.
  3. Growth mindset in business speak means “Can this person learn something that is hard”.
  4. The tech industry is always in motion. The only way to know what technology is beneficial is to constantly learn and test them.
  5. Having a compelling end goal in mind, seeking out learning opportunities, or just reading something new every day helps create a growth mindset.
  6. As an aspiring developer, its being willing to learn multiple technologies to build a website.
  7. As a junior developer, it's learning the company tech stack, asking what it takes to succeed, and mastering the job's tool in order to get an promotion.
  8. A tech startup founder knows that continuous success is based on consistent growth over time.

In a nutshell, a growth mindset is about learning and always moving forward.

Please help others learn by leaving a comment about having a Growth Mindset. Thank You!!!

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