Note - This guideline is most useful for the bottom 99% of the practising software engineers. So if you are part of the remaining 1% - you can safely skip the this post.
There is a surprisingly easy hack that you can apply to increase your value generally in life. Pick up more skills. It sounds obvious when put on paper but there is one subtlety which makes it a “hack” in my opinion.
For this point we turn to the excellent Scott Adams’ book - “How to fail at almost everything and still win big”. Speaking about being successful, he says -
“… I tell them there’s a formula for it. You can manipulate your odds of success by how you choose to fill out the variables in the formula. The formula, roughly speaking, is that every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success.”
He goes on to mention that the level of proficiency for a skill is not mentioned because -
“… you can raise your market value by being merely good - not extraordinary - at more than one skill.”
“To put the success formula into its simplest form: Good + Good > Excellent”
This subtlety makes it very easy to execute. You don’t need to be extraordinary, you just have to be ordinary/average. Hence, if you are an average software engineer and you have any of the skills mentioned below -
- Good at drawing
- Public speaking
- Managing people
- Have a knack to pick up people’s emotions
- An eye for design in product
- Spot problems in operational processes
- Shoot, edit and/or make videos
- Make original music
- Writing essays/blog posts
- Or anything else
You are immediately more valuable to yourself and your organisation vs someone is who is a very good software engineer only. So if you are a software engineer who can think of product ideas and execute independently (remember you only have to be of an average skill in it) - you have more than doubled your value.
This is a short excerpt from a book I am writing - self.debug. Its about using emotions and mindfulness to become a better software engineer. Please download it (has a free option!), and help make it better by providing feedback.
Photo by Alice Achterhof on Unsplash