If you're looking for career advice as a developer, here's something you need to watch out for.
There's a lot of great career advice out there. I definitely recommend reading career articles from experienced developers to learn about how they got where they are and what they learned along the way. That kind of knowledge can give you a huge career boost.
The problem is that sometimes it sounds like there's such a thing as "a developer career".
In reality, there's no one single path. There are many. And they can be wildly different.
There are a LOT of career models that can be called a "developer career".
You can be a salaried employee or you can be a freelancer.
You can be full-time or part-time.
You can be a generalist or you can be a specialist.
You can work for startups or you can work for established businesses.
You can work with the hot new tech or you can work with the tried and true stacks.
You can even make a living writing open-source code.
Or you can travel the world as a developer evangelist.
There's a million ways to be a developer.
But, when you're looking for resources online, it's easy to get trapped in a filter bubble if you don't get enough variety of information. It's easy to get bombarded with advice that applies to careers at the Big Tech giants or the Silicon Valley ecosystem.
The world of tech startups, in particular, occupies a lot of the tech discussion online.
The Netflix engineering blog is an excellent tech blog. But Netflix is a unique company with unique challenges. Same thing for Facebook and Google. These are not ordinary companies, but they get the majority of the attention (and you might say that it's for a good reason: they attract the top talent and they pay massive salaries).
On the other end of the spectrum, away from the startup scene, there's the world of enterprise software development. It comes with an entirely different set of values and priorities. It's a different ecosystem. And there's a ton of amazing career opportunities there too.
Being a developer can mean completely different things across different industries and geographies.
In my city there's a solid ecosystem of tech companies and a great developer community. There are lots of opportunities and it's growing. But it's a very different ecosystem compared to Silicon Valley! You need a completely different career approach to succeed.
My suggestion is: figure out your goals first. And try to filter career advice based on what your goals are.
Find a mentor in your industry who has your dream job. Ask them how they got there. Ask them for specific advice that applies to the exact work that they're doing. That's always going to be best source of insight that you can find.
And most importantly: don't listen to the gatekeeping. Sometimes people say things like "real developers do X" or "you're only a real developer if you Y". Build your own career and don't listen to those who tell you that being developer has to fit their particular definition.
PS. I'm not saying that all developer career paths are equal. Some paths definitely are easier than others. Some paths are more rewarding than others (in terms of money and other benefits). Let's be real, not all industries are the same and not all opportunities are equal. The point is that you should look at your own goals, consider the entire realm of possibilities, and then choose what's right for you.