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Cover image for Scott Tolinski from allrounder to allrounder... and other things I learned recording his DevJourney

Scott Tolinski from allrounder to allrounder... and other things I learned recording his DevJourney

timothep profile image Tim Bourguignon πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ Originally published at timbourguignon.fr ・3 min read

This week, I published Scott Tolinski's #DevJourney story on my eponym Podcast: Software developer's Journey. Among many other things, here are my main personal takeaways:

  • Scott's story starts with an itch to scratch, building a website for his band. It wasn't for the tech part of it, but really to get the online presence of this band going. This is very similar to my web mastering past, I can really relate to this. He then continued his studies in music and video editing. Again, no tech involved for its own sake.
  • While doing other things, like overseeing classes from the projection room at a university in Michigan, Scott slowly learned his way through MySQL, Magento, and got his first gigs as a Web Developer. But his dream was still to do video production.
  • In 2011, Scott finally realized that he was following too many dreams at the same time. He was trying to make it as a developer, but also as a video editor, graphics designer, musician among many other activities. He decided to focus on development and joined a web agency. He attributes his success at the interview partially to his drive and passion, more than his skills. But he bit the bullet and learned his way. 9 months later, he had created his Youtube Channel to share his learnings.
  • In 2012, Scott injured himself and couldn't breakdance for 1/2 a year. After a month of idleness, he had an overflow of energy. So he created his Youtube Channel and poured his heart into it. It started with tutorials filling the gaps in the Drupal documentation. Then it continued with him rewinding his day every day and showing his viewers what he had learned, which was very low in preparation and his work was providing the ideas. And only a few years later did he start planning and strategizing the content. All this time, the channel was a side project, never his job.
  • The moment Scott decided to turn his channel into a business, he faced two problems 1) he was really not the entrepreneur type 2) some of his viewers really felt betrayed by having to pay for the content he had been releasing for free for years. But he was helped to make the jump by an awful and abusive boss at his last company. The relationship was so bad that he quit without having the next gig in place. So he took the chance on his channel and it worked out fine!
  • When Scott and Wes Bos decided to start working together on the Syntax.FM podcast, not only did they have a pretty neat relationship, but they also realized they were completing each other quite well. Scott had a huge Youtube Audience while Wes had a massive Twitter following. And those had very little overlap. This is a great example of how the diversity of profiles (even though we are talking about two white dudes) can help you grow a business.
  • I love how Scott's story goes full circle. He wanted to do everything and didn't go anywhere. He then narrowed his focus to development only, and slowly expanded again. And now, he is doing exactly all those things, but gradually came to it and put every piece in the right place.
  • Scott and Wes met in a mastermind group: 4 participants, helping each other for 1 hour per week. This is again a fantastic example of how like-minded individuals helping each other really can move mountains.
  • We also spoke about retrospectively looking at your life and finding how the story looks like... which is the very thesis of this podcast.

Advice:

  • Put in the reps, good things will happen. Talent doesn't come on its own. Put in the work.

Quotes:

  • "I wanted to do too many things, so I narrowed it again and again, and by doing so, it allowed me to create the Youtube channel, and finally do all the things I wanted to do in the first place"
  • "Luck happen when you do the work, you have to set you up for it"

Thanks, Scott for sharing your story with us!

You can find the full episode and the show notes on devjourney.info or directly here on DEV

Did you listen to his story?

  • What did you learn?
  • What are your personal takeaways?
  • What did you find particularly interesting?

Discussion (1)

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Agathe Badia

Nice summary, thanks! Did you have the chance to have a podcast with Wes Bos as well? :)