Hero Dev

2020, the year of 10x growth

December 31, 2020

How to grow in a year we see everything slowing down for the first time in history? In this blog post, I will share what I learned and how to measure growth properly.

Dinosaurs in drumheller

This is not going to be a technical blog post, but instead, I will share some tips that have been working for me to be more productive and have a balanced life that everyone, including devs, could benefit from it.

What a year!

For those not aware (maybe living on another planet or reading this 20 years from now), this year the humanity was hit hard by a global pandemic caused by the CORONA virus. Since the pandemic has declared more than 1.79 million people died worldwide (and counting) causing fear and anxiety.

The measures to hold the virus spread was hard for everyone:

😷 We started using masks

🤝 No more hugs, high-fives, and handshakes

📚 Schools closed so, kids had to stay at home (at least for a couple of months)

✈️ Flights were restricted

🏡 Working from home became the new norm

And much more…

In a world that was running at the speed of light, always producing more, selling more, making more profits, in 2020, it was forced to slow down!

You might be wondering, the post title tells about 10x growth, right?

How to grow when everything slowed down?

It depends on how do you measure growth. We usually measure it only by tangible variables:

  • Position: job title, promotions
  • Deliveries: projects finished, deadlines accomplished
  • Material achievements: new house, new car, new something else

But 2020 came to teach us how to see growth from a different perspective:

Health (physical and emotional)

As growth is usually measured by achieving new statuses and acquiring new things we also tend to work more hours to justify to ourselves that we are making some progress towards those goals. That is an illusion! We only get more stressed, anxious, and we tend to don’t take care of our health, and suddenly we have to spend all that money acquired overtime in a tentative to restore our health.

More time worked does not mean more things done!

During the pandemic, I learned that building morning habits can exponentially increase performance so, I start building a morning routine that includes reading for at least 20 minutes and exercising every day (at least stretching). It is amazing how it improves concentration and focus (we devs need those to code).

It is funny because I was not the kind of person who enjoyed reading but now I love it! One of the books that helped me was High performance habits written by Brendon Burchard. No, I am not earning anything for recommending his book.

High performance habits

With this book, I learned how to effectively plan my day. That was a game-changer. I had no idea how many distractions I had until I started planning my day and as a result, I started getting way more things done in all areas of my life.

Loved ones

After learning how to plan my day properly and have a better life balance, I was able to find time to stop and enjoy the time spent with my family without worrying about a project or something else I had on my to-do list. I was finally there! Present!

Spending quality time with family

This pandemic came to teach me that no matter how successful you are in your professional career, what your kids only want is to play with you. They only want you to be there and enjoy the moment.

Learning

It is so easy to just know the shallow or to just make it work without understanding how it is working but, when it comes to mastering something it requires passion and time.

In the software development world, there are thousands of thousands of languages, frameworks, and tools. It is impossible to master all of them! This year I decided to focus on what I love doing: Front end. And master it!

With this clarity in mind about my carer, I could target the areas I needed to improve so, I invested in learning with those who are reference. I am so proud I was able to take the Epic React training by Kent C. Dots. It has sky rocked my React skills (thanks Kent).

I also started this tech blog to share my learnings. We only learn when we help others! (this is also stretching my writing skills).

See? For me, this was indeed a year of 10x growth! It just depends on how growth is measured.

Although we all had to slow down, this year helped me to value what money cannot buy!

I hope everything gets back to normal earlier in 2021, but the lessons 2020 taught me will last forever. Thanks to those learnings I can foresee a bright new year with also a lot of achievements as a result of this true growth.

Looking forward to what 2021 will bring!


Alex Andrade

Personal blog by Alex Andrade.
Saving the day with code.