Becoming a better Engineer
In today's world of Engineering, the quest to become better at what you do is a continuous journey. Whether you're aiming to enhance your technical skills, improve your problem solving abilities, or stay up to date with the latest shiny tech in the industry, the path to becoming a better Software or Data Engineer requires dedication and a commitment to ongoing growth.
A similar version of article with narrow scope can be read here: Enhance Technical Skills
Having a growth mindset and focusing on continuous improvement can bolster your career growth. In today's article, I will share some of the things that I try to do to keep myself in the continuous learning phase.
I still consider that books are best ways to gain exponential knowledge, the depth a book provide allows you to understand topics in much better way, it also helps to connect dots that might be blurry in mind.
Following are some of my favorite books that I have read and helped me quite a lot.
The Pragmatic Programmer - A solid approach to be a good programmer
Software Engineering By Google - Go to book for Software Engineering practices
Designing Data Intensive Application - System Design in depth
Measure What Matters Most - Book to measure success (OKR)
Team Topologies - Focus on Org and Team collaboration
The recent rise of content creators on LinkedIn especially in technical space has definitely helped a mass audience. From interview tips to career growth, these are super helpful.
Some notable content creators:
Zach Wilson - Focuses on Data Engineering
Alex Xu - Focuses on System Design
Sumit Mittal - Focuses on Technical Data Engineering
Lee McKeeman - Sharing FAANG Experiences
Arslan Ahmed - Tech Interview Guide
Rahul Pandey - Career Growth
Addy Osmani - Software Engineering and Leadership
Blogs & Newsletters
I have been following many bloggers who contribute through Medium and personal blogs. With SubStack, newsletter has come back into the picture, my blog also has newsletter support, subscribe if you like.
With lot of content, its hard to find the right and best, following are some that I regularly read and follow.
This is my favorite, the quality and the uniqueness of this newsletter is something you cannot find by searching on Google or asking ChatGPT.
Newsletter for folks interested in System Design, this helps not only for interviews but also in general how certain advanced tech works and where to use.
My go to place for interview prep, text bases System Design courses are like a blog to me, I love reading and revisiting this whenever I need to refresh my knowledge.
A community driven by Data Engineers on Medium, I am also a contributor and a reader. It is just getting started, join the slack community.
Lot of companies share there technologies through blogs, for example, Netflix Blog on Medium is one of my favorite for Data Engineering related systems.
Another great blog for folks interested in advance system design content.
It is very important to focus on the non technical aspects as well, I love the platform Taro, it is I think the only platform that covers the following topics in a Q/A style.
Onboarding as an Engineer
Mentorship for junior Engineers
Promotion from junior to senior to staff Engineer
Sign Up: Taro
These topics are very hard to find and get help with, there was a time I was searching for mentors to answer questions related to these years ago, would have been super helpful if this existed when I started my career. Anyways, this platform is definitely needed, connects top Engineers to folks who are looking to grow. I would love to be a mentor at Taro someday.
Research & Feedback
This is a special approach that I have been doing for quite a while. Respondent is a platform that connects Researchers with Engineers where the former are looking for a feedback from the potential users of their product while the latter help them with feedback while learning about the product in very early stage as well as making $$$.
Sign Up: Respondent
Here is a list of few interesting Engineering projects.
Seeking professionals that work on providing high-quality data to serve various business needs
Seeking platform, DevOps, software engineers or data scientists for a study
Paid Research Study for Cloud Users with Generative AI Experience
Calling for developers with interest building in Web 3.0
Looking for Cybersecurity professionals for our research
I have done some great Data Engineering related ones by Microsoft and IBM, covering Data Platforms, Cataloging, Governance. This gives me idea of what big techs are doing in Data Engineering space, what and how they are solving the problems etc.
I hope this would give sense on some of the ideas on how you can improve, these may or may not fit your style of learning but its worth to give it a try, also there are many other approaches as mentioned here, a bit different approaches but still effective.