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Making An Impact In Software

Do What You Want - Those are the most frightening four words brought to us by the connection revolution. If you want to sing, sing. If you want to lead, lead. If you want to touch, connect, describe, disrupt, give, support, build, question… do it. You will not be picked. But if you want to pick yourself, go for it. The cost is that you own the results. – Seth Godin, The Icarus Deception

It’s hard to break free from the the mental entrenchment of yesterday’s industrial economy: If you work harder, and do what the boss says, your career as a software developer will go exactly where you want it to go. This is not how you win in software. You don’t win by following directions, you don’t win by waiting for someone to tell you what to do, and you certainly don’t win by producing code the same way new cars roll off the factory line.

You win in software when you recognize that what you’re building are tools that create leverage and value that are bigger than yourself. Software scales, and bits are cheap to spread to everyone. We live in an era where a five person team has the potential to help millions of other people simply with the software they write and share with the world.

The scarcity isn’t access to the right tools - we have cloud computing, abundance of open source solutions, and more new programming languages than we know what to do with. The scarcity is the developer who knows how to take what they’re building and shape it in a way that reaches more people, touches more lives, and makes a bigger impact.

Software is changing the world faster than our minds can adapt to the change. Tomorrow’s problems demand solutions that you’ve never written before, and maybe never even thought about before.

Will you make an impact?



about the author

Blake Smith is a Principal Software Engineer and leads the Infrastructure group at at Sprout Social.

Blake Smith

create. code. learn.