Continuous growth in tech: 50+ Resources I swear by as a Senior Software Engineer
How I stay up to date in tech and grow as a Senior Software Engineer
With 1,000s of resources at your fingertips, how can you know which ones are great?
I’ve found 50+ resources over the last 6 years that get my attention every week.
In this newsletter, I’m excited to share these with you.
You’ll get a combinations of newsletters, books, courses, creators, and tools that will help you grow insanely fast as a software engineer.
I also have a special surprise for paid subscribers (stay tuned below).
Newsletters are fantastic for getting a consistent variety of information you can try to apply in the same week/month you learn it.
They’re also a great source of “building a second brain” of notes.
Here are some of the newsletters that I read every week (I may have missed some).
General software engineer growth
Frameworks and smart thinking
Do you need to read all of these? Certainly not. I’d suggest picking 1 or 2 from each category you resonate with.
Books are amazing for deep dives in a single topic area. You get mountains of examples & insights. Depending on the book, it can be difficult to figure out how to directly apply these learnings to your specific situation though.
In this newsletter, I like to take my learnings from books I read and give advice directly applicable to software engineers.
With that said, here are the top books I’ve read that I’d recommend for growing as a software engineer.
Communication / soft skills
Career growth / promotions
Persuasion & influence
On my reading list (check them out if you’re interested, I can’t attest to them yet)
Again, don’t feel the need to read all of these. In many cases, lessons are repeated across books on the same topic. For me, I read a book on a single topic, let the concepts soak in over time, then see where I need improvement. If I need to improve in that area some more, I’ll read another on the same topic and repeat the process.
The courses I’ve taken are mostly frontend specific, so if you have some you’d recommend for more broad knowledge, let me know.
Frontendmasters subscription (tons of courses bundled in)
Small Bets Community (many mini-courses and workshops, all free once you’re in the community—fantastic ROI)
[Haven’t taken but seems great] Kent C Dodds Epic Web
Generally, courses on Udemy are also great if they are highly rated. It’s been a while since I’ve taken one on there though so I’m hesitant to recommend anything specific.
🎥 YouTube & video content
Broad news and opinions in tech
Senior+ & Soft skills
Frontend/CSS tips and tricks
Productivity, side income, and personal growth
🤝 1:1 Coaching & Mentorship
1:1 coaching is amazing because the advice is 100% tuned to your situation.
I like to have a mix of 3 types of coaches & mentors:
A senior in your team at work - They can provide the best advice on your day-to-day interactions.
A senior outside of your team at work - They can provide advice on how you are perceived externally.
A career coach outside of work - For me, this is Taha Hussain. Every meeting, I’m walking away with more action items and insights than any other meeting I have.
If 1:1 coaching is outside your price range, I’d recommend two resources:
Taro - A community for engineers to grow in their careers together.
ADPList - Free mentorship, but might have a bit more mixed results & you need to be more of a driver of your results.
🛠️ Managing all these resources
There are 3 tools I use to manage all these resources.
Todoist - Track books, courses, articles, and activities I want to do in a “Learning” folder.
Mailbrew - Groups a bunch of newsletters into 1 email per day so you don’t have to clear 15 items from your inbox every day and can choose just what you want to click into.
Readwise - Highlight anything in a book or the web to be sent an email of 3 highlights (integrates with Mailbrew) per day, then apply what you saved.
💬 Closing thoughts
There are a few things you might be wondering…
No side projects were mentioned. Why?
Side projects are great. My personal preference though is learning through my above resources and bringing those learnings into work somewhere. It’s a win-win because you get to apply your learnings and make more impact at work. Side projects are still a great source for learning though. I generally recommend to my coaching clients to do projects they are passionate about and don’t know how to do yet.
Isn’t this too many resources?
In some sense, yes. I do lean toward consuming too many sources. However, I do have a few methods for retaining it (see below).
How do I actually retain all this stuff?
Teach what you learn - Some of the High Growth Engineer newsletter issues were sparked by learning about something and relating it back to my personal experience. As I write about it and teach it, it helps me retain it better while teaching others.
Spaced repetition and applying it - The Readwise highlights I receive every day help me remember what I learned. When I get the email from Readwise, I try to think how I can use those that day to help retain it.
Even with all these resources, there are still plenty of areas I’m constantly finding for growth.
📣 Announcement & Surprise
As you go through this post, you might feel overwhelmed with all the resources.
That’s why I’m pleased to announce I’m making available for paid subscribers my notes on all these topics.
If you’re already a paid subscriber, access the link to the curated notes at the bottom of this page.
Included is the most important information and resources on topics ranging from:
Promotion, soft skills, leadership - Design doc templates, influence, receiving feedback, project lead process, effective 1:1s, effective meetings, and more.
System design - The top resources to learn system design and simple summaries of common topics.
Performance - Condensed knowledge of web performance across hundreds of resources.
Book highlights across many of the books mentioned above.
Who is it for?
Engineers that want direct access to vetted resources and knowledge that will help you level up in your career.
If you’re a frontend engineer, this is a must to check out, especially because of the component and feature checklists.
If you’re a developer 1-4 years in your career and want to know what topics to dig into to become more senior.
Upgrade to get access to the most important information on the topics to level up as a software engineer.
Finally, here is what the main Notion site looks like:
As always, thank you for reading.
P.S. If you’re interested, I’m accepting the following:
New coaching clients: See Mentorcruise for rates
Newsletter sponsorships: Feel free to reply to this email or check the Sponsorship packages
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