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Discussion on: How I started earning $35/hr at 19

davidmm1707 profile image
David MM🐍

Congratulations Tristan. You are earning more than I do, having almost half my age (We live in different countries though...).

I want to add something to your post:

Going by it again I thought it would be funny to just apply and be cocky to see what happens. So I wrote my cover letter

"I am an extremely talented developer. I have over 400 hours with PHP. I'm your man, call me [my number]"

More than cockiness, I believe that they were impressed by how you speak to them. Beginners tend to be super polite, like they are saying thanks for everything, as if the (would be) employeer were making them a favour.

It is not. You have a set of skills, you change your time for their money. That's it. They are not making you any favours by "letting" you working with them. If any, it is the opposite (but that's a topic for another discussion).

You came as if you didn't care too much about the job, because if they didn't hire you, you would have more jobs alligned.

No "OMG I would be #blessed to work with you 🙏🙏🙏" crap. You have a skill, you sell your time to them. If not, to other company. That's it.

I then decided I would hone in on one skillset - Frontend Developer. When I sent my resume to my current work I didn't even talk much about my experience with PHP, something they were looking for, I just stated exactly what my strength (not plural) was and my experience with correlated technologies.

The more specialized you look, the more professional you come off.

This is something I had backwards until a few months.

I knew a lot of languages and frameworks. PHP, JS, Java, C#, Angular, Laravel, etc... I learnt a lot of stuff in two years.

But I REALLY learnt it? In reality, I was doing tutorials, and switching to the new shinny thing after one week or two. When I came back to a thing I did a tutorial 3 months ago, you know how much I remember?


Then, I read John Sonmez (I recommend you to read his soft skills book) and he introduced me to a concept it blew my mind. And it is so simple.

I believed that the more languages you know, the better job you can get. More things you can do, more money you should earn. Right?

Instead, employeers want somebody efficient and focused in one thing, more than a jack of all trades.

You nailed it here:
HR wants the best frontend developer, the best backend developer and the best interface designer. They dont want 3 people who are all mediocre at all three

For example, you need surgery. Would you rather select a surgeon with 15 years of experience, or a doctor that has dabbled as a surgeon, but also as a pediatricist, ophthalmologist, dentist, etc for 15 years?

But then, I read about the T-Shaped developer.

The concept is that a developer should have a shallow knowledge on a broad set of skills (backend, frontend, deploying the project, testing, etc) and go really deep in one of the skills (for example, a backend developer that knows vanilla JS, a bit of React, unit tests, how to deploy on Heroku but a LOT of backend stuff)

T-Shaped developer is an interesting concept, I wrote this where I go deeper on that:

Regarding the Github, I want to recommend to ONLY put there things you want to work on. For example, if you want to become a FrontEnd dev and you play with Angular, React, Vue, vanillaJS, jQuery, etc, you can put your projects there. But don't put your Laravel/Node.JS/Django/.NET/etc stuff you're experimenting with there, because somebody might see it and wanted you to work with that. Another mistake I did 😅

Your tl;dr is spot on. Focus on some Framework and become the best on that, not on that guy that "knows a bit of Angular, Vue and React" but can't do nothing past the basic stuff.