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Jeffrey Nwankwo
Jeffrey Nwankwo

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The Psychology of Success in Tech is a Complex Beast. What does it Take to Succeed in the Tech Industry?

Well, well, well, look who we have here, a tech industry newbie feeling all hopeful and super pumped about their career. You're already daydreaming about your future success, just like every other human being on this planet. But fast forward a few years and reality hits you like a ton of bricks.

You've been putting in the hard work for one, two, three years now, but there's nothing to show for it. And to make matters worse, every time you hop on social media, you're bombarded with posts that crush your spirit and make you feel like you're not doing enough. It's like Twitter and LinkedIn have a personal vendetta against you.

LinkedIn boasts: "I'm happy to announce that I'm now the TechnoKing 2 of Tesla and SpaceX".

Twitter chirps: "Just landed a new gig, making $10,000 every two weeks. Tech is the best!"

And let's not forget Instagram, the platform that screams: "Pictures of strangers who started a year ago, and are now vacationing in Bali while making millions from their tech startups".

Meanwhile, you're struggling to even afford a new keyboard for your laptop. Wallet? Empty. MacBook? Nope. Two 32-inch monitors on your adjustable electric table? Dream on. And don't even get started on that Logitech mouse and mechanical keyboard.

I mean, come on, three years down the line and you can't even replace your keyboard? That's not just a bad situation, that's downright tragic.

Even the baby is laughing at ya 🤣.

Laughing baby

The second perspective:

You're not exactly a tech industry newbie. You've been in the game for a while, you've got some professional experience under your belt. You can at least afford to replace your keyboard, but things still aren't where you want them to be.

Let's face it, you're not exactly killing it in the tech world. You're stuck doing gigs at lower rates than you deserve, because let's be real, sometimes you just have to take what you can get in order to pay the bills. It's not exactly the glamorous life that you see on social media.

You don't have three MacBook M1 Max on your desk, and a vacation to Bali is definitely not in your near future. But hey, we're all in the same boat, right? We're just trying to make it in this crazy tech world, one day at a time.

I want you to know that I'm not some tech influencer with a massive following, nor do I have an abundance of resources at my disposal. I'm just a regular person who has been working in the tech industry for a while, and I've seen some patterns that I think are worth sharing.

So if you're feeling like you're not quite where you want to be in your tech career, don't worry, you're not alone. We're all just trying to figure it out one day at a time. And hopefully, with some of the tips and insights I'll be sharing, we can all get a little bit closer to our goals.

Time to pick ourselves up, dust off those insecurities, and get back to grinding. Because in the tech industry, there's no time to waste.

Let's goo

Let me tell you a little story about myself. Back in 2017, I wrote my first line of code and it was like a religious experience. I'm pretty sure that GOD Himself blessed me with this love for technology from a very young age. But you know what they say, with great love comes great responsibility, and that's why I knew I had to develop this gift.

I started out with some beginner-friendly projects and gave it my all. But when it came time to land my first job, I quickly realized that I was a tiny fish in a big ocean of tech masters. I mean, have you seen my first resume? It was a joke. It probably would have been more impressive if it just said "can turn on a computer and type without looking at the keyboard."

My first resume

Back then, I wouldn't even hire myself with a fake name and a wig, but hey, I was desperate to get my foot in the door. And let me tell you, it's not a walk in the park, it's more like a marathon through a minefield.

But I didn't let that discourage me. I kept pushing and learning, and eventually, I landed my first job as a junior developer.

Fast forward to today, and while I'm not exactly living the tech mogul dream just yet, I'm at least closer than I was before. To be honest, I'm still closer to understanding quantum physics than I am to becoming the next Elon Musk.

That being said, I've done my fair share of digging into the psychology of success in the tech industry. I've asked myself the tough questions like:

👉 What's my role in all of this?
👉 What's the industry's role?
👉 Are my skills worth their weight in RAM?
👉 Why is that one guy crushing it after only two years while I'm still struggling after five?
👉 What am I doing wrong and what are they doing right?
👉 And of course, what's the magic potion?

If you're anything like me, these questions have probably popped into your head a few (hundred) times too.

The answer to these questions is lightly hidden in the problems. Trust me, from my personal experiences and observations, there are actually reasons why most people don't succeed in tech. It's not like the universe is conspiring against you, but let's take a closer look, shall we?

1. Lack of commitment

If you're not a little kid, you probably know that the real world is one tough cookie. And if you think success comes easy, think again! Even selling drugs takes effort, you know? (Not that I would know, of course... ahem) And don't even get me started on the tech industry! It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, and if you can't handle the heat, you'll get left behind like yesterday's garbage.

I mean, come on! You think you can just waltz into the tech industry with big dreams and high hopes, and everything will magically fall into place? HA! That's like trying to build a house of cards in a windstorm. Learning new technologies is hard work, my friend. It's like trying to decipher hieroglyphics while riding a unicycle on a tightrope. And let's not forget about turning your ideas into actual products! That's like trying to turn water into wine, except without any divine intervention.

The thing is, if you want to succeed in tech, you've got to commit. I'm not talking about half-assed commitment, either. I'm talking about full-on, balls-to-the-wall, all-in, no-holds-barred commitment. You've got to be willing to put in the time and effort to make progress. It doesn't matter if you've been in the industry for five years or five minutes. If you're not committed, you're going to get left in the dust faster than a cheetah on roller skates.

At the end of the day, the difference between the guy who's killing it and the guy who's struggling is COMMITMENT🔥 .

Get back to work

2. Poor work ethic

It's no secret that the world has gone tech-crazy in the last few years. Everyone and their grandma is trying to get in on the action. With all that competition, you've got to step up your game if you want to stand out.

I mean, let's be real here. The tech industry is like a gladiator arena. And if you're not armed to the teeth with skills and ethics, you're going to get eaten alive by the lions. There are people out there who work their fingers to the bone just to stay ahead of the pack. They're the ones who burn the midnight oil and drink enough coffee to power a small village. And you know what? Sincerely, they're the ones who get the job done.

Now, I'm not saying you've got to go all crazy and work yourself into an early grave. That's just plain silly. But you've also got to be aware that there's no time to dilly-dally in this industry. You've got to strike while the iron is hot, or you'll be left in the dust faster than you can say "Java Script" 🤣.

And here's a little secret for you: having a poor work ethic is like trying to run a marathon with two left feet. It's just not going to work. If you want to succeed in tech, you've got to be willing to put in the effort and produce high-quality work. Otherwise, you'll be nothing but a flash in the pan.

3. Inadequate skills

Are you still wearing your baby clothes in this ever-evolving world of technology? Just like your little one, technology is constantly growing and changing. And if you're not keeping up with the latest skills and knowledge, you might find yourself falling behind.

I should know - I've missed out on some big opportunities because of inadequate skills. And you probably have too. The truth is, you can't afford to be complacent in the tech industry. If you're not constantly learning and exploring new technologies, you'll quickly become irrelevant.

Take TypeScript, for example. If you're still stuck on plain old JavaScript, you're missing out on some serious opportunities. TypeScript is where the road is headed nowadays, and if you're not on board, you've got to be.

You can master a skill, but don't stay stuck. The tech world is meant to be explored, so go out there and get your hands dirty. Learn something new every day, challenge yourself, and embrace the ever-evolving landscape of technology. Who knows, you might just surprise yourself with what you're capable of!

New Tech smell

4. Lack of networking

If you want to make it big in this industry, you've got to understand one thing: connections are key. That's right, building relationships with other techies is like having a secret weapon in your back pocket.

Trust me, I'm sure about this one. It was my connection on LinkedIn who gave me my first gig as a junior developer. No interview, no nothing. And let me tell you, that kind of opportunity is priceless.

I've seen plenty of techies who have all the skills and know-how, but they can't seem to make the right connections. That's a recipe for disaster. Without a strong network, you'll miss out on all kinds of opportunities for mentorship, job offers, and collaborations that can take your career to the next level.

Now, I get it. For some of you out there, networking can be intimidating. You might feel like a fraud or an imposter, and that can make it hard to put yourself out there but we've all been there. The only way to get past those feelings is to jump in with both feet and start building those connections. You can make some truly amazing connections that will help you succeed in ways you never thought possible.

5. Poor communication skills

Collaboration and teamwork are as essential in tech as caffeine is to programmers. Without communication, you're as good as a solo developer stranded on a deserted island with no Wi-Fi. In an industry that's all about brainstorming, problem-solving, and building trust, good communication skills are KEY to success.

And don't think that nailing technical skills alone will land you a job. During an interview, interviewers are also assessing your ability to work in a team. If you can't communicate effectively, you'll be about as employable as a Windows 95 developer in 2023. Studies show that those with poor communication skills may struggle to keep up with the pace of the industry and limit their own success. So, study, learn, and speak up or risk being left behind in the tech dust.

Speak up

6. Inability to learn from mistakes

In the tech industry, failure is like the annoying coworker who just won't leave you alone. You can't escape it! But don't worry, failure is not the end, it's just a stepping stone to success. Those who can't handle failure and learn from their mistakes are like a computer without an "undo" button, useless!

The path to success is rarely a smooth one. It's important to remember that failure is a natural part of the journey. No one has ever succeeded in tech without experiencing setbacks, rejections, and making mistakes along the way. The key is to learn from those failures and use them as an opportunity to grow and improve.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is getting stuck in a rut after experiencing failure. Instead of learning from their mistakes and making the necessary changes, they get discouraged and give up on their dreams of a successful tech career. This can be especially true for those who have invested a lot of time and effort into a particular technology or skill, only to find out that it's no longer relevant or in demand.

This is where flexibility comes in. It's important to stay flexible and adaptable in the ever-evolving tech industry. This means being willing to learn new skills and technologies, even if it means letting go of old ones. It also means being open to feedback and constructive criticism, and using that feedback to improve your work.

Ultimately, the most successful tech professionals are those who are able to persevere in the face of adversity. They are the ones who keep pushing forward, even when things get tough. They don't let failure define them, but instead use it as motivation to work harder and smarter. So if you want to succeed in tech, be prepared to fail, but also be prepared to learn, grow, and adapt along the way.

Failure is part of the game.

Success in tech requires more than just hard work and luck. It also requires a strong mindset and a willingness to take risks. The tech industry is constantly evolving and those who are unwilling to take risks and try new things may find themselves left behind. You need to be open-minded, flexible, and adaptable to change. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Embrace the challenge and use it to push yourself to new heights.


  • The psychology of success in tech is a beast that will make you work harder than a caffeinated squirrel on a mission.
  • If you're lucky, you won't have to work forever, and you can retire to Bali with all the coconuts and sunshine you can handle.
  • Those tech gurus on social media didn't achieve success overnight, unless they have some secret time machine we don't know about.
  • Luck is like a chocolate teapot - useless unless you're prepared to make the most of it.
  • As you build your tech skills and knowledge, document your journey like a pro Instagram influencer. Except instead of posing with avocado toast, show off your coding progress.
  • Build your connections like a spider web, and you'll catch opportunities like flies.
  • Go to meetups and hackathons like you're on a mission from Elon Musk himself.
  • Volunteer like a superhero and solve problems like a tech wizard, and you'll be one step closer to a workspace that will make your momma proud.



Also, remember to take care of yourself along the way. Burnout is a real issue in the tech industry, and pushing yourself too hard without taking breaks can be detrimental to your mental and physical health. So, take breaks when you need them, exercise, eat well, and make sure you are getting enough sleep.

Success in tech is possible for anyone who is willing to put in the work, learn from their mistakes, and keep pushing forward. It's not easy, but with the right mindset and determination, you can achieve great things and create a fulfilling and rewarding career in the tech industry.

Mission accomplished

That's all for now peeps! If you enjoyed reading this, hit me up here or on Twitter for more tech tips and witty banter. And if you have any burning questions or thoughts to share, don't be shy to drop them in the comments - I love hearing from you all! Enjoy the journey.

Image credits: Pinterest and Tenor

Top comments (3)

bmeera profile image
Ameerat Bello

Thank you so much for these tips. I enjoyed reading this. Your comparisons are hilarious 🤣🤣🤣 but so clear and vivid. Thank you.

jeffsalive profile image
Jeffrey Nwankwo

I'm glad you enjoyed the piece, Ameerat. Good luck on your tech journey!

bmeera profile image
Ameerat Bello

Thank you so much, Jeff.