Level up.

Level up.

Welcome to the 27th issue of Zero to Hero Highlights.

This issue happens to be almost on Halloween night, so happy Halloween 🎃 to those who celebrate.

Last week I did a lot of research and wrote a lot of content. I’m sure you’ll like it. Here are some of the highlights.

Be the Next Version of Yourself

Be the Next Version of Yourself is what I’d call the roadmap of all roadmaps; I strongly suggest you read this if you haven’t already done so.

In the article, I tried to summarize my personal perspective on a path you can follow to become a great software craftsman. While that’s not the only path, it’s a path that will indeed work and help you become the next version of yourself.

Resources Every Developer Must Read—No Exceptions

The title says it all 🙂. In Resources Every Developer Must Read—No Exceptions, I provide you with an opinionated bedtime reading list that will give you perspective. After completing the bedtime reading list, you’ll look at software development differently.

Grab Your Chisel and Start Pounding

Grab Your Chisel and Start Pounding is my take on why I believe “reinventing the wheel” is crucial for us to grow.

Assuming there is no true answer and continuously asking questions is better than sticking to a presumed solution. Instead, dream a better dream and reinvent to make it real.

Don’t Make the User Think

Knowing how and why the user thinks is essential. Knowing what makes the user “not think” and act instinctively can differentiate between a “good enough” product and a great product. Knowing how to design usable, consistent, coherent, and delightful interfaces is an essential skill.

In Don’t Make the User Think, I outline the importance of knowing enough user experience design to be dangerous at least, no matter which part of the stack you work on. Then I provide helpful resources that can help you brush up on your UI/UX skills.

You Liked Them? There’s More Coming Up

That’s all for now, but there’s a lot in my drafts that are coming up in the following weeks. Here’s a small subsection of my drafts waiting to be published.

Drafts waiting to be published.

Drafts waiting to be published.

Next week, I’ll prepare for my GopherCon talk, so probably I won’t have many published articles, but we’ll see 🙂.

On the topic of GopherCon

I’ll See You At GopherCon Turkey (virtually)

Yep, I’ll be speaking at GopherCon Turkey. Here are the details:

The talk will be in Turkish, speaker deck, audience notes, and any other material will be in English.

I’ll upload them somewhere after the talk and share them with you. I believe the video will be recorded, too; if so, I’ll share it as well.

It will be fun. It has been “a while” I’ve been away from the stage 🙂

Random Thought of the Week

A promotion is an exciting event. Typically, you assume more responsibilities, grow up in your career, feel a heightened sense of achievement.

Though, getting promoted takes more than a job well done.

Even if you are a high-performer, exceeding expectations, you’ll often still have to convince your superiors that you deserve to level up.

Let’s see what else you need to do to prepare yourself for the next step in your career.

It’s All About Inception

Plant the idea first. Promotions don’t happen overnight. It can sometimes take months, even years, to build a case around why you deserve one. So plan to have an initial conversation with your manager, clearly stating your intentions.

There are several ways you can do this:

  • Mention it during your annual performance review.
  • Or talk about it in your one-on-one sessions (if you don’t do one-on-one’s with your manager, then you might want to ask them to set it up first—one-on-ones are powerful, and you have every right to request a weekly or bi-weekly one-on-one from your manager)
  • Wait until you’ve accomplished a primary strategic goal, and then bring the topic of promotion (this one is my favorite because your achievement already starts building a case for you)

Then you can initiate a discussion with something along these lines:

“I feel I’ve been meeting the requirements of my current role and the goals we’ ve set together. I’m happy to contribute and make a bigger impact. I’d love your guidance about how I can assume more responsibility and get to the next level of my career.”

☝️ That is saying “I deserve a promotion” without saying “I deserve a promotion” 🙂.

Do Your Homework

You cannot assume that your manager is aware of all of your achievements and capabilities. More than not, they will need a reminder, both from you and your advocates.

Yes, you’ll need to build a network around you to advocate for you and tell your manager that you do deserve a promotion.

Also, document your achievements. Every. Single. One of them. I cannot stress this enough: If you don’t demonstrate your achievement, you’ll forget them. And how can you expect your manager to remember your achievements if even you cannot remember them? So write down every single win you’ve had, no matter how small it is. In addition, keep a brag folder on your desktop, and put everything you can brag about into that folder.

Demonstrate Your Soft Skills

Identify projects that demonstrate your soft skills. Soft skills are non-technical skills that show your ability to work well with others and coordinate them when needed. Soft skills are crucial to your career growth. So the more you can demonstrate them, the better.

  • Show that you can take the initiative and go beyond your current role to collaborate with others in a high-impact project.
  • Show that you connected with internal and external stakeholders to improve the team’s outlook.
  • Demonstrate that you can resolve a dispute with the customer or between your colleagues.
  • Show that you can communicate effectively with impact.

Present a Persuasive Case

Always keep the bigger picture in mind. Visualize to your boss how your achivements have helped your team, your business unit, and even the company at large to reach a collective goal.

However, keep in mind that there is a thin line between self-advocacy and self-promotion. Let your colleagues promote your work. You just outline facts and result that you have achieved. Stick to the fact you’ve documented that reflect your track record, provide vivid examples of your performance and ask your boss to review those cases from their lens and provide their point of view.

It’s Hard Work, and It’s Worth It

Making a case for promotion is a tedious and demanding overtaking. So the earlier you begin, the better.

Don’t forget: Confidence comes from preparation. Don’t let your case collect dust until the last minute. Start right now so that you’ll be ready when the time comes.

Look What I’ve Found

Here are the things that grabbed my attention this week.

I typically don’t share these anywhere else.

Exclusively hand-picked for you 👌. Enjoy.

Thanks a Lot ❤️

That’s all for this week. Next week, I’ll gather more unique content and resources.

So, until next time… May the source be with you 🦄.