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July 09, 2020

The safest path to misery

What do you not want to be?

There should be 8 billion ways to define success; one for each one of us. We were told to just follow paths, though. The truth is that adopting someone else’s definition of success is the safest way to personal misery.

Our tech industry is full of superficial advise to achieve success: get a 6-figure salary, write books, work at big-tech companies, do open source, start a podcast, speak at conferences, co-found a company, you name it.

Do you really want all that?

If you’re like me, you’ve felt anxious and overwhelmed by these standards. You feel you’re not moving fast enough. You feel like quitting sometimes.

Make a full stop here. Stop thinking about what you want to be. Start thinking about what you don’t want to be. Embrace it. Accept your strengths and weaknesses. Stop chasing mindless goals. Let go.

Don’t feel good speaking at conferences? don’t do it. Don’t want to spend your free time in GitHub? cool, stay away from open source. Blogging is not your thing? don’t even think about it then. Try things and learn to give up.

You don’t need any of that to succeed as a developer.

Accept what you don’t want to be and move on. Define what success looks like to you. Then double down on your 1 or 2 strengths and live the life you truly want.

What are you willing to give up to?


I'm Carlos Roso. I'm a Software Engineer at Meta. Former SDE at Amazon. Ex digital nomad at Toptal and Crossover. In love with open source and design.

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