Staying on top of emerging trends is difficult enough, so what should you do when your whole career feels, well, stuck? 

In this week's episode of Dev Interrupted, join co-host Conor Bronsdon and Charles Max Wood, CEO of Top End Devs, as they delve into overcoming career stagnation for developers. They discuss strategies to reignite momentum in your career, highlighting the importance of effectively showcasing your work, building strong networks, and committing to continuous learning. 

Whether you're a newcomer seeking direction or a seasoned professional aiming to stay competitive, this conversation offers valuable insights and practical tools to confidently navigate today's complex tech landscape and get 'unstuck' in your career. 

Episode Highlights:

  • (2:30) Framework to learn emerging tech
  • (6:00) Are devs struggling to stay current?
  • (10:30) Trends devs need to be aware of
  • (18:00) Learning a new skill or language
  • (24:00) Optimizing for happiness
  • (27:00) Chuck’s most inspiring stories

Episode Transcript:

(Disclaimer: may contain unintentionally confusing, inaccurate and/or amusing transcription errors)

Conor Bronsdon: Hey, everyone. Welcome back to Dev Interrupted. This is your host, Conor Bronsdon, and today I'm delighted to be joined by a fellow podcast host. and that is Charles Max Wood, CEO of Top End Devs. Chuck, welcome to the show.

Charles Max Wood: Hey, thanks.

Conor Bronsdon: Great to have you here. As I noted, you're a podcaster yourself and not just for one show like us, you are part of several, through Top End Devs, you host podcasts reaching over 70, 000 developers each week.

So I'm excited to get some of the benefit of, uh, your input since you talk with so many engineering leaders. Many of your shows focus on the ins and outs of a particular programming language like JavaScript Jabber or Angular or the specifics of iOS development and you've been at it for over a decade now. So you've interviewed what hundreds maybe thousands of engineers and during leaders at that time?

Charles Max Wood: Yeah, we've produced what like 4500 podcast episodes over the last 13 years, 14 years, something like that. 

Conor Bronsdon: So to say you've done a few would be an understatement. And you said something really interesting before the show started that I want to start off with. You said, people are looking at the broad scope of tech today, and with so much new tech coming out, they're kind of struggling how to know how to stay current.

What's your advice as someone who, you know, you've been around for a decade, you've seen these changes happening, you've talked to so many folks, how would you suggest developers apply a framework to help them make that decision? 

Charles Max Wood: Right, so, I do have a framework for this, but uh, just in kind of broad terms, Yeah, I talked to people and they're seeing, just to name a few things in, in the current, space, right?

In web development, they're looking at Core Web Vitals from Google, or they're looking at just performance in general. Core Web Vitals is a set of performance metrics, but you also got, new frameworks or new versions of frameworks or new tools or, you know, I think the latest, uh, hype thing was, The, the stuff that came out of, what's the name of the stack?

Uh, Ryan Carniato put it out, SolidStack, right? Where you had the, you know, different ways of updating state on your web pages and things like that. And so, yeah, it's, it's all of these things, right? and then you've got tools and new tools are coming out, new ways of hosting things and anyway, it gets pretty overwhelming pretty fast because you feel like you have to be an expert in all of the things and even if you're just focused on one, stack, there's still stuff coming your way all the time.

And so it's, it's tricky. It's really tricky to know what to do. So what I recommend people do. Just to stay current, there are a couple of things. One is, is that if you can go to a local meetup, a lot of times just talking to other people will help you be able to prioritize the things that you need to learn.

And, I give people the advice that you don't have to know everything, right? You don't have to learn everything. You just have to learn the relevant things for the next thing that matters, right? And then you can continue to do that. And so it's kind of a blend of what am I working on now, and where is my career going to take me, or where do I want my career to take me, and what do I have to learn in order to get there, right?

So some of the stuff you're going to keep current on is going to be tech stacks, tech tools, things like that. But maybe you want to go management track someday. So some of it's also going to be like leadership, communication, stuff like that. And I recommend that people blend it. But yeah, the framework effectively comes from, I read a book by Russell Brunson called Dot Com Secrets.

I think it's in that one. and he talks about the Dream 100. And what the Dream 100 is, is it's who are the 100 people that I need to be paying attention to or that are talking about the stuff that's relevant to me. And then what I do is I take that and most media outlets these days have some kind of RSS feed.

YouTube actually does as well. And so I've been using a tool called Content Studio. Which is actually made for you to ingest a whole bunch of stories and then share them to social media. I just don't use the share them to social media piece. And then I go through and I pick the things that look like they are trends.

And I'm able to generally pick out, okay, we need to be talking about these things. But, uh, at the end of the day, that's, that's one way at least of seeing what new stories and things like that are coming out is by doing that and signing up for newsletters and stuff like that to give you lists of articles and things like that.

Conor Bronsdon: And given how extensively you read and explore this space, I absolutely want to talk about future trends that you're seeing and do some forecasting. But before we get there, I want to understand more about. Your perspective on how this kind of a framework and the approach devs have to take to stay current has changed over the last Several years.

Yes, there are more tools today than ever that people can leverage to further advantage But it also means there's this breadth of knowledge that folks feel compelled to go after Do you think developers are struggling in a way that they weren't say 10 years ago to actually consume knowledge and stay current?

Charles Max Wood: Yeah, there are a couple of things that have made the difference there. one of the major ways that they're struggling in ways that they weren't 10 years ago, let's say, or five years ago, is that, and I mentioned meetups to begin with, a lot of those kinds of things slowed down or stopped during COVID.

there weren't as many conferences or meetups or things like that. And so that made it harder to just see people out there talking about the technologies. And so just our ability to connect as a community has really suffered. And I'd like to see that change back a bit, but it seems like people aren't as willing to go out of their way to create those situations.

And so, I'm working on doing that as much as I can with top end devs. but I haven't cracked that particular nut either. The other thing that's different is that depending on the community that people are in, so I tend to spend most of my time in the Ruby community and the JavaScript community, and with the Ruby community, the rate of innovation and things like that, you know, that you have to stay current on, is much slower.

Things have stabilized to the point where staying current on Ruby stuff is not Terribly hard, right? And so then it's just the minor updates and things like that that come out to some of the things that we've used for a long time that, uh, you know, we update people on that and then you have the occasional major change to things, right?

And so you have a new, like, they came out earlier this year with a new deployment library for Ruby on Rails. And, you know, and so, yeah, that was worth talking about for a little while, right? but, The JavaScript community is different. And, I remember when Node. js was brand new, right? It was a new innovation every other week but the, the rate of change was, you know, it was frequent and it was fast and it was fun because it was all new stuff and.

What we've seen is we've seen JavaScript grow into more and more and more areas and take on more and more and more concerns. And so, if you're in the JavaScript world these days, trying to stay up, even if you just focus on React or Angular or Vue, there's still a much wider breadth of things to keep track of now than there were back then.

And it... Hasn't slowed down a ton, right? And you have bleed over between these different ideas, and so at the end of the day, you wind up with these situations where there's a lot of change in a lot of places, and it's just really hard to... Keep up with.

Conor Bronsdon: And so you think the rise of AI enabled tooling, like, I mean, just using chat, GPT, basic or co pilot other, other tools will help kind of fill that gap of where folks are like, Hey, I can't have the breadth of knowledge and all this stuff.

Let me focus my area and be really good at, you know, prompt engineering for certain pieces.

Charles Max Wood: Maybe, I don't know that it's going to replace things in this particular area of concern, right? It's not going to substitute for my knowledge of what the latest thing is, what I have seen is I've seen these AI tools make up for sort of the common regular things that I need to work on or replace or be able to do.

Right. And so, when I use them, what happens is, is I'm more efficient in these areas. And so then I can go and learn the state of the art things that are coming down the pipe in other areas. And so it may help with some of this, but it's not going to keep me current. It's just going to serve as a tool for me to more easily and effectively do what I'm already doing.

Conor Bronsdon: Right. And so then you still have to make the effort to apply that framework or up or dive deeper.

Charles Max Wood: Right, but I may be able to get more done and then spend the time, you know, spend the time that I gained back to stay on top of what's out there.

Conor Bronsdon: So what trends do you see coming then? You're someone who's very on top of what's happening lately, obviously you're paying attention to these tools, what's coming from the industry as a whole and for developers, uh, as far as the next thing they need to be aware of?

Charles Max Wood: If I, if I have to call out a couple of trends that I think are going to come hard and fast, I think the number one is going to be integration of more AI in programming.

And it's not just going to be AI tools. It's going to be AI parts of your backend and the need to understand the different models and how they're used and how to, use your data and fit your data to what you're doing without overfitting so that you, you know, you get good results on a regular basis. I think people are going to need to understand AI much better going forward.

And that's probably in my head, a three to five year. Trend that we're gonna see, it's, it's gonna become much more of a thing, a much more immediate thing. I think within the next year or two. I think we're gonna see a huge uptick in the need for people to understand security.

Conor Bronsdon: And I mean, that's been, that's been ongoing, right? But it feels like it's accelerating.

Charles Max Wood: It's been ongoing, but it's going to get worse. And the other, the other way that it gets worse is that, I can see applications of AI to get passed. security openings in programs. I definitely see that and I'm very comfortable calling that. I kind of have the sense that, there's something out there waiting for its moment to happen in more distributed systems.

You know, or distributed apps is what people are calling them. They usually use blockchain technologies with those. I don't know what the killer app is, but I have a feeling that something's coming. I just don't know when or what. 

Conor Bronsdon: Yeah. I mean, we're seeing distributed ledgers get used in like supply chain and these different areas already, but I, I agree with you.

Like what's going to be the thing that kind of hits public consciousness. And I'm not sure.

Charles Max Wood: I think that's going to come within 10 years. I don't know if it's going to be next year or in 10 years, but I feel like that's coming, but honestly, I'm very, very comfortable with the idea of AI permeating a lot more things.

And not just because it's trendy, but also because it's effective and useful. And then, on the other end of it, uh, the security stuff. And then finally, I think we're going to see a lot more movement in the infrastructure as code platform engineering space. Uh, yeah, that's been a huge thing for us this year that we've seen.

No question. Yeah, absolutely. But just looking at the state of things with like, Kubernetes and Helm and Docker and all of the tools people use now. There is so much rich ground to plumb I think we're, we're going to look at things the way they are now in a few years, and we're going to be like, man, we've come a long way.

Conor Bronsdon: Oh yeah, it feels like, I'll say DevOps in particular is really evolving currently, where like that next stage of tooling and, and how all these development processes work and how tooling interacts together, it's clear that we're on a cusp of a major change and we're starting to see those trends already to your point.

Charles Max Wood: Yeah, I think, I think of DevOps more like Agile, and then platform engineering is more the technical end of that. And so I think there's going to be more crossover with the way we work within DevOps, but I think a lot of those principles have really been explored deeply. And I don't know that that changes so much as just it fuels the way that we think about our, our tooling.

Conor Bronsdon: Yeah, the tooling end though, is I think, to your point, where we're going to see this massive change. Because the way we work is going to change.

Charles Max Wood: Yeah. 

Conor Bronsdon: But it feels like that focus has been a lot on like process, right? On like, Hey, how do we communicate? How do we, you know, break up teams into different smaller units and have them interact?

And now we're saying, okay, now that we've done a lot of that work, let's jump back in and say, how do we fix all these tooling issues that are evolving? Especially now that we're bringing AI into our code and kind of adding all these different, uh, efficiency metric pieces.

Charles Max Wood: And we may see some crossover with, uh, platform and AI, right?

So AI is designing our infrastructure. I don't know, but at the end of the day, I think we've been going into the ways that we communicate between teams or embed DevOps into our dev teams or ops teams. Uh, we've been talking about that since the Agile manifesto and before, I think that's just going to continue on whatever slow burn it's on.

Yeah. I, I think the change is going to come in the tooling.

Conor Bronsdon: I feel like, and I could be off on this, but in let's say three years, once we've seen this kind of burst in platform engineering. Changes in the kind of platform tools. Maybe we'll kind of see a re ignition of that. Hey, is, are these processes around it?

Right. But it definitely feels like the, the area of focus now is how are the tooling, uh, interacting? Like what do we need to do on the infrastructure side? Uh, infrastructure as code, as you pointed out, and like really making like programmable workflows that have high degrees of customization for companies.

And then I'm sure we'll figure out, you know, two, three years down the line, once we've explored AI in that area more and kind of have these tools in place, we'll go, Oh, actually, we have to rethink this process now, because we're using AI for, you know, 25 percent of our code, 30, 40 percent of our code, who knows?

Charles Max Wood: Yeah, well, I mean, I think we saw just the differences in programming languages that we had in the 2000s versus the 90s versus the 80s necessitated a lot of this. where we started talking about Agile teams and extreme programming and stuff like that. So I could definitely see that as a, as a natural outgrowth of things, right?

Where before it was mainframe programming and you'd have one guy go squirrel away for a year and come back with your mainframe code. Yeah. Right. It just got to the point where computers were so efficient that we needed a team to design the system that went. On to the server. And then we got, now we're to the point where, yeah, we're building out entire infrastructures in our code.

And you know, that's, so we talked about it again, came up with DevOps. And so, yeah, that makes total sense to me.

Conor Bronsdon: Do you see the programming languages we use today, rapidly changing here the next few years as well, as AI starts to take certain burdens off us or, or, or kind of do some of that grunt work, as you said?

Charles Max Wood: Honestly, my inclination, and we've already seen this to a certain degree, is that they will change to accommodate more of the kinds of problems that AI solves. And so, you know, right now a lot of these things are written in Python. you know, I could see languages evolving so that they're much more concurrent.

They can take care of, you know, they can handle multiple cores better. They, you know, solve a certain class of problems better. I could see hardware picking up some of the slack on some of that, and so then your languages take advantage of the hardware, uh, chip design stuff, and, you know, and so we, we may evolve into a world like that.

I guess languages could start taking advantage of AI type features, right? But, I don't think they'll fundamentally change so much as just, Maybe add new language features in that allow the AI to take advantage of them. Right. Somebody could sit down and yeah, they'll enable themselves as opposed to change what they already have.

Cause it's, it's hard to give up backward compatibility unless you have a really compelling reason. And I don't know if that's compelling enough.

Conor Bronsdon: So this brings up an interesting point. We're going to see all this change in tooling. We're going to see potentially languages adjusting themselves to fit those new realities.

We have some clear trends we expect. What career advice would you give to engineers who want to stay current and maybe learn a new skill or learn a new language, uh, over the next couple of years?

Charles Max Wood: Right. So most of it, and I've, I've been talking to people, I've been coaching people on a lot of this stuff where, yeah, they're, they're not sure where to go next.

and, and it's tricky too, right? Because if I'm working for a company that's using current technology, which they all are, right, I do need to gain a certain level of expertise in that that's not. The future looking thing, right?

It's just the, Hey, I've got to get my job done thing. Sure. And so I, I tell people to spend at least 20 or 30 percent of their time that they spend learning stuff, learning things that point to the future. And the thing is, is that even if, you don't know off the top of your head, what's going to come next, you can still see some of these trends like the AI tools or AI as, as a whole, or things like that.

And you can go pick those up and. Yeah, the current technology or the state of the art there will change, but if you understand the context now, then you can work off the context, you know, it gives you enough of a baseline to where you're ahead of the game later. And, uh, so like right now we're doing our book club, toppendevs.

com slash book club. We're doing it on AI and it talks us through AI tools and algorithms and, and things like that. Right. And. all the examples are in Python. Top end devs, we don't even have a Python show. Right? We have an AI show. But the point is, is that it's going to become a highly relevant in demand skill.

And so if I have it, and I understand it, or at least I understand enough of it, then I can get into an organization and either help them start it. Or get into an organization that's already using it and I can move ahead with my career in that area. Or I may get into it and realize that I, I hate everything about AI.

And so then I start looking at some of these other forward moving things and maybe I get an infrastructure as code or I just stick with the technology that I'm in because they're going to be using it for the next 10 years if they're using it now because somebody's going to have to maintain that software.

Totally. I mean, how much stuff is still built on Unix? Right, and so that's the other advice that I give people is like, look, you don't have to be on the latest and greatest thing. You don't have to be in a place where you're, uh, trying to prove out, you know, new technologies. You don't have to invent anything.

And so, Understand the forward, moving forward, thinking stuff, but if that's not your cup of tea, then there's nothing wrong with that. Just make sure that you're highly relevant then in the area you want to be in.

Conor Bronsdon: I appreciate the parallels between the way that you're thinking about an individual's career and how a company thinks.

You know, if I'm a CTO, and I'm looking at, you know, how am I apportioning my resources across my team? Probably 10 percent of that. Hopefully is going to be innovation, right? Maybe more, maybe, you know, only 5 percent if we have a high keeping the lights on budget, but hopefully, uh, you've got a percentage that's moving forward.

You know, you've got 50 percent on new features, however, you know, your team set up, but you're going to want to keep something aside to say, okay, what's the crazy thing we need to learn? What's the next step? And I think you're kind of applying that approach that many companies take to an individual's career and saying, okay, yes, you need to kind of keep the lights on with your job.

You need to do well at that, but. You also need to think about what's next and really map out, maybe not your next step directly, but the next learning opportunity for you so that you can reach that next stage, presuming that you want to continue to grow and kind of stay relevant or, or even get ahead.

Charles Max Wood: Yeah, the other thing that I would add is that sometimes the step forward is not, uh, the up and coming technology. Sometimes the step forward is being the team lead. Yeah, being middle management, being a CTO, uh, starting your own startup, being a tech influencer with a YouTube channel, speaking at conferences, being a dev evangelist, I mean, all of these other things are kind of non standard track fair that, yeah.

Make a lot of sense or, uh, you know, being, uh, application engineer or not engineer and, uh, an architect, right? And so that their job really is to go look at these new technologies and see how they fit. if you're looking at your career, there are a lot of different ways you can go that aren't the standard.

I'm just going to be a better, faster, more relevant dev. And so I encourage people to explore them all. The other thing is, is that, you know, you're talking about Companies, you know, looking at it and going, hey, 5%, 10 percent innovation, things like that. But the thing is, is that if you really think about the way that they operate, it's not the CTO coming up with this in a vacuum, right?

What's happening is, is they're talking with the CEO, they're talking with the chief marketing officer, they're talking to Customers, probably they're talking to a whole bunch of other people. They're talking to people in the industry. They're talking to your, their competitors and what they're doing is they're formulating all this stuff and they're trying to read the tea leaves and say, what's coming and how do we, how do we profit by it?

Right. I I've worked at some companies where they, they think they can maintain the status quo and stay relevant. Most of them are wrong about that, but, The reality is, is that, yeah, the, the ones that are really forward thinking and are moving in the right direction, that's what they're doing. And so if you're doing the same kind of thing, then, then you can stay relevant, stay on the radar, and you can also then have these conversations with the people who are trying to make those decisions and help influence the, the direction that they go in, and a lot of times you wind up getting paid to learn this stuff, which is really fun.

Conor Bronsdon: I love that insight because. I think it's something I'll say I've experienced my own career is like looking forward and saying, okay, I have a vision for the future. I'm interacting with others who have that vision. I'm trying to understand it. It's been a huge career differentiator for me both in my individual contributor skills and as a team leader.

So, uh, great advice. Definitely echo that. I'm curious as you start to coach someone on this, You know, there's a plethora of programming languages available, technologies available, there's platform engineering, there's AI, all these areas you'd go into. How should an engineer evaluate and determine which, you know, new skill set, new language, or kind of new area of maybe team leadership they should actually go into based on their long term career goals and the evolving landscape?

Charles Max Wood: So, I have some kind of non traditional advice with this. I'm going to start with kind of the low hanging fruit, though, and then I'll move into that. so, the way that I recommend people do this is, first, you want to look at what that actually looks like for you, right? Because, ultimately, You want to optimize for happiness.

That's, that's what I'm telling people, right? at the end of the day, you can get a job that pays you really well to work in tech, right? so what you're looking at, you're probably looking at, hey, I can probably get paid a little more at some company out there to do whatever, a wide range of things, right?

And you know, I've, I've been doing. Ruby for what? 16, 17 years, right? But if I went to another company tomorrow and said, I've never written more than a few lines of Python, and they wanted, they were looking for an experienced developer to write Python, they may still hire me. Just based on the fact that I have enough experience to where I could probably pick things up more quickly than, say, somebody with a few years experience who's been doing Python for a year or two, right?

There, there's a trade off, with what you get out of that. And so, you, you're kind of in a flexible place, right? Where if, if you go out and you make some effort, right? Even if they wouldn't hire me, just not having written any Python, I could probably get myself to a proficiency level that they'd be comfortable with within a few months.

So. If you're really looking at, okay, where do I go from here and how do I get there, uh, go try it, right? Go try writing whatever it is, right? If you want to move into AI, you know, go pick up a book, go watch some videos on YouTube, go, talk to people who are doing AI, I keep saying AI, but most of the time we're talking about machine learning and machine learning algorithms.

but you know, so then you do that work, right? And you can figure out, okay, this is what that job looks like. This is what this kind of, uh, relation to other developers is. Here's what I've got to learn. Here's what I've got to know, right? So that I can show up to an interview and I can have a good showing.

And in the course of that, you may figure out, like I said before, This isn't the thing for me, right? And so then you can move on to something else because a lot of these skills are transferable.

Charles, I really appreciate you sharing all these insights from your time, uh, and your own experiences, with our audience. I know they're going to find it especially interesting. I'd love to kind of wrap up the conversation with something you mentioned, which is that you've seen this incredible boon of access to, you know, developers all over the world.

Conor Bronsdon: And I know that you've had incredible conversations with devs, engineering leaders worldwide. Is there a particularly impactful story or, you know, profound interview that you've done that you could maybe share a little bit about for our listeners?

Charles Max Wood: There are a couple of them that kind of come to mind.

Most of them are from a few years back the reason that they, they come from a few years back is cause it's easier to see the impact as you go. So I'm going to talk about two of them. And then I may mention one or two others that you can go listen to and kind of think about. So the first one is, we had the late Jim Weirich on our show on Ruby Roads.

And. We had him on and we talked about the solid principles, which were coined by, Bob Martin, Uncle Bob, and he was talking about how those apply to Ruby. And we, we had him on the show, we, you know, we had, uh, just a terrific conversation about it. And probably for the next year or two, there was an ongoing conversation about how we arranged our code based on the solid principles.

That came out of that, and a lot of code got a lot of cleanup and a lot of help. Just thinking about, oh, if I apply this principle to my code, it makes all of these things easier, right? And at the same time, it was writing the code in this way sometimes is challenging. And, that, that was all part of, of the legacy I think that he had with the Ruby community, among other things, he, you know, he contributed a lot of things to Ruby, a lot of utilities that we still use, right?

But, yeah, that was one that, I mean, we, we saw massive change in the way that people approach software, uh, just based off of that episode. another one that comes to mind and, and this one is. I'm going to give you three examples because the other one's kind of interesting. So the second example I'm going to give you though is, we interviewed Brendan Eich who created JavaScript and we talked to him for like two hours and he just kind of laid out where JavaScript came from and what influenced him and what the story was and where it was headed and all of this stuff, right?

and this was, this was after he'd left Mozilla and he'd founded Brave. but anyway, just so many people appreciated just understanding the history of where JavaScript came from and understanding, okay, this is why it works the way it works. And, you know, just connecting those dots for people and making them feel like they were part of the crowd.

It made a huge difference and, he to this day still tells people to go listen to that episode. That's fantastic. the last one that I want to talk about is, and, and this one's funny because it was, it was one that we just recorded ourselves, right? So, so the first two we had well known guests. The last one, we had Katrina Owen kind of took the lead on this.

It was also a Ruby Rogues episode. It is by far our most listened to episode, and it's how to learn. It's about how to learn. And, it's, it's just, you know, we talk through learning strategies and, I mean, people still just come to it as this, okay, how do I, how do I figure this stuff out? Right? And in an hour, she very succinctly, breaks down learning strategies for programmers.

And this is an episode that we recorded like eight years ago. people, people just love it. And, you know, she went on to, uh, found Exorcism, which is, uh, an exercise, uh, coding exercises, driven by tests. And they've got like a zillion languages that you can go, uh, learn programming concepts on.

and things like that, right? So she's gone on to do a whole bunch of other stuff. But, I can't even measure the impact of that. And I have people reach out to me still and let me know that that one was one of their favorites. And it was because they kind of got stuck and it helped them kind of get unstuck.

And so that's right there. Yeah. And some of the stories are, you know, I mean, that's essentially all the story I get. And some of the stories are, I was in a really bad place. personally and professionally, right. You know, basically borderline abusive work situation. And I didn't know where to go. I didn't know how to get out.

And I picked up this episode and it encouraged me to go learn certain concepts and I was able to move on to a better position and boy, I just, if there's anything that just makes me sad, it's seeing people who come into this industry. And just feel like there's nowhere for them to go. And so seeing people have the opportunity to come out of that and really, you know, pick it up and, and see what the possibilities are.

I mean, I, I just can't say enough how lucky we are to be in this industry. There's so many opportunities. And even with the, the hiring slowdown that we saw over the last year and a half, it's starting to speed up back up now. you know, where people weren't sure that they could move jobs or anything else.

You know, just helping people see, hey, there's, there is a possibility here for you to be happy and to get paid what you need to get paid and do what you need to do and be happy in the work you're doing. I mean, holy cow, I, I, I can't express how disempowering it is to feel stuck and how empowering it is to all of a sudden see the opportunities that are out there for you.

And so, you know, just, just having that open up, right? You know, back to the Brandon Eich story, I mean, he was just a guy working on What was it? Net, Net, Netscape? Yeah, Netscape. I think so, yeah. Right? And, you know, he was just a programmer dude, right? And his work just happened to be the one that took off, right?

And so to tell people, hey, look, you can do this too, right? you know, talk to Jim Weirich about his story, right? You can do this too. And, and that's the other piece to it is, here's how you learn what you need to learn, but... None of this is out of your reach if you're willing to figure out what it takes and then to do the work.

Conor Bronsdon: Well, Charles, you've got me fired up to go learn something new, so I really appreciate you coming on and sharing your insights and having this conversation. Before we go, I just want to ask, what can we tell our listeners about what you're up to and where they can go learn more about what you're doing at Top End Devs?

Charles Max Wood: Right, so if you go to slash devinterrupted I'll have a page up there where you can join our newsletter and it'll explain what we have to offer. I'm not going to make a hard sales pitch on here. I mean, ultimately what I want to do is I want to provide people the opportunities to get to know each other.

I want to teach you the skills you need to learn and, you know, help you build that personal brand. And, you know, and I'm putting together courses and meetups and having experts come talk to us if you're a member and stuff like that. But, Just go to top end dev slash dev interrupted, and we will, we'll have basically a way for you to sign up and if nothing else, just get on the newsletter so I can give you ideas on how you can grow and learn and, uh, you know, move ahead because you know more than the money.

I mean, the money's nice 'cause then I can buy clothes for my kids, . and they do like to eat. I have teenagers, they like to eat a lot. Oh yeah, you're in for it. Yeah. But. Uh, at the end of the day, I just, uh, if you're stuck, it just, it really hurts, it hurts deep down inside me. I just, I feel that because I've been there, right?

And, and it's been in my career, my personal life. I've, I've been down in that hole and if I can help pull you out, let me help pull you out. Right? I, I often do free coaching for people that are stuck. Right. And so, if you go and you join the newsletter, yeah, periodically I send an email out just, Hey, look, I want to know where people are at.

Here's how you get on the free coaching. and then, yeah, if you join the membership, then we'll give you all kinds of resources.

Conor Bronsdon: I, I love it, Chuck. Thank you so much for the time today. Definitely check out, if you've listened to this episode all the way through, you haven't already pulled up TopEndDev slash Dev Interrupted in your mobile browser or on your, computer, make sure you do it.

I think it's a fantastic mission of what you're doing and I'm really excited to listen to these new shows you're coming out with. That's it for the episode, folks. If you want to stay up to date on all things Dev Interrupted, you can also check us out on social media or subscribe to our sub stack, devinterrupted. substack. com. and we're active on LinkedIn and Twitter, where you can find episode highlights, event updates, and more. Definitely check out, uh, Charles's as well. You can find him at CharlesMax Wood. And, if you want to contribute to our sub stack, we're also looking for guest authors for our 2024 season, so reach out, let us know, and we'd love to hear from you.

Thanks so much, Charles.

Charles Max Wood: Yeah, thanks.