If Only I Knew This Shit in College

If Only I Knew This Shit in College

I knew I wanted to work in tech.

Looking back, that's really all I knew prior to graduating from university and joining the working world. I was invited back to give a talk at my alma mater recently and I wanted to give a talk to my less-than-knowledgeable former self and explain to him what he'll learn in the subsequent years after school.

This is that talk.

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Zach Holman

March 29, 2013
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Transcript

  1. IF ONLY I KNEW THIS SHIT IN COLLEGE !

  2. Achieving Your Dreams Zach Holman Senior Web Architect at GitHub,

    Inc.
  3. IF ONLY I KNEW THIS SHIT IN COLLEGE !

  4. I WAS A PARTICULARLY
 DUMB STUDENT

  5. I AM A
 PARTICULARLY
 DUMB PROFESSIONAL

  6. BUT I KNOW SLIGHTLY MORE NOW

  7. THIS IS THE TALK
 I WISH MY DUMB STUDENT SELF


    HAD HEARD
  8. @holman

  9. INFORMATION SYSTEMS, CARNEGIE MELLON 2008 DEVELOPER AT PAC (PALO ALTO)

    2008 DEVELOPER AT GITHUB (SAN FRANCISCO) 2010 WASTED YOUR TIME ON THIS TERRIBLE TALK 2014
  10. IF ONLY I KNEW !

  11. IF ONLY I KNEW STARTUPS WERE FOR ME !

  12. I LOVE STARTUPS

  13. I WAS ONE SUCCESSFUL INTERVIEW AWAY FROM NEVER BEING AT

    ONE
  14. YOUR WORK HAS IMPACT

  15. 13 EMPLOYEES AT ACQUISITION

  16. 3500 EMPLOYEES AT ACQUISITION

  17. FEW CAN SCARE
 THE HELL OUTTA MANY

  18. YOUR WORK IS MORE FUN

  19. MORE OF THIS

  20. LESS OF THIS

  21. MORE OF THIS

  22. LESS OF THIS

  23. MORE TIME SPENT WORKING DIRECTLY ON PRODUCT

  24. YOUR WORK USES COOL TECHNOLOGY

  25. WAY EASIER TO USE PYTHON RUBY NOSQL BRAINFUCK NODE.JS

  26. YOU ALSO GET TO WEAR MANY HATS

  27. YOU’LL BE FILTHY RICH $ € $ $ € €

    $ € $ €
  28. YOU’LL BE FILTHY RICH

  29. DO IT FOR LOVE OF PRODUCT
 AND THE SOMEWHAT
 REASONABLE

    SALARY WITH RESPECT TOWARDS
 SOCIETY AT LARGE
  30. 13 EMPLOYEES AT ACQUISITION

  31. LUCKYGRAM

  32. IT’S A GREAT INDUSTRY, EVEN WITHOUT THE MILLIONS

  33. CONSIDER A STARTUP

  34. IF ONLY I KNEW FINDING A COMPANY WAS HARD !

  35. FINDING THE ONE IS HARD

  36. FINDING A GOOD ONE IS HARD TOO

  37. PAY ATTENTION TO
 COMPANIES YOU ADMIRE

  38. PAY ATTENTION TO
 WHO WORKS THERE

  39. DON’T LET BENEFITS BLIND YOU; LOOK AT THE CORE UNIT

    OF WORK
  40. THE INTERVIEW

  41. THE INTERVIEW PAC WAS STRUCTURED, TRADITIONAL

  42. THE INTERVIEW MUCH MORE INFLUENCED BY MY BACKGROUND

  43. THE INTERVIEW GITHUB GOT ME THROWN OUT OF A BAR

  44. THE INTERVIEW MUCH MORE INFLUENCED BY ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  45. THE INTERVIEW TAILOR ANY INTERVIEW TO THE COMPANY

  46. THE INTERVIEW WHAT DO WE LOOK FOR?

  47. WE’VE PROBABLY ALREADY SEEN YOUR WORK WHAT DO WE LOOK

    FOR?
  48. TASTE AND CULTURE WHAT DO WE LOOK FOR?

  49. T-SHAPED PEOPLE (DEPTH+BREADTH) WHAT DO WE LOOK FOR?

  50. IF ONLY I KNEW LEAVING A COMPANY WAS HARD !

  51. IT’S HARD TO DITCH PLEASANT COMPANIES

  52. IT’S HARD TO DITCH FRIENDS

  53. IT’S HARD TO DITCH THE OFFICE

  54. IT’S HARD TO DITCH THE CITY

  55. IT’S HARD TO DITCH THE INSURANCE

  56. IT’S HARD TO DITCH THE SALARY

  57. IT’S HARD TO DITCH THE PRODUCT

  58. LONGEVITY IS GREAT

  59. JUST KEEP ASKING QUESTIONS:

  60. AM I IMPROVING?

  61. IS THIS COMPANY IMPROVING?

  62. IS THE COMPANY GOING TO BURN IN A CASHLESS FIRE

    MERE MONTHS FROM NOW?
  63. DO I DREAD THE WORK?

  64. SPEND TIME ASSESSING THIS

  65. MOVING UP SOMETIMES MEANS MOVING OUT

  66. IF ONLY I KNEW HOW TO DEAL WITH HATERS

  67. A SWEARING STORY

  68. None
  69. THIS MADE ALL THE WHOLESOME MICROSOFT PEOPLE ANGRY

  70. NOVEMBER 3, 2011

  71. NOVEMBER 8, 2011

  72. NOVEMBER 8, 2011

  73. NOVEMBER 9, 2011

  74. NOVEMBER 14, 2011

  75. Mr. Holman has a lot of growing up to do

    - JSAVIMBI, HACKER NEWS “
  76. I watched his video the other day and the first

    phrase that came to mind to describe him was, "smug little prick" - GEORGIEPORGIE, HACKER NEWS “
  77. Yeah, I just wrote it for the page views. -

    ONE OF THE BLOGGERS, TO ME, A YEAR LATER “
  78. ONCE YOU DO SOMETHING PUBLICLY, IT’S NO LONGER YOURS

  79. PEOPLE WILL DISCUSS IT, REMIX IT, MISINTERPRET IT, IMPROVE IT

  80. IF YOU REALLY CARE, THEN IGNORE THE HATERS

  81. IF YOUR VALUE COMES FROM WHAT PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET

    THINK, THEN YOU ARE FUCKED
  82. SHIPPING THINGS IS GRATIFYING

  83. HELPING PEOPLE IS DEEPLY GRATIFYING

  84. SO, CREATE.

  85. POST SCRIPT: THIS HOT DRAMA WAS THE BEST THING THAT

    HAPPENED TO ME
  86. IF ONLY I KNEW NOT TO JUMP INTO AN UNKNOWN

    BODY OF WATER WITHOUT FIRST PLANNING A SAFE AND EXPEDIENT EXIT STRATEGY !
  87. None
  88. IF ONLY I KNEW NOT TO BE AN ASSHOLE !

  89. - STEVE JOBS “BEING A DICK IS OKAY”

  90. JUST BECAUSE CODE IS LOGIC
 DOESN’T MEAN PROBLEMS ARE LOGICAL

  91. COMPUTERS DON’T CREATE PROBLEMS;
 PEOPLE DO

  92. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A DICK TO BUILD GREAT

    PRODUCT
  93. DON’T GIVE FEEDBACK IMMEDIATELY; COOL DOWN FIRST

  94. WHINY RANTS ARE INVERSELY PROPORTIONAL TO ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  95. YOU WON’T REGRET POSITIVE FEEDBACK

  96. IF ONLY I KNEW HOW TO IMPROVE MYSELF !

  97. DON’T RELY ON WORK FOR GROWTH

  98. BUILD RIDICULOUS SIDE PROJECTS

  99. YOU’LL MEET PEOPLE

  100. PEOPLE WILL MEET YOU

  101. BECOME SMART PATTERNS DUMB EXPERIMENTS


  102. IF ONLY I KNEW EVERYONE IS PRETTY AVERAGE !

  103. EVERYONE IS A BIT INTIMIDATING

  104. THE BEST TAKEAWAY IS THAT MOST HUMANS ARE AVERAGE

  105. EVEN THE “BEST” AND “COOLEST” ARE PRETTY DUMB

  106. “EVERYTHING AROUND YOU WAS MADE BY PEOPLE THAT WERE NO

    SMARTER THAN YOU”
  107. THIS MAKES ME FEEL SO MUCH BETTER

  108. IF ONLY I KNEW HOW THE INDUSTRY WORKED

  109. THE TECH INDUSTRY IS WONDERFUL

  110. THE TECH INDUSTRY IS HORRIBLE

  111. THE TECH INDUSTRY IS SMALL AS FUCK

  112. SOMETIMES IT IS ABOUT WHO YOU KNOW

  113. PUBLICIZE YOURSELF TWITTER BLOG OPEN SOURCE TALKS

  114. QUIT CARING ABOUT TECHNOLOGY

  115. DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE
 STUCK AT A COMPANY YOU DON’T

    LIKE
 WHO JUMPS INTO DEEP RIPTIDES
 WITHOUT LOOKING
  116. @HOLMAN