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Don't Be A Dinosaur - Stay Relevant in Development

3de614918b5182f2562bc3659de0b296?s=47 philpalmieri
September 10, 2018

Don't Be A Dinosaur - Stay Relevant in Development

I've been developing on the web for 20 years. Along the way I've picked up some good and bad habits on how to stay current with the ever changing industry.

You may know the stereotype of a Dinosaur Developer - slow moving, content in their own existence, and oblivious to their own imminent demise as the world changes around them. This talk is a hybrid of motivational and pragmatic thoughts and tips on continuous learning, staying motivated, and avoiding being unemployable in the future.



September 10, 2018


  1. Don’t Be a Dinosaur Phil Palmieri

  2. Who Am I? • Started programming in the 80’s •

    First Paying Web Work in DevOps and PHP3 back 1999 • Started and Failed 2 Business (sortof) • Ex-Full Stack Unicorn • Currently a Node Engineer for Government APIs
  3. I was a passenger, not a driver Don’t be these

  4. I Realized I Messed Up I became obsolete • Riding

    the Money Train • Stuck in Silo of Comfort and Success • I Stopped Learning • Client Pulled the Plug, left me 2 years behind trends
  5. Learning to Set Goals

  6. My Changing BIG Goals 1998 Work for Radio Station 2000

    Build Multi-Tenancy 2002 Make 100K 2004 Run My Own Company 2005 Build Tablet App (Flash) 2007 Build Full ERP 2014 Work 40 Hour weeks spend time with my kids / family, less stress 2015 Learn DevOps / Docker / AWS 2016 Build a (useful) mobile app 2017 Get out of ‘web design’ focus on APIs 2018 Mentor more
  7. Goals are just Destinations If You Don’t Have a Map

    • I want to lose 100lbs • I want to buy a house • I want to build an App
  8. Focus on: Processes and Layers

  9. Make a Plan It will change the second you start

    - it’s the process that is important
  10. Make a Plan Goals Daily Weekly Monthly Quarterly Yearly 3-Year

    Work backwards from the big goals Focus on small chunks 30 minutes a day 3 months is: ~40 HOURS 6 Months ~80 Hours 1 Year ~160 Hours What can you learn / build in less than a year?
  11. Make a Plan Portfolio & Personal Brand No, you won’t

    probably won’t be famous or make millions with selfies on Instagram Control what people find when they look you up
  12. Make a Plan Play LinkedIn Yes, it’s loaded with recruiters

    and self promoters, but it’s also where hiring managers and business owners go before they hire - and it keeps you conscious of your achievements
  13. Make a Plan Socialize Local / Industry Slack Meetups (not

    just tech) Volunteer There is some truth to ‘it’s who you know, not what’
  14. Make a Plan Try New Things Languages, Skills, Presenting More

    knowledge is never a bad thing Try CodeTriage.com
  15. Ok, But… HOW?

  16. Make a Plan Try Journaling yes, really • Bullet Journaling

    got me started: bulletjournal.com • Forces you to consciously track and prioritize goals • Review daily AM/PM • Don’t be a purist - do your own thing
  17. Getting Hired…. Non-Creative Segway

  18. Make a Plan • Make a generic one that you

    will not submit • Have someone else edit proof it • Just because you made a Hello World does not mean you are qualified to apply for a Senior Role • Make a new version for each job you apply for Resume Tips
  19. Make a Plan • Practice interviewing - we all suck

    at it • Talk to recruiters - yes, really! • Practice pairing on screen share and talk through problems/solution • Most companies want Fit over Function (to an extent) • Study: Algorithms, Design Patterns, Vocabulary Terms - etc. Interview Tips
  20. Links and Such philpalmieri.me Twitter/GitHub/IG: philpalmieri Bullet Journal Leuchterm 1917

    Journal Interview Questions Algorithms Animated
  21. Thank You! Now, get back work!