What Matters?

This section is about something that people in technology and engineering tend to oversight, they usually call it "soft skills", and although it covers some of that, I'm talking about something much more significant. It's about a way of thinking, and a way of being, that enables you to work effectively, individually, and in cooperation with others.


  • This is the most powerful concept I've learned to apply, professionally and in life. For anything you might encounter, it's likely that there will be contrasting ways of approaching it, and within those ways you're likely to find extremes. When you go too much into generalization and abstraction, something developers love to do, you over-engineer. And when you don't do enough of it, the work falls short for having little impact or too narrow of a scope. So having an internal radar to detect the right balance can make all the difference.

    You need to be disciplined, but you also need to be flexible. You need to dream and be creative, but you also need to be realistic and pragmatic as needed. Opposites are everywhere, and people who create stuff need to be able to identify how they influence what they're doing, and consciously act with awareness of them.


  • I believe that to be great at this one, you first need to have an internal desire for acquiring knowledge and experience, which is initially very personal and individualistic. But then you also need the desire to share and to help others in their own journeys. To have the humility to learn in all situations and from everyone no matter their stance or status. To have the courage to assume leadership and guide others when required.


  • Everything in the world is communication. Some of us who learned to communicate with the machine through programming languages have made the mistake of thinking that we don't need to be that good at communicating with fellow humans because it's not the main job after all. In general, people in specialized fields tend to believe that there's some sort of compensation that covers one thing with the other. That's just not bad for the person that's not able to articulate their vision and knowledge effectively, it also leaves the space for others who might not be fit for the job to take more relevance than they should by exploiting their charisma and skillful rhetoric.

    Learning to speak your mind, with precision, with awareness, with determination, is invaluable in any field.


  • This is a big one in software. There are thousands and thousands of tech stack combinations. Developers can fall easily in a rat race for the newest, most effective, most used and shiniest tool. Although it's important to stay open, accept and sometimes embrace change, this industry in particular is guilty of whimsical behavior, chasing what's new for the sake of it, with minimal returns, and in most cases causing waste and the so-called and dreaded technical debt.

    I believe that you first need to focus, deeply, on knowing what you're looking for, what is it that you really need to do, what's your purpose. Then you think about what tools to use, accepting that there's probably no perfect one. So you adapt, but you adapt the tools to what your mind needs, not your mind to how the tool works, and that distinction makes a world of difference when developing products, and specially when creating something of any innovative value.