How to futureproof your tech career with Ruben Harris

Product Hunt Radio

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47:41

Jan. 7, 2020, 9 p.m.

On this episode Abadesi talks to Ruben Harris, founder and CEO of Career Karma. They help match you to the best coding bootcamp for you and publish a directory of over 450 bootcamps.

In this episode they talk about...

How he broke into tech and how Career Karma is helping people get into the industry

“There are currently about 50,000 people graduating from four year universities every year [in software engineering] and about 40,000 people graduating from bootcamps. There are about half a million open jobs for software engineers. In the next five years there will be about 400,000 people graduating from four year universities and 1.4 million open jobs — so about a million people have to get jobs outside of college.”

Ruben talked about his hustler’s approach to getting into investment banking after having graduated from a small school. He applied the same approach to getting into tech and talks about what he wishes others knew about the industry knowing what he knows now. He explains what Career Karma is doing to help more people get into the industry and talks about the transparency they are providing in the bootcamp landscape. He also talks about some of the benefits of downloading their app, like coaching, mentorship, and motivation.

How to level up your career

“As a software engineer and really anybody in general, you really want to think of time as your most precious commodity. Whether you’re exploring college or online courses or bootcamps, you want to factor in the time that it takes you to complete the program, so that whatever time you’re investing now creates more time for you in the future.”

Ruben says that most people who are in software engineering now are actually self-taught. He talks about how software engineering is analogous to the music industry in that most musicians are not classically trained either, yet the music industry is accepting of most people, regardless of what their background is like, if they can do the work. He explains how people who are already working can increase their earning power by enrolling in a program that provides them with a credential, without having to go back to school.

What makes a good software engineer

“The ability to communicate is underrated — being able to communicate what you want, what you need help with, what your value is, the way that you talk to yourself, the way that you talk in a corporate environment, the way that you communicate with others, the way that you express your emotions, the way that you express how you feel.

He breaks down what makes people in the Career Karma community successful, talks about the importance of passion, and why it’s important to treat your work like play. He also talks about the perception of hiring managers and why presenting yourself in the best possible light is an important piece of the puzzle.

The importance of humility

“Humility matters. There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance and I think confidence is extremely important, but you can be humble and confident at the same time.”

Ruben talks about confidence and humility, and why it’s important to get the balance between them right. He says that it’s like playing the cello, where a good musician can move a room to applause even while playing very quietly, while beginner musicians want to play as loud as they can all the time. He also talks about authenticity and one of his favorite books of all time: The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance.

“If you think about most people who go to work, they have masks on. If they go home and are a different person, they were pretending to be a different person to get the job. What would the workplace feel like if everybody came to work with their mask off?”

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