Very infrequently, students ask me about my career — which means they’re asking about their career, as they start looking beyond course selection and final projects, and into getting a paying gig.

I’m always quick to caution that one person’s path isn’t necessarily a pattern for someone else to follow. And on a more personal note, I’ve been independent for some time, and still don’t really know what I’m going to be when I grow up.

But alongside those caveats, I do have some general advice I give to new developers and designers. Until recently, there was only one item on the list; and now, more recently, there are two:

  1. Set up a blog somewhere, anywhere, and write as much as you can. If I’m in a position to hire you, I don’t just want to see the quality of your final mockup, your finished set of templates: I want to learn how you got there. I want to read what worked, what didn’t, and the decisions you made along the way.
  2. Read Ursula Franklin’s The Real World of Technology, or listen to recordings of the original lectures. (Or both!) And then, once you’ve done that, consider returning to it every so often.

The matter is now settled. (At least, I guess, until such a time that it isn’t.)