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Akos' Weekly Hash - Be the Amateur #4

amateur (1700-1800) French Latin amator “lover”, from amare “to love”

“That’s all any of us are: amateurs. We don’t live long enough to be anything else.”—Charlie Chaplin
My bookshelf finally arrived so I’ll have a decent place for my books.
Yes, I love physical copies.
I was living the minimalistic, Kindle-only, 0 waste, digital book lifestyle but I just love the smell of books.
I’m preparing an order with some books that I already read but would love to have a physical copy of them and also some new books.
Show Your Work by Austin Kleon is one of them.
I already heard a ton of good things about this book and reading through the sample I ran across some great quotes. The above from Charlie Chaplin is one of them.
I consider myself a software professional - I’m doing this for more than 10 years, and hey, I just accepted a CTO role at the company I’m working with for over 4 years.
But inside, in my mind, I’m an amateur - in the original French Latin sense 🧐.
It’s the nature of how I approach problems, think about possible solutions, and accept that I can’t possibly know the answer to everything.
I experiment and I fail - sometimes publicly.
You have to be a lifelong learner to find love in doing this.
I was a proud Software Engineer at the beginning of my career.
The fact that I can build something from scratch that solves people’s problems in their lives;
I’m not bound by budget (at least I thought so) or raw materials;
My only limit is time;
these things gave me a huge ego boost.
I was unstoppable.
My estimates were single-figure hours.
It was madness.
I recently had an experience where people discarded a valid solution in the name of ”I’ve got this, I’m a professional!”.
It took days to arrive at the same solution proposed originally by an ”amateur”.
At some point in my life, I’m sure I was this professional.
It took me many many years to understand that my approach is completely wrong and saying:
”I don’t know, let’s figure this out”
is much more powerful than:
”I know this, I’m a professional”
Remember to stay humble, listen carefully, and check your ego at the front door.
Enjoy the weekend and see you in the next one 🤜🤛
Show Your Work! a book by Austin Kleon - Austin Kleon
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Akos @akoskm

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