Well, I can’t believe we’ve made it here.
I say “we” because if you’ve joined me through the 200,000 or so words in this book, you deserve some credit as well.
So give yourself a pat on the back, knowing that most people buy a book and never even crack it open; even a majority of the ones who do, don’t make it much further than the first chapter.
But, before you congratulate yourself too much, I want to remind you that there is a huge difference between “reading” and “doing.”
Whenever I sign copies of my first book, Soft Skills: The Software Developer’s Life Manual, I almost always write, “Take Action.”
When people ask why I write that instead of something more endearing like, “Joe, you rock! Keep being awesome!”, I tell them that a book is merely words on a page without action.
So that’s what I would encourage you to do: go out there and “take action.”
I’ve done the best I can.
I’ve given you as much knowledge as I have about software development and how to be successful as a software developer, but I can only do so much.
I can only take it so far.
The rest is up to you.
So, I challenge you — I implore you — don’t let this be just another book you read.
The excuse of not knowing what to do is not one you can hold onto any longer.
You know what to do now.
If you need to get started as a software developer, you know how.
You know what skills you need to have, you know how to pick a programming language, and how to get started learning.
You know how to choose whether or not to go to college, a boot camp, or learn on your own.
And if you need to find that first job, or get a new job, you know how to do that now as well.
You know about internships and getting a job with or without experience.
You know how to create a good software development resume, how to interview and negotiate a salary or raise, and even how to leave a job or switch into one mid-career from another vocation.
And although I couldn’t give you every single detail of everything you need to know as a software developer, you know the basics, from the types of development, to testing and QA, to methodologies, source control, best practices, debugging and more.
You know how to work as a developer and to improve your working environment by choosing to be provocative instead of blaming life or circumstances.
You know how to deal with your coworkers and your boss, how to balance your life, work on a team, present and sell your ideas — even how to dress.
You know how to get that promotion, how to deal with the people who will try to take you down, and how to eventually lead them.
Finally, you know how to take things to the next level — how to advance your career.
You know what it takes to build a reputation and the value of it.
You know how to network and how to build your skills, how to specialize, to create a blog, and get your name out there.
You know your options, what career paths and choices you can make, whether it be climbing the corporate ladder or going out on your own as a freelancer.
So lack of knowledge — for you, at least — is not an excuse.
There is a big difference between knowing what to do and knowing how it will turn out.
None of us know how it will turn out, so we have to take the knowledge we have, do our best to apply it, and then trust the process, knowing that there will be some failures along the way, but as long as we get back up and try again, as long as we do not give up, we’ll eventually succeed.
So, it’s up to you now, to take action, to change your life, to choose to succeed.
You can read this book and say, “Oh, that was nice. Lots of good advice in there.” And that can be the end of it. Or, you can look at this book as the turning point in your life.
The point where you finally say, “I’ve had enough. I want something better. I want something more. I want to be something more.”
I encourage you to do the latter.
It’s those short and fleeting moments in life, when we convert our wishes and aspirations into resolve, that make all the difference.
This is your moment now.
This is your chance.
There are only so many points in life where someone is whispering in your ear, telling you, “Make something happen. Do it. Do it now!”
So, plant your flag.
Set a new standard.
Set a course for your career, for your life, in the direction you want to go.
Resolve today — in this very moment — to take action.
A Final Favor To Ask
Before I let you go, I have a favor I would like to ask of you, if it’s not too much trouble.
First of all, whatever you do, spread the love — share the knowledge.
If you benefit in any way from this book, pass on that benefit to someone else who could use it.
I’d, of course, be thrilled if you decided to gift them a copy of this book, or my other book if you think they would benefit from that more. Make a real difference in someone’s life.
I wrote this book to make a difference.
So if it made a difference to you, all I ask is that you be part of — in some small way or large — making a difference in someone else’s life.
All those little differences add up to make this world a much better place.
But it begins with you taking action and then showing someone else how to do the same.
With that said, I sincerely thank you for reading this book.
I wish you the best and greatest success in your career as a software developer — and in life.
Even if no one else believes in you.
Even if YOU don’t believe in you, I do.
So go out there and conquer the world!