The S.T.U.P.I.D. Email – Jul 18, 2021

By Bruno Souza | code

Jul 18

Skill, Thought, Unique, Person, Interesting, Daring
A fun, weekly round of Career ideas!


And… Do you think Open Source can help with that?
(That was a question Edson Yanaga asked me this week)

We were talking about developer skills at Red Hat’s “The Show”, with Edson Yanaga and Sebastien Blanc.

The particular skill Edson was aiming at with his question is the one I think is the most underated of the developer skills…

And probably the most important one…

Important because it is soooo basic. Everything else comes from it.
(The top performers in the world knows how important it is to continuously improve the base skills…)

And the skill is…
(drum roll…)

Read Code.

It’s amazing how many developers come to me wanting to improve, and that don’t practice daily this skill.

We tend to think that reading our own code is enough. Or reading the code in our project.

To improve reading code, you have to read code you don’t understand.


And Edson was right on the spot. Open Source is the best way to improve this skill.

What prevents you from reading code from the top developers in the planet?

Ever though how much YOU can learn just doing this?

(This was just one of the many skill we talked about on The Show!)


“For me, learning only happens when I DO it”.

My friend, business partner, and amazing Java developer Serge Rehem sent me a message this morning, saying that.

He went on and told a story of how he learned a method I had explained to him. In a span of just a few days, he applied it more than 60 times.


He became dangerously good at it! It was amazing!

Rather then have lots of very superficial knowledge of many things, apply a few things as much as you can, and become dangerously good on then.

That will put you on another level.


Even though I work fully remote for more than 20 years, I’m still impressed on how deeply we can make friendships and connections online.

Yesterday I received a visit of a friend I had — till now — only seen online.

I could almost see my brain looking confused… It kept trying to pinpoint were we had met before.

It just seemed impossible that we had not…

We can create unique friendships. Reach out to people at online events and meetups.
Schedule activities you can do together to practice your developer skills.
Keep in contact frequently.

It works with new and also with existing friends too!


I’ll be honest that this is the part I s struggle the most every week… So many cool people to talk about…

But… Is there something that all those cool people have in common?

For me, it seem to have a lot to do with focus and purpose.

We can do a whole workshop on focus and purpose…
(and maybe I should do it… What do you think?)
But for now, I think this video from Simon Sinek can be a great starting point.

Yeah, the video is about great leaders. But, the message is basically that great leaders start from a place of PURPOSE.

(Simon calls it “Start with Why”).

You too can start with your purpose.


Related to purpose and career, I’m very interested in the opportunities we have today to create multiple streams of income.

In the last 3 days for example, my wife, Karina, has been immersed into understanding how to do just that.

I think developers are particularly well suited to build multiple streams of income.

And no, that does not means working more hours. You can’t build multiple streams of income if every one of them requires you to trade time for money.

Think about it. Consider your possibilities.

The sooner you start experimenting, the sooner you will acquire this skill.


None of this is easy…

Read code we don’t understand is painful… It hurts our developer ego, and pushes our “impostor syndrome” switch all the way up.

Facing our true purpose — or total lack of one — is also painful… It forces us to sacrifice our lives for something larger than ourselves…
(worst… It forces us to recognize we don’t want to sacrifice anything…)

To make things even more complicated, considering the need and the opportunity for multiple incomes confuses our purposes with money.

Yes, those are all daring and fearful things that we have to consider in our careers.

And I made it even more challenging by mixing it all up in a single email…

Let me just finish by saying that no, we don’t have to deal with all them at once in real life.


I hope you enjoyed those tips!

About the Author

Software developers have a huge impact in the world, and can effectively improve the planet. This is why Bruno Souza is passionate about developer communities and has dedicate his life to help developers worldwide reach their true potential. The "Brazilian JavaMan" is a Java Developer at Summa Technologies, and a Cloud Specialist at ToolsCloud, where he participated in some of the largest Java projects in Brazil. President of SouJava and Director at the Open Source Initiative, Bruno believes Java and Open Source to be the path to career excellency for developers everywhere, and that taking responsibility for delivering software is the mark of great developers.