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Advice from Dan Wahlin

Dan Wahlin was here this week running an Angular training course.
The Intern team had the great opportunity to steal an hour of his time today to ask questions and learn from an expert. We had some Angular specific questions, but we also got a ton of great life advice.

These are the biggest take-aways I had from our time with Dan.

  1. His greatest strength is his persistence and ability to work harder than others. He said that he might not be the smartest, even though he clearly is very smart, but that he will out work you and he will solve whatever problem he is facing through his persistence.
  2. He also said that it was important to quiet your inner critic. You should not be afraid to do something, but rather use that fear and "go over the wall, not run away." I have also recently begun reading the book Banish Your Inner Critic, which focuses directly on this concept and what you can do to change your inner critic, this advice had really great timing for me.
  3. The next thing will not bring you happiness. Early on he was always striving for that next thing, whether it was a promotion, a raise, a trip somewhere, or whatever else. None of those next things turned out to be the thing that finally made him happy. He had to learn to be happy as he was. Once he figured that out everything was happy and he could spend his time being happy doing what he was doing rather than focusing on the next thing.
  4. Always be learning. The developers he has seen be successful are the ones that are always learning and are willing to adapt and change. One of his hobbies is to learn, rather than spending his time with a leisure activity he would rather be reading about a new technology or trying out some new framework. I think this goes along with his persistence in giving him an advantage that most other do not have.
  5. Lastly, some advice for what he looks for when interviewing developers, be willing to say, "I don't know." If you are not able to say I don't know, then you are going to be difficult to work with and he would not be interested in working with you.

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