In a dynamic field like software development, one can never know everything. However, if you manage to learn faster than others, it’s like with compound interests: you develop your skills faster, you get more interesting challenges, you gain more experience, you have more impact, etc.
At Catalysts, most of our team members are software developers. Most of them started to program at a young age: browsing the web, copying and pasting code, and making some changes. It all starts small, in one particular programming language. With time, you learn to understand the various control structures and when to use which data structures.
The larger your programs get, the more you have to think about how to structure your code, about coupling and cohesion, about encapsulation and data hiding, about abstraction and modularization. You learn different programming languages and different programming paradigms. Overall you gain deeper knowledge as a software developer.
But delivering working software involves more than just the coding part. It starts with understanding the requirements and it ends with testing whether everything works as expected. By working on real projects for real customers, you get the chance to deepen your knowledge not only in the field of programming itself, but also in the neighbouring areas of the software development process. In the end, you are an expert coder but also have broad knowledge in several other areas like requirements engineering, software architecture and quality assurance.
However, there are even more dimensions:
- Coaching new colleagues and leading teams
- Managing projects
- Consulting and teaching
- Marketing and growth hacking
- Founding and developing a business
- And many more
Catalysts offers a wide range of challenges (like startups, large agile projects, research, and product development in joint ventures) that allow you to keep expanding your horizon and developing your skills in all those dimensions. You can grow to become a star with deep expertise in multiple dimensions. You grow professionally and personally.
A couple of years ago, we have visualized the personal growth from “i” to “I” to “T” to “★” in a short video. Watch it now!
(German version is also available)
Basically, what I’ve described so far has been my own path, first as a software developer, now as an entrepreneur. It has been a long and rocky road, but it was worth the journey.
Since quite some time, we’ve been working hard at Catalysts to make it easier for our team members to follow a similar path. Our goal is
- To make the many paths visible
- To have enough travel guides available for the different paths and segments on those paths
- To help our colleagues to get ahead faster (personal development)
- To have the global oversight (from a company perspective) and influence well enough what skills to develop so that our team members can fulfill the company’s skill demand now and in the future (personnel development)