Recently I was listening to a podcast, and the hosts were talking about “finding your sages”. A sage in this context is someone who is light-years ahead of you in a particular area, providing advice and wisdom in public – be it through talks, books, articles, or other media – but who is not directly accessible for conversations with you.
Who are your sages? Where do you go for advice, be it on software or soft skills or anything else? Your sages are a critical part of developing a healthy career. Find those people who improve your knowledge, enhance your skills, and enrich your world-view, then obsessively consume everything they publish.
Early in my SuiteScript career, some my software sages were:
Note I did not say find those who agree with your world-view. If you’re just building an echo chamber of things you already do and believe, then there is no growth or improvement to be had there. Sage advice should challenge you, push you to improve, force you to think critically. While you may not agree with or implement everything they say, it should at least push you out of your comfort zone or show you a different perspective to consider.
They don’t have to be – and probably shouldn’t be – all software sages, either. The more varied and distinct these sages are from each other and from you, the more challenging and enriching the experience can be. The more you leverage their advice into shaping your mindset, developing your unique perspective and approach to problem-solving, the better chance you have to create a truly standout career.