How Developers Can Stay Ahead: Mindset, Approach, and Philosophy By: Tim Huebsch Vancouver digital agency and an employer of multiple Lighthouse Labs graduates Goat spoke with our very own co-founder and head of education Khurram Virani. The discussion centred around how developers can stay ahead and the mindset needed to remain on-trend with the latest technologies in an ever-changing industry. Below you'll find excerpts from the interview. How should developers or potential developers think about staying up-to-date on code and development trends? KV: I guess I’ll start with this: essentially what we’re trying to tackle here is constant learning. The software profession is unique - but not the only one in the world - where you really do need to keep up on a monthly or weekly basis with what’s going on in the industry, because it’s evolving faster than any other industry. Whether you’re on the software side or the hardware side, technology, in general, is changing a lot. This affects developers quite a bit. That’s the heart of the problem. Hopefully, the reason that developers entered their profession is that they wanted a career that wasn’t stale. It’s not doing the same things over and over. They want to feel like they’re constantly growing, and that takes a unique kind of individual who likes change, as opposed to being afraid of change. You need that mindset. The mindset of wanting change, needing change, and actually feeling uneasy when there’s no change going on in your profession. Ultimately, the stuff that makes someone a good developer is the approach, the philosophy, and the mindset. On Day 1 at Lighthouse Labs, we talk about the growth mindset. The idea is that you’re constantly looking at yourself for areas of improvement, but not looking at change as a reason to feel imposter syndrome or FOMO. We teach our students to balance those two factors out as they grow. Sometimes, that imposter syndrome can actually distract and make you focus on what’s new and shiny, so you lose sight of your overall goals and where you can create value for yourself and others. How does Lighthouse Labs decide what to prioritize teaching students? It’s dialogue. We’re constantly talking to employers about what sort of skills can add value, and talking with our mentors about what they feel is relevant and can add value. Generally, because of the work we do, we’re looking at the industry trends that are coming… we’re not looking at fringe things or hip trends. Hip trends are a trap that developers can fall into because they want the LinkedIn badge or the recognition, but they should be looking at what adds value to their businesses. That’s what we focus on, the end goal.