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Ep 17: Chris Heinen (Part 1): Full Stack Developer. Skydiver. Adventurist.

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Chris is a full time, full stack developer at Arnold Worldwide. I had the pleasure to work with Chris on a number of projects. I invited Chris to speak to my audience about his journey of becoming a developer after a few career switches, to staying relevant in this ever-changing technological environment we all live in.
Chris gave much credit to his mentors who set up his success as a developer.  If you don't have mentors in your immediately network, make sure that you take advantage of meet up groups.
Chris also speaks to the possiblity for people who are interested in technology and development to be self-taught.

"You need the personality to learn, create, and constantly seek out new information. Technology is always changing."

"Get out of your comfort zone!" is such an important element to success. Chris emphasizes one of his key takeaways while he was still in school:"When you are in college, you tend to have friends who have similar experience, anxieties because you all have the (more or less) the same staring line." Instead, Chris left his campus and started skydiving, where he met an awesome group of very diverse people who were well along in their careers, including senior developers who quickly became his mentors.
I call this technique "proximity-based learning from extraordinaries" that enabled Chris to learn at a speed that doubled if not tripled the speed of his peers.


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