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"Building Ruby Castles In The Clouds" by Noah Gibbs

Noah Gibbs is an author, speaker, lead developer at OnLive, paid Rails expert for Carnegie Mellon, and author of lots of Ruby on Rails software. To promote his GiveGetWin deal, Noah sat down with me to share some incredible insights about working with deep knowledge, how empathy and understanding the user/customer is the path to success in business, and covering many other important insights. If you're a programmer, you'll love Noah's perspective and insights. If you're not a programmer, this might be one of the more insightful interviews you read about why people do programming, and about thriving in a technical skill and business in general.

Building Ruby Castles In The Clouds by Noah Gibbs, as told to Sebastian Marshall

I grew up in the middle of nowhere in East Texas, with nothing there but a state penitentiary. So I had a lot of time with a computer. No internet. Just my Apple II computer, and long stretches of time. They say you need long stretches of uninterrupted time to program.

I had that.

I program because… programming is building castles in the cloud. Concepts on top of concepts. Except that the computer is there to check you -- it's all mental and conceptual, until you find out whether it works or not.

It's not the lack of a degree that's making you underpaid...

Thanks, C. Dense email here, lots of things going on. A few thoughts --

1. You're not underpaid because you don't have a degree; you're underpaid because you've either (1) been unable to show others tangibly your ability to perform highly, (2) don't have the relevant contacts, connections, and/or hustle to look for a higher paid position (which is much easier with connections, but connections can be replaced with just hustling more, which generates connections), and/or (3) you're not good at negotiating.

I won't take one of those extreme positions and say degrees don't matter; they do. But companies don't care about their people's credentials anywhere near as much as they care about results. Even if 90% of companies in the particular space you wanted to work were very credential focused (and in programming, it's much lower than that at the best companies to work), you'd still be able to get a great position by just contacting enough people. 

So, ask yourself: how's your Github look? Do you write publicly? Do you have documented work you did a good job on? Do you regularly go out and meet people, and talk about the space you work in? Those are what get you paid more highly, not a piece of paper.

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