Building Your Brand

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Action is what uncovers more opportunities. The only mistake is doing nothing.

One of the most widely known tech contributors in the last decade is Satoshi Nakamoto.1 Not only did Nakamoto’s ideas contribute to blockchain technology, but he is the founder of Bitcoin. So popular is his influence, the smallest unit of Bitcoin is named after him, a Satoshi. The best part is that no one knows who he is. That’s right, the founder of Bitcoin is completely anonymous. Better yet, Satoshi Nakamoto is believed by many to actually be a group of contributors acting under a single alias. Their resume and work experience are irrelevant, because their body of work speaks for itself.

While we may never garner the same acclaim as Nakamoto, this story captures the beauty of technology. Our identities can be shaped and amplified beyond what’s possible in the physical world. Our current employment and resume can extend our influence, but we are not limited by them. More than almost any other industry, the work of an engineer can speak for itself, or at least on our behalf.

You, On the Internet

Friend, code school founder, and business owner Richard Simms prefers to set realistic expectations. He councils, “You are not going to come out of a coding bootcamp and land a six-figure developer position at Google on day one. Honing your skills, building up a portfolio, and gaining experience is rarely enough. You need to build relationships, grow your network, and be ready to search hard for that first foot in the door. Getting your first job is going to be hard. As you build up credible experience, you will have more options and increase your earning potential. As you invest in yourself each day, your credibility grows and your nontraditional background becomes less and less relevant to folks that will consider you for their team.”

The following suggestions when applied regularly, can help you develop a richer online presence. The first few suggestions are actionable steps. They’re tasks that shouldn’t take longer than an hour or so to complete. As we discuss contributing online deeper in the chapter, remember the importance of baby steps. Reputations are not built in a day. You do not need to know everything from the beginning. Circumstances will change, the industry evolves, and new opportunities seem to appear overnight.

Annie Liew, who you may remember from the chapter on Knowledge Work, shared a comforting insight. She compares getting started to driving in the dark. “I love the analogy of driving at night. You cannot see what’s beyond your headlights but you trust that you’re going in the right direction. As you keep moving, more of the road is revealed.” Action is what uncovers more opportunities. The only mistake is doing nothing.

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CTO at Fast Company’s World Most Innovative Company (x4). Author of “Code School”, a book to help more people transition into tech.

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Morgan J. Lopes

Morgan J. Lopes

CTO at Fast Company’s World Most Innovative Company (x4). Author of “Code School”, a book to help more people transition into tech.

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