📚 node [[public]]
📕 text contributed by @jakeisnt

On working in the public.

Problem: I want to work on ideas and collaborate with others. My data, however, is locked, as is the data of everyone else.

We can't properly share information unless we learn in the public; we also have substantial issues learning about ourselves if we do not track what we learn.

Iteration on ideas is just as important as the initial ideas!

Learn in Public

Always create while working! https://www.swyx.io/writing/learn-in-public/

  • Don't judge results by feedback; talk to yourself from some time ago.

  • It doesn't matter how many people are reached with your content. The best beneficiary of you helping your past self is future you.

  • Connect with others:

    • Make PRs to libraries you use

    • Make your own libraries

    • Clone stuff to see how it works

    • Summarize learning in the public

  • Build a persistent knowledge base (like this one!)

  • Always, always, always document what you did and the problems you solved.

  • If people doubt you, have them explain their perspective!

  • Focus on teaching yourself.

Provide feedback

  • Write everything publicly.

  • Ask and answer things on public forums. Do not spend time helping others on private forums.

Do not end the week with nothing

article, from patio11 There is nothing wrong with day jobs! Some really enjoy them. If the job is right for you, that's wonderful.

If the day job is not right for you, learn on your own.

"It is in the employee's personal insterest to stop selling hours of labor and start renting access to his accumulated capital as soon as humanly possible."

In other words, to become valuable, you must accumulate valuable experience, hard skills and trust, then leverage these to continue to be constructive.

If you end the week with nothing, nothing about your life will change! No matter how hard you work you'll come back the next week having built another internal product or having worked with another internal system. This is not valuable to you, and as a student you should prefer pursuing things you benefit from.


Work where people can see you.

This is not exactly the same as 'working in public'. Working in public is working entirely on public projects, while working where people can see you is working in spaces where your work will be seen, recommended and commended.

  • Work on places and projects with above-average visibility. You'll be most likely to be hired and more likely to be noticed.

  • Don't necessarily optimize for 'sexy' projects; most engineering work isn't 'sexy'. Optimize for impact and optimize for visibility.

  • If you cannot gain exposure at your day job, network actively to gain exposure outside of it. Talk about things you create and show them to people!

  • 'Stack the bricks'.The individual who has accumulated an impressive appearance is really one day at a conference talk, one day writing a good library and another writing a blog post. "Brick by brick, the wall gets higher."

Work on things you can keep

You rarely get to keep ours, bank them in the future, etc. Widespread employee ownership of the enterprice is an excellent improvement, but the work you produce concretely matters more than the shares and stakes you hold.

Buying side projects with sweat equity may give you future financial benefits, and there are real benefits to having an object that is yours to curate. Make a standalone web prescence for open source libraries to give others a stake in them.

Consumption can be valuable but creation moves you forward

Reading is valuable, but actually shipping something is so much more valuable. "You'll learn so much more shipping a failure than you'll learn from reading about a thousand successes. And you stand an excellent chance of shipping a success -- people greatly overestimate how difficult it is. Just don't end the week with nothing."


Continue to ask myself whether my contributions are valuable, whether they are noticed, and whether they could be touched by others.

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📖 stoas (collaborative spaces) for [[public]]