Eric Gradman - CTO, Inventor, Artist

Eric and I discuss side projects, being a generalist, and the value of adaptability and learning quickly.

Featuring Eric Gradman, Co-Founder and Mad Inventor at Two Bit Circus


Talking Points: 
  • What is Two Bit Circus? 
  • Coding involved in Two Bit Circus.
  • The inherent value of side-projects.
  • Should you only focus on the latest frameworks? 
  • The interview process of Eric Gradman.
  • Possible pushback in side projects.
  • What would Eric do if he was just starting out as a Junior Dev? 
  • Specialization vs. generalization? 

Quotable Quotes:
  • “Give us twenty minutes and we will turn you into a certifiable, freelance surgeon!” - EG
  • “So much of my repertoire and things that I have learned are directly attributable to side projects that I have learned.” - DG
  • “You will never learn faster or more easily than if you are learning to further a project of your own.” - EG
  • “It helps your soul to learn something new.” - EG
  • “Your side projects should be driven by something that interests you.” - EG
  • “When you build a side-project for yourself, you have all the jobs. You are the product developer, product designer, the project manager, you are your own boss, you are the developer, and CEO.” - EG
  • “Being the person who decides how the idea becomes reality is such an important skill.” - EG
  • ” I think it is important to recognize that even if it was your side-project [ … ] depending on what your goal is [ using the latest framework ] may not be what you need to do.” - DG
  • “[ Using a new framework ] is kind of like ordering something online and waiting for it to be delivered. The anticipation is so much sweeter than the delivery.” - EG
  • “At least give something [ new frameworks ] enough time to get stuck in your head well enough that you are productive with it. Instead of jumping to the newest one.” - EG
  • “[ With side-projects ] What you are demonstrating is that you can handle novel challenges and novel problems, whatever they are.” - DG
  • “When I interview, I ask you ‘Do you know JavaScript?’. They say, ‘Yes, I do’ . I say ’Ok, program this thing for me in C#.’” - EG
  • “I am not hiring you because you know everything you know to solve my problem. I am hiring you because [ of your ability to deal with] issues you have never encountered before.”
  • “If you can learn one language, you can learn ANY language.” - EG
  • “I learned React, I could learn anything. What problems do I want to solve and what should I learn in order to solve those problems.” - EG
  • “I don’t tend to hire specialists, I tend to hire generalists, jacks of all trades.” - EG

Notes:

Eric’s website
gradman.com
Two Bit Circus
twobitcircus.com
Junior-to-Senior Community
community.juniortosenior.io