How a world trip made a programmer’s career
Planning a round-the-world trip can seem as complicated as a space shuttle launch. There a million things to think about: plane tickets, visas, money, etc. The hard part is that everything seems important. Where to begin?
Alex MacCaw wrote a helpful, in-depth post titled, “How to travel around the world for a year.” Although he’s mainly talking to a Silicon Valley audience, his insights and practical advice would appeal to anyone.
What struck me about his post was that MacCaw’s trip was actually a boost to his career. Anyone who’s considered a career break has probably encountered some nay-sayers around the office. They often say things like, “It’s a tough economy, better hold onto your job,” “You’re so close to getting a promotion!” “Don’t throw away your career!” (Spoiler alert) By the end of the trip, MacCaw got a sweet job at Twitter.
How did the trip impact his employment prospects? One of the decisive benefits was that travel afforded him a lot of free time, a scarce commodity in today’s fast-paced world. He wrote a programming book, did some coding for open-source projects, and joined e-mail lists of other developers that he met up with on the road. All of these things contributed to his resume.
On a personal note, reading that post reminded me of the many computer and tech professionals I’ve met around the world. There was one memorable occasion at a hostel in Hong Kong: every one of my roommates was either a university student majoring in computer science, or already working in information technology. That might have rubbed off of me, since I later became a Linux user and studied web design.
Do you work with computers? Do you work during your travels? Please share your stories in the comments.