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    This is very good. The only thing I’ll add is that learning a few tricks that play to your strength can directly compensate for weakness.

    For example, front end design is not an area of strength for me. My “one trick” that compensates is that when I do need to do anything in the fronted end space I focus on the simplest possible solution AND make use of my cargo culting skills to copy paste and get the job somewhat done.

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      My own take on this has been to avoid hype-driven areas like ML in favor of seemingly-underrated areas like control theory.

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        I’m not sure how this follows from the article. The core piece of wisdom seems to be:

        For me, two ingredients for figuring out what to spend time learning are having a relative aptitude for something (relative to other things I might do, not relative to other people) and also having a good environment in which to learn.

        If anything, that take sounds closer to the generic internet advice that should be closely scrutinized (not to mention the large similarities between ML and control theory and the frequent overlap in things such as PIDs)

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          Everyone knows there’s overlap between RL and optimal control theory. (Ditto with linear feedforward control and ARIMA regression.) It’s really a question of approach, not techniques.

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        A very good article.

        Of course, for someone just starting out it’s difficult to identify your aptitudes. The article suggests asking other people, but that only works in some environments and possibly only after you’ve studied and used some skill.

        My approach has been to try and learn a bit of everything to understand what works well for me. I figure you can spend the first decade of your career trying different things and learning (about yourself as much as technology) and you still have decades left. I’ve spent that decade already, and I certainly know my own skillset and suitable career directions much better than I did five or ten years ago.

        How did you go about finding what’s good for you?

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          This essay has inspired me to drop what I’m doing as a programmer and fulfill my duties as a traveling musician