Read This Guy’s ‘Biggest Regret as a Programmer’

April 12, 2016

11:32 am

Those looking to dive into the tech startup space, be weary. One user has written “My Biggest Regret as a Programmer“, a post that has been circulating around posting boards over the last few days.

In the blog post, Andrew Wurst writes not only about his own career within the startup space but how the key to creating a successful and lasting career in this industry is not rooted in skills or even creativity; surprisingly, the true secret to a lasting tech career is “actual technology leadership”.

So what exactly does “actual technology leadership” mean? In the post, it’s described as the following:

“…the key is that you can’t make changes in how people do things in a technical sense unless you have the ability, the authority and the opportunity. Once you make that call and assuming you find the right places to grow, the sky is really the limit.”

Wurst elaborates, reflecting on his own experiences and many missed opportunities within the industry to advance. There’s also some reference to the people in his life who have found success by utilizing technology leadership – such as his sister, who has made the leap from programmer to vice president of a prominent company.

The biggest takeaway from Wurst’s post is this: it’s not enough to be just a programmer. In today’s evolving tech startup climate, you must be armed with a variety of skills and confidence to meet any challenges that you might encounter. By embracing tech leadership, you can actually assure yourself more security than simply relying on singular skills.

“Being a programmer for nearly 35 years and still being able to get things done and ship is still fun and I’ve been able to work on amazing things over the years. But I can still feel the regret of not seeking the challenge of just leadership. In some ways programming was the easy choice. Given how close I got to the whole Dotcom timeframe, or even the return of Steve to Apple, and still had recent leadership experience, I could have been almost anything. So yes I regret not taking that choice and seeing where it would have led me, yet I would have missed all the fun of writing code and the soul-draining jobs that often come with it where you can’t really fix anything. I came to a fork in the road and took the one less traveled. Perhaps now I realize why.”

Read the rest of Andrew Wurst has to say in his blog post.

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Cameron is a tech and culture journalist, comic book enthusiast, and lives near New York City. A graduate of Stockton University, she's using her words to shift the world of online journalism, one byline at a time. When she's not writing, she can be found reading sci-fi novels, collecting succulents, and planning her next obnoxious hair color. Cameron is an editorial fellow at Tech.Co. Send your tips to or tweet @BlkGirlManifest.

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