Ok - I finished listening to the interview, and have some more thoughts.
First of all, Madison is one of the most upbeat guests we’ve had on the podcast. It’s clear that she takes pride in her work as a developer and as a teacher.
Whenever she starts talks about her childhood - being homeschooled all the way through, with almost no structure at all - I get a bit envious. She spent months at a time deep diving into topics she was curious about like dinosaurs, or just digging really deep into a video game.
If someone can grow up with that little structure and still turn out as capable as she is, it really does call into question the necessity of a lot of my experience as a kid in late 20th century American schools. Madison is just an anecdote and may not be representative of homeschoolers in general, but it does give me something to think about.
Madison has some excellent book suggestions here, as well. I picked up Cal Newport’s Deep Work for me and @beaucarnes to read.
One of the most important things Madison talks about is her willingness to work for free - essentially as an unpaid intern - early in her developer career.
People will quickly point out that few people are in a position to just work for free. And to them I would point out - around 1/3 of Americans go to college, and during this time they are not only forgoing full-time work but also spending a lot of money on tuition, fees, and cost of living. Sure - in 2019, much of that is debt-financed. But I know many people who were able to room with your parents or a friend in an inexpensive city, and do an unpaid internship while living off savings or working a part-time job.
Not everyone can afford to go to college, and similarly, not everyone can afford to do an unpaid internship. But I would encourage people to step back and really evaluate all the numbers before they dismiss the idea of unpaid internships (or of college, for that matter).
This unpaid internship seems to have been critical for Madison’s development of skills as a developer, and ultimately for her developer career.
Overall, I really enjoyed this podcast and I encourage everyone to give it a listen.