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29 y/o. Did well in high school, didn't do to well in my school's comp sci program (only minored).

At work, adopted a policy to always try to own more things and make things easier for others (particularly those above me) without becoming a silo for information. Write everything down, make it accessible, and give people status updates (which include any accomplishments) before they ever need to ask for them. Then, just get to work, and own things as much as possible. Because of this, I was able to show ownership above my given position for every single job, which really helped when the next opportunity came along. Additionally, always be learning / focused on continuous improvement. If you can constantly be thinking about ways to chart a path forward and suggesting those things when they make sense, you work to make everyone's life easier.

You also have to know your market and not be afraid to leave whenever the writing is on the wall or when you feel your ownership is limited. Leaving for those reasons rarely leads to hard feelings; if you leave because you want better ownership in helping your company but aren't granted it, and have a track record of success, usually people don't want to see you go and you'll leave on good terms.

With this outlook, I went from a college grad in 2009 making 45k/year, and 6 years later I'm about to lead a team at 185k/year with a 40 hour work week (and paid overtime, somehow). Which reminds me: also, be grateful -- we work in an industry that gives us a ton of opportunity.

Ownership, proactive communication, continuous improvement, and knowing your market/value.

That's a really good story. Are you leading a technical team?

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