Draw your own map is a very interesting pattern. And a pattern that feels relevant to my journey. Draw your own map means that a software apprentice may need to leave his current job, if that employer is not providing the right path. What I like about this pattern is that it forces the apprentice to consider, and write down that path that is best for him. Instead of what his current employer wants.

This pattern feels relevant to me as I am graduating and starting my career in tech. I have worked at a company for a few years, in a mostly non programming role. But I have done some coding work part time. Upon my graduation in the spring, I was offered the oppurtunity to stay at my company, and join the automation department. Where I would be developing software. I was very happy to be offered the role, but I had to draw my own map. I knew that I would be able to grow as an apprentice more effectively at a bigger company, with more resources to train me. So I made the decision to move on.

There are many career paths in tech these days, as there are more oppurtunities that there has ever been. Some people stay in development for their entire career, and many switch to management roles. I don’t think that changing to technical management is a bad thing. But I do agree that each apprentice should draw his own path. Because it can be easy to just follow the road that your employer lays out. But it is much more rewarding and fufilling for an apprentice to draw his own path.

There will be more times in my career where I will change paths. I could change the industry I work in, or the tech stack I use. But the idea behind the pattern is that I should make these decisions for myself. As a developer, I am fortunate to have many possible paths, so it is very important that I consider which path will be the most rewarding to me.