Two Qualities To Succeed In Tech

Building a career in tech is difficult. There’s no getting around that. The field is constantly evolving, there’s always something new to learn and always a new challenge to face. Mentorship seems to solve this problem, or at least help us navigate better; but …

You will not find a mentor

Everybody needs a mentor, but only 0.1% (or even fewer) get one, and given the slim chances most of us will almost always be on our own. Not having a mentor does not mean that we won’t succeed in tech, instead, it just means that we will have to learn things on our own.

Hence, it is our personal responsibility that we own our career by taking complete ownership. But, how exactly?

The Two Qualities

The qualities that help you build a thriving career in tech are bias for action and extreme ownership. Let’s talk about them in detail

Bias for Action

Given most of us are on our own, it is important to not procrastinate. Procrastination prevents you from being timely and consistent in learning and at work. Procrastination always leads to you operating with a time crunch, thus affecting the quality of learning or work you ship giving you undue stress and anxiety.

Hence, it is important to build a strong Bias for Action, that will help you expedite every action - be it learning, wrapping up work quickly, doing those quick prototypes to understand a concept, etc; all in all … just getting things done.

When you have a strong bias for action, you are more likely to start working on tasks right away, even if they are difficult or challenging.

Extreme Ownership

No one likes taking follow-ups or hearing excuses, and extreme ownership deals with exactly this.

Extreme ownership means taking full responsibility for your work, both your successes and your failures. It means never making excuses, and always looking for ways to improve.

When you take extreme ownership, you’re not just saying that you’re responsible for your work. You’re saying that you’re committed to doing everything in your power to make it a success.

Here are a few examples of how you can showcase and operate with extreme ownership:

  • Be proactive
    • Don’t wait for your manager to tell you what to do. Identify problems and find solutions.
    • Do not wait for your manager to ask you about the status, be proactive in sending out periodic updates about it.
  • Be accountable
    • When something goes wrong, don’t blame others. Take responsibility for your mistakes and learn from them.
  • Be committed
    • Be willing to go the extra mile to get the job done. It is perfectly fine to put in additional hours if required.
  • Be reliable
    • Show up for work on time and meet your deadlines.

When your colleagues and managers trust you, they’re more likely to give you important assignments and promote you to positions of responsibility.

Additional Tips

A few additional tips for accelerating your tech career:

  • Be a lifelong learner. The tech industry is constantly changing, so it’s important to be committed to continuous learning. Read books and articles, attend conferences and workshops, and courses if required.
  • Be visible and involved. Get involved in your company’s tech community. Attend tech meetups and conferences, and contribute to open-source projects.
  • Be patient and persistent. It takes time and effort to build a successful career in tech. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. Keep working hard and learning, and you’ll eventually reach your goals.


Super practical courses, with a no-nonsense approach, are designed to spark engineering curiosity and help you ace your career.

System Design for Beginners

An in-depth, self-paced, and on-demand course that for early engineers to become great at designing scalable, available, and extensible systems at scale.

Details →

System Design Masterclass

A masterclass that helps experienced engineers become great at designing scalable, fault-tolerant, and highly available systems.

Details →

Redis Internals

A course that helps covers Redis internals by reimplementing its core features like - event loop, serialization protocol, pipelining, eviction, and transactions.

Details →

Arpit Bhayani

Arpit's Newsletter

CS newsletter for the curious engineers

❤️ by 70000+ readers

If you like what you read subscribe you can always subscribe to my newsletter and get the post delivered straight to your inbox. I write essays on various engineering topics and share it through my weekly newsletter.

Writings and Videos


Essays and Blogs

Arpit's Newsletter read by 70000+ engineers

Weekly essays on real-world system design, distributed systems, or a deep dive into some super-clever algorithm.