Thriving after a career change: Accelerate your learning on the job

Seven years ago, I switched careers from academia to tech. I gave up my tenured position as a professor of philosophy at the University of Missouri and became a junior level software engineer at a startup in Chicago.

I was forty-one years old at the time, and the oldest person in the startup except for the CEO and the founder. There were about thirty-five people in the company, and the average age was, if I recall correctly, twenty-six. And I knew less about my job than anyone else. Even though my new colleagues…