Abilities involved in quitting
2 min read

Abilities involved in quitting

The "developer transition archetypes" I posted about this week could probably be broken down into component parts. This would let you figure out where you're at and what archetype might be easier to transition into after quitting, or which abilities you might still need to level up. RPGs all need a system to represent near-unlimited kinds of characters so why not this?

Different games use different systems but they mostly follow a similar pattern: abilities and skills. Sometimes abilities are also called attributes.

Abilities describe aspects of you: Dexterity, Charisma, Wisdom, Intelligence, etc.

Skills are what you do: Archery, Axes, Swords, Illusion Magic, etc.

Abilities govern skills.

Morrowind's skill system

Let's start with a system we know works at scale like D&D's abilities:

  • Strength
  • Dexterity
  • Constitution
  • Intelligence
  • Wisdom
  • Charisma

Millions of players have been able to create a unique build just from these abilities. How well does this translate to this idea of a Developer RPG?

Strength covers physical power, something we don't really care about. We aren't wielding weapons but we do wield code/technology with different levels of proficiency. This could be Expertise.

Dexterity affects your agility, dodging, and maneuvering. Being a developer isn't really physical but "quickness" seems relevant, or the ability to bounce back from failure perhaps. Things like funding or access to resources seem relevant so perhaps that's Means.

Constitution affects your health, stamina, vitality, etc. which definitely feels like mindfulness, well-being, and mental health. Working on improving your mindset is really important for quitting, so let's change this to Mindset.

Intelligence affects how well you cast spells, languages you can learn, and... well, intelligence. We don't cast spells but Business is a critical aspect to working for yourself and pretty magical to developers.

Wisdom reflects how attuned you are to the world around you. This feels relevant still but in a different way, like developing habits and systems, for example time management skill. I might change this to Intention.

Finally, Charisma is about interpersonal relationships, how well you can persuade, and everything to do with other people. In a working context, this feels like Leadership.

Here is the list and also some example skills that seem to make sense:

  • Expertise: Specialization, Implementation
  • Means: Personal Finance, Creativity
  • Mindset: Outlook, Mindfulness, Critical Thinking
  • Business: Marketing, Sales, Communication
  • Intention: Focus, Time Management, Prioritization
  • Leadership: Speaking, Mentoring, Coaching, Teaching

This is a good starting set of abilities I think and we'll continue exploring whether or not there are some others hidden in the patterns of each archetype or that get exposed once I start thinking of specific skills.


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