I've been working as a software developer for about 4 years now. Before that, I had graduated from college with no clue what I wanted to do. I received a degree in Business. The most generic form of education one can get. I hadn't given my future much thought.
I knew very early on that breaking into this field with no prior education would take real work. Sacrifice. But the biggest challenge would be finding guidance from others. I had no friends that knew how to code. No mentors. Nothing.
The double-edged sword
I needed experienced voices that would lead me down the right path. So I took to Twitter. Over time I came to know the big names in the community. You know, the ones who are doing great work and sharing it and look like superheroes from afar.
I soaked up every ounce of info I could from these people. It was a great way to learn. It still is. But it's a double-edged sword.
I started to notice a pattern in my behavior. I became over-protective of my "free time". I said no to so many things, choosing instead to work on my craft. To get better. I wanted to be one of those names. I wanted my work seen.
Comparison is the thief of Joy. - Mark Twain
It took me a few years to realize that I wasn't on the right track. I thought that what I was looking at was the real definition of success. I had come a long way, but I wasn't satisfied because I was comparing the body of my work to everyone else.
I write software because it's challenging. It's creative. And most of all because it's fun. Be comfortable with where you're at in this pursuit. Enjoy the process. That's success to me. That's a happy developer.
Have you ever felt this way? Let me know your thoughts!
On the blog
Last year I had a thought pop into my head that I had to write down. It was an analogy. I took a mind dump in my notebook, dated it Jan 10, 2017, and moved on.
While parsing through that notebook a few weeks ago I came across that very mind dump. It's interesting to read your own words months later. They were still very relevant. A fleeting thought on prioritizing. So I turned it into a blog post!
Seriously good stuff
I'm always enamored when tool merges productivity and good UI. Airtable does this well. I like to think of it as a more attractive Google Sheets. Recently I began working on a small app to learn TypeScript. In need of a place to store some data, I turned to Airtable as a small database of sorts. Their API is the real winner here, and that's why I'm mentioning it. If you have a similar use case, definitely give it a look.
If you look for inspiration in creative people, Aaron is that guy. He's a graphic designer based in Portland, Oregon, co-founder of Field Notes, and runs a solo design shop called Draplin Design Co. I came across his work through some free Skillshare videos on YouTube and I spent the rest of the day learning everything I could about the guy. He'll make you want to quit everything and shack up in a far-off cabin with a pirated copy of Adobe Illustrator.
The prolific Dan Abramov, React core team member and creator of Redux, recently started a blog called Overreacted, where he dives into some of the inner-workings of the React library. As of writing this there are three posts up, all of which are great reads if you are into React at all.
Talk to you next week,
Happy coding! 👾