Blinding and Binding

I’m in the process of realigning my career to where I want to be. I had lost my way into management for the last few years and I’m now fighting my way back into coding and building.

I was expecting to learn new things as part of this process. I was not expecting to get my perspective so thoroughly changed.

In my internet choose-your-own-adventure-click-fest travels on the topic of Javascript I found an article describing the working habits and development thought process of @fat, one of the authors of Bootstrap.

The quote that bent my brain being;

One night I just directly asked him how I could get better at programming. He asked me why I would want to do such a thing. What he explained was that if I can already build anything I could imagine (with enough Google searching and time) then what’s the value in getting any better at programming itself? Instead I should focus on getting better at building things or get better at thinking of things to build.

This was such a stunning change of mindset for me I took the rest of the day off to process this simple, beautiful idea.

There is a cultural expectation in the technology industry that everything you publish be of the highest quality, that you’re a subject matter expert, as it all represents your brand and is indicative of your skill levels. Unfortunately this commonly manifests as obsessive one-upmanship, or worse presenting as an opinionated, insufferable know-it-all.

We are all to often a young and insecure industry.

And I had played right into it. The fear of public scrutiny of my work and that work not being perfect was paralysing. The cultural expectations had me focussed on the wrong things, and that misplaced focus had been blinding and binding me from actually doing.

I should be building interesting things, not caring about how they are built.

Thus, a new plan was born.

Ignore everyone. Build interesting things.

Where was this written
Auckland, New Zealand.
During a late night click binge.
When was this written
September 2014