Recent Aha! Moment

Posted 2012-06-11
Written by Matt Frost
Category code

I was on the train, coming home from downtown Chicago and honestly feeling utterly defeated.  That might be alarming, if it didn't happen so frequently.  Rather than sulking this day though, I took an introspective view of myself and my career.  It became obvious my expectations weren't realistic and the view I had of myself was warped to some extent.  Few have the ability to grasp difficult concepts with little mental effort, I always thought I was in that group...I'm not. 

Refusing to be honest with myself has made me tenative to contribute to projects because I'm afraid.  Afraid of being not good enough, afraid of making a dumb mistake, and afraid of running into that one person who goes out of his/her way to make sure everyone knows how smart they are (and how dumb you are).  It's really handicapped my ability to learn the new technologies, because I'm not interacting with experienced developers.  I've been slowly coming out of my shell, I contributed blog preview functionality for PyroCMS 2.2 and that was a really great experience.  Went to Tek|12, met some great people, and getting involved in side/pet projects collaboratively; and I've come up with this list of things I need to do.

  • I will be deliberate and focused in my learning
  • I will refuse to take short cuts in researching technology
  • I will strive to be better than good enough
  • I will work harder and more intelligently than I did yesterday
  • I will not compare myself to others
  • I will pay it forward and teach others the things I've learned.

I've spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself without having ever really taken a risk or put myself out there.  My self view changed due to introspective revelation, with that it's time for me to get going.  It's time to get deliberate about contributing to projects, proposing conference sessions, and asking other people for feedback.  Learning academically is important, but so is learning by doing and asking.  It's time to stop being content and make some noise.

Comments

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Sean Prunka

2012-06-14

Great philosophy to get you going. BTW, thank you for helping get #secretProject Sentinel off the ground. I hope we actually get get to a place where we have code and can open it up to the public.

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2012-06-14

I'm really excited about #secretProject Sentinel as well and really excited about working with all you guys. Totally looking forward to getting the decisions made and getting some code down!

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Jason Eggers

2012-06-14

You short change yourself. This post proves you are well ahead of the game. 99.9% of people have the same fears. Few take the journey of introspection for fear of what they might find. Fewer still do something about it.

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Adam Fairholm

2012-06-25

I remember when I released my first open source piece of code in 2009 - I was absolutely scared out of my mind. One thing I've learned since then - the more concerned you are about if things are going to work and if your code is good enough, the better your code is going to be. The people who write crap and just fling it out there thinking they are geniuses are the ones who are getting chased off of projects. You're obviously not one of those developers - far from it - so you'll be fine as long as you keep caring whether or not you're proud of what you put out there. The rest really falls in line.

PS Keep contributing to PyroCMS! We love merging in pull requests!

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