It's busy out there in the world of web development. There's a constant barrage of new languages, new tools, new frameworks, and new workflow concepts. How could one possibly stay on top of it all and still be productive?
I saw job postings that required an expert knowledge of Coffee Script when had just barely been released! The people who wrote Coffee Script weren't experts yet! How did that even work?
Being a self-taught programmer that spends most of his time working alone, I often feel the pressure to keep up with the trends, lest I be left behind and become obsolete. In my first post on this site I referenced a blog post by James Padolsey. In it, he talks about how there is no "Directive" for developers. There isn't a collective "right" way to do things. It's just people trying to figure stuff out. This struck a chord with me and encouraged me to be bolder. To put my work out there, to put my name in the running, so to speak. But that was only half of it because once I was in the game, I found myself swept up (and often depressed) in the number of new things I didn't have time to learn.
It's almost as if there is a constant voice in the back of your mind telling you that while, for now, you're useful and productive, you will soon be rendered obsolete if you don't spend more time reading up on the latest text editor or implementing the newest productivity apps into your life.
The biggest fear is waking up to find that the technologies you've built your life and career on are gone.
As my good friend Admiral Ackbar once said: "It's a trap!".
My awareness of this, and my newfound ability to resist falling into this trap, came from reading an article by Muhammad Usman. My take away? Get to work. A perfect quote is "We’re so busy becoming a good developer that we forget to be a good worker." Isn't that the truth? We have to get things done so let's buckle-down and get busy.
And when the fear of being left behind comes up, we need to remember: We're developers! We're problem-solvers! We get things done. Let's spend less time worrying that we're not using the "best" tool and more time writing the code that makes the world turn. If a language goes out of style, isn't that just a challenge like any other? Isn't that something that we'll just apply our skill and knowledge to overcome? Of course it is. So if your IDE is shown to be less productive that this other one, don't let that news alone make you jump to change. In the end, it's all about getting stuff done.
Take care, Richard Cagle