When I was a kid my mother always encouraged me to try new things. From taking up a musical instrument to playing sports she was always pushing me to explore the world around me. I never understood why. I thought she was trying to get my two brothers and I out of the house.
In the past month or so I have taken apart a seat motor switch in my wife’s car and fixed it, put in base board in the baby room and replaced the touch digitizer on my phone. All things that I could have paid someone else to do. But I decided to try to do them my self. At first I felt very apprehensive about trying to do these projects. Could I figure it out? Would I be able to do a it right the first time? These were some of the questions that crossed my mind before I started. After I finished each project, I found I was asking these questions less and asking what else could I take on?.
So how does this relate to software development? It’s easy to use the same frameworks, design patterns and naming conventions because we have excepted that is the only what to do it. I know that I have solved a problem and the next time that problem has popped up I have gone ahead and just applied the last solution without, re-examining the other solutions. As this happens more and more frequently, I start feeling more and more complacent. That re-evaluation period I think is very important, maybe even more so in front end development. Since the html / js / css specification is ever changing, the last solution could be out-dated or not the best fit.
I’m starting to get why my mom wanted me to get out and new try things. It’s about keeping a elastic state of mind, being willing and able to except the ever changing boundaries of software development and in life.
So pick an old hobby or new one and make it a point to explore new ideas and ways of solving problems. I know I’m going to!