Afraid of their own inadequacies, developers are always questioning themselves, wondering how effective they truly are, and sinking under the weight of imminent failure.
They’re worried that they don’t belong, that it’s time to hang it up and go back to the playground with all of the other kids.
Many developers wonder if in fact they are really imposters; meaning, they’re not certain how they got into their career in the first place much less ascended the ranks into somewhat of a successful groove. This is a web developer’s inner fear…that they will one day be exposed for the imposter they truly are.
Admitting that you’re legit, that you really do belong and what’s more that you’re good at what you do is the first step!
We feel for you web developers—and that is why we want to help…
What’s Your System?
Do you as a developer have a system in place?
Take a platform like Stack Overflow for instance, some of the very best in the business at one time or another have been “accused” of looking for a short cut via Stack Overflow. Others have fretted hours on end because they’ve copy and pasted another’s code. While these people aren’t in the wrong, their own impossibly high standards are telling them they are.
This is not wrong—this is part of a system!
You work hard, you put in the hours, you support the companies and people for whom you work and yet you still don’t feel that you are up to snuff. You constantly wonder what you’re doing wrong. Well, ask yourself, where’s your system?
Developer’s Block – We’ve All Been There
Maybe you’re unable to concentrate. The thoughts and ideas just aren’t coming regardless of how many cups of coffee you imbibe.
There are a ton of articles out there outlining quick fixes and “easy” solutions for that dreaded developer’s block—but do they work?
Sure, they may offer some temporary comfort and an “it’s-okay-we’ve-all-been-there” consolation prize, but they generally fail to give you that structure and system you actually need to help you overcome your obstacles.
Everyone’s Got Their Own System
Most developers when faced with a block or with the nagging fears of their own shortcomings, simply “power through,” they fight off the demons and keep working. What they should be doing is consulting their tried and true system, one that gives them the foundational knowledge, confidence and wisdom to get it done correctly.
The secret to the system: work less, code less, develop more…Sounds a bit crazy, right?
Okay, so we have the drive to create and make it work, but we’re lagging behind for some reason, we just aren’t feeling like we are capable of the work.
Think of what is expected of a developer—everyday you are asked to produce new ideas, groundbreaking end results and amazing code. You are asked to do the impossible.
And yet combine sheer exhaustion with the fear of what you cannot do, and the anxiety that comes with not cutting it, and you’re bound to become disheartened, or downright depressed.
Get the Inspiration Back!
How do we get inspired...follow and learn from those who inspire us, for one. Again, going back to sites like Stack Flow, it’s okay to lurk around these sites, to get inspiration from other developers, to learn tricks and tips that perhaps you didn’t know. What are some other great inspiration sites, how about: Plunkr, GitHUb and XDA-Developers.
Take some time to browse. You don’t always have to be working; you can spend a moment or two reading and following people and projects that are of interest. Facebook and LinkedIn might be great places to start. Bookmark the pages that standout. Remember, getting inspiration is not the same as stealing. Learning and intuiting tips and techniques is in no way shortcutting your job.
And remember to use tags as you save these things. Inevitably your library is going to grow—you want to be able to access the ideas and pages quickly and efficiently.
Learn from The Best
This is not about copying and pasting or outright stealing in any way shape or form, this is about saving others’ thoughts and ideas and even work in order to study it and learn from it. Keep in mind, that pretty much everything has been done before…it’s is rare to find something out there that is totally new and original.
So you’re now going to be about taking the old, and redefining it, reinventing it, put any "re” you want in front of it. The point is to use it as your building block and transform from there!
Reinvent and Ditch that Slump
Keep repeating to yourself, I am not copying, I am transforming, I am not copying, I am transforming. By taking other people’s ideas and modifying them to fit your needs and/or project, in many ways you are paying homage to these developers and coders.
They are the ones who have figured it out, and in helping you with your stumbling block, they are spreading their wisdom and knowledge throughout the magical kingdom of web development.
You are in essence creating something new…right? After all, you’re using ideas and previous code and yet adapting it to fit your needs. This isn’t stealing, this is transforming out of necessity. And if you do this often enough, you start to understand some new things, some new tricks, those nuances that perhaps can’t be taught, but can be learned through repetition and transformation.
Welcome to Your New System!
Get past the feeling of being an imposter, get past the frustration that comes with developer’s block. Use the tools available. Just add your own touch, creativity and project requirements and you will be well on your way to that sought after experience of web developer Zen.
When you get right down to it, this is about maximizing your time, your skills and bringing the most value possible to your projects. Here is how you will create what you want, avoid that proverbial rut and become the developer with a plan—and of course, a system!
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