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Does anyone else feel like they’re on a treadmill?

  • # June 27, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    I would say I’m an intermediate web developer. I would not call myself a beginner by any means but I’m reminded daily that I’m nowhere near an expert. I have a mixed bag of skills. I know mostly front-end stuff but I also know some back-end. I started out as a designer so my design abilities are definitely my strong suit but I’m not a bad coder either. I’m proficient in HTML and CSS. I’m OK at PHP. I don’t know a ton of JavaScript but can generally feel my way around j Query.

    Anyway, I feel like every time I think I’ve achieved a level of competency, I am QUICKLY knocked off my pillar. I feel like there’s always someone better, always a new technique I don’t know, always some stupid mistake I’ve been making forever… always something.

    Does anyone else feel like this? Is web-dev mastery even possible? Why do I feel like I still suck after 5 years?

    # June 27, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    We’re all on the treadmill. You just have to realize that there are only so many hours in a day and you are only one person. Often times you’ll look for inspiration and you’ll look at these cool sites and you’ll feel like: this is the kind of work I need to produce. But the reality is, there is a TEAM of people behind that product. So it’s understandable that you may feel overwhelmed when trying to get to that level. And it’s just an uphill battle all the time. My suggestion would be to slow down and take in the information at your pace and learn by doing. Start on a project, when faced with a problem, figure out a solution and document it (save it for reference or reuse) this is the way I learned. I never really sat down and just pilled trough one particular programming language or subject.

    When I was a kid, I was always fighting (and winning I might add) and my mother always used to tell me “one day you’ll run into someone who is stronger, faster and can fight better than you”. And you know what, one day, she was right. Now I have a broken nose. So yeah. This has always stuck with me, whenever I think/feel I reached certain level, I always think there’s someone better than me, so that I can push my self to improve.

    Over the years, I realized it’s more about how you manage your learning and your time. You feel like this because you see the quantity of information you need to process. I’ve (we all) felt like this before as well.

    # June 27, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks for that! It’s good to know other people feel like this.

    One thing I do take some comfort in is the fact that EVERYONE in this industry is forced to adapt and grow ALL THE TIME. Been a web dev for 20 years? Ok… fine. Stop learning new things and you’ll be out of work before you know it.

    At least it’s an even playing field in that new technologies wait for no one and they certainly don’t play favorites.

    # June 28, 2013 at 12:48 am

    @Joe_Temp

    Tell me about it. I’m fairly young to this industry, and I feel this way all the time. The feeling is exactly like trekking up towards a mountain top. Each time I feel I’ve neared the top, a whole new section of the mountain reveals itself – and unlike trekking, this process never seems to end. It’s definitely scary, but exciting at the same time and there hasn’t been a moment where I’ve been bored. Intimidated? All the time!

    # June 28, 2013 at 1:00 am

    I think you’ll find developers feel that way at every level. Our industry moves so fast that it’s impossible to be at the bleeding edge of everything at once. We’re all constantly learning and I think that’s fantastic.

    # June 28, 2013 at 1:10 am

    >We’re all constantly learning and I think that’s fantastic.

    hear, hear!

    @Joe_Temp: there’s no reason to be knocked off _your_ pillar (assuming you _really are_ qualified to be standing on it) just because someone else is on a taller pillar. It’s just an opportunity to climb a taller pillar (or, perhaps, to subcontract to a taller pillar: as @TheDoc points out, you can’t “do it all” in this industry).

    # June 28, 2013 at 2:49 am

    I’ve felt like for me the journey has led me to seek to specialize and refine what I can deliver. I felt once like I had to learn everything and know as much as I can, but the conclusion of that is you’ll never, ever master anywhere close to the full gamut. What you can ultimately deliver better than most as a specialty really revolves around what you are passionate about. Then you can dig in and really hone those skills and be more valuable when someone needs that thing (and ‘that thing’ can be pretty broad within your niche).

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