Web Education is one of the most important aspects of being a career developer. Some fields see change happen slowly. If you’re an accountant, what you learn today is probably still going to be useful in 10 years. Not so much for us.
10 years ago, the iPhone didn’t exist. 10 years ago this was my cell phone:
It’s an obvious statement but our industry changes incredibly rapidly.
I graduated college in 2007. Every single letter of code that I write today wasn’t learned in a traditional college classroom. It was learned by reading up on something on my own, building a side project, or working with another developer who taught me the important points.
That last point is what I wanted to write about in this post.
Early in my career, I came out of college feeling like I know all the things and I can code with the best of them. I’m sure I wasn’t the only to experience that feeling of confidence. I also quickly realized that wasn’t the case.
Luckily, I worked with two senior level developers who were invaluable to my career growth. Not only did they help put my skills into context, if I had a question or ran into a problem, they didn’t just fix it quickly. They helped me learn what was wrong and showed me why a particular path was the right way to move forward.
This should be a goal for anyone who has more than 2 or 3 years experience. Whether it be helping colleagues, answering a question on Stack Overflow, or writing a post on Medium explaining something cool that you did…we should all be doing this. In terms of education, nothing can beat this. Not only are you teaching somebody else something useful, you’ll probably pick up something new yourself along the way.
The good news is I think a good chunk of the development community already does this. When I go to conferences, everybody is sharing the knowledge. This is good to see. When I graduated college, the phrase “responsive design” didn’t mean anything to anybody. Sure, I’m sure I could have found a formal class that teaches it by now, but I learned how to build responsive sites like everybody else: self teaching, learning from mistakes, and giving/receiving help from others.
If you want to make your career as a developer, you’ll never be able to stop learning if you want to be successful. But you should also never stop helping others learn as well.