What comes next?

Duncan Jimbo
Nov 12, 2014 · 8 min read

The Intrigue

The field of development has changed significantly in the years I have been in it. New techniques, tools and platforms like Responsive Web Design, SASS and LESS, Angular e.t.c. have made things very exciting and the future only promises to get better. While I don’t necessarily jump on the new hotness that’s out there, I do maintain an awareness of what is new and noteworthy, and the instances where it could be useful. One of my techniques for doing this is the star feature of Github. Repositories that I find interesting for example, get starred and noted for future reference when they will come in handy on some project. Learning new tools as they become applicable and useful for me is one aspect of development that I like, and a big reason to keep doing what I do.

The Challenge

From my perspective though, part of the intrigue becomes first and foremost part of the challenge. All these new technologies require constant learning and reading to know how to work with them. Instead of beating a dead horse on this one, I am going to point you to Susan Robertson’s A List Apart article:

What are you passionate about?

This may seem like a simple question to answer because you likely know what you are passionate about today. The bigger question is whether that will be something you are still passionate about tomorrow. This is a tough question to answer. And simply because it is in our nature to change our interests and preferences over time. So while you may be passionate about photography today, is it something you will still be interested in tomorrow? Answering this probably necessitates taking a leap of faith once you have had time to reflect on where you have come from and where you want to go as there is no other way other than going full steam ahead.

What do you consider success?

When I was growing up, a flashy car and wealth were considered signs of a successful person. Status symbols still permeate our daily lives, but whether they mean something to you is a question that is very important to answer. Status symbols do not only come in the form of material wealth, a fancy title at work could also be a status symbol. There is definitely nothing wrong with having any of these, because they hard-earned items. What I am trying to get at is that the direction you choose to go in life might not necessarily translate into having some of the finer things in life or let you maintain the lifestyle you currently live. But once again, it is up to you to define this as it is you who will be living the life you choose, not someone else.

How do you chart your course?

Let’s assume you have picked the path you want to walk. The usual course of action is quitting your job immediately or in the near future to pursue your new dream, or charting your new path within your current organization. Assuming the latter, challenges arise when your goals don’t quite align with your employers goals. A lot of organizations have pre-defined career progress paths that employees can take to rise up the ranks which is great, but these may not necessarily line up with what you have in mind. Do you then make your intentions/desires known to your manager to see how best to accommodate you? Do you keep your mouth shut incase it is wrongly assumed you intend to leave and you get let go because you don’t “fit in” anymore?

    Duncan Jimbo

    Written by

    Confused African. Wannabe Jamaican. Lover of Kenyan tea.

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