Path to greatness

October 2016 ยท 5 minute read

You know it seems less interesting to write about since I made it here. I guess that’s because the reality is that I actually do this now. Every day. For a living.

You know that saying “the grass is always greener on the other side”?

Well, I’m on the other side and the grass is pretty damn green. I guess the question now is can it get greener?

I suppose I should really consider that just because I’m here doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve “made it”. There’s still a hell of a lot of work to go, this is really just the tip of the ice berg. And if this ice berg is anything like what sunk the titanic then I certainly do have my work cut out for me.

But the begging question always lurks “where to go next?”

So after thinking about it for a few days, it’s obvious my mind is still swimming with ideas and potential plans of action. And I’m stuck again with the age old question “What to tackle first?” – after all I don’t yet qualify as a fully fledged full stack dev and my name isn’t the number 1 hit all over Google (although Selena Gomez does present some pretty solid competition on that front).

It would seem that I have less time on my hands and yet I also have more time on my hands. Since I’m being paid during the day to essentially learn a lot with plenty of time up my sleeve for personal notes to remember everything I’m learning to implement (for now), I can essentially learn twice as fast and twice as many topics, right?

Well, I think so. The approach now is to broaden my focus with more front-end related development tasks during the day as they relate closer to my current role and a more infrastructure focussed path in the evenings and weekends. With that I hope to gain a high level understanding of a variety of topics as well as some in depth implementation techniques.

After all, I am endeavouring to be full stack capable so it only makes sense that the wider the variety of knowledge areas, the better my ability to quickly adapt and evolve, the better things will work out in the long run.

Currently the contrast there is keeping me interested, between doing my actual job which involves a lot of php, trying to master jQuery during the day and understanding how to build relational data warehouses at night. In the coming weeks I hope to have a simple, clean working application complete with jQuery animations as well as a certificate in data warehousing with Microsoft Azure.

Now, I know that jQuery is a relatively out of date library and I guess I’m somewhat behind the times a bit even bothering to learn that in 2016 but in my all fairness it is directly applicable to my day job where I’m the most Junior developer on the team and find myself being palmed monstrous legacy applications which have been built using libraries like jQuery.

It also seems to have been a very quick and easy way to pick up some javascript concepts that I just know will benefit me later when I tackle pure JS. If I just think back to my progression of learning Assembly language, to c++, to ruby, to php – the more high-level I went in terms of the language, the more it made sense.

I just don’t see the negative of learning the basics of any language or concept, even if it only loosely relates to the overall position I’d like to find myself in. The more you have knowledge of, the more valuable you’ll become. You will wind up having a stronger idea of what to use (or not use) and where to use it. So, although there may be topics other than jQuery to better spend my time on, it is not a waste to spend the time now.

On the other hand of current targets, I am working toward a certification in Data Warehousing. This is not a topic that is easy to wrap your head around and I do not expect any time soon to be building Relational Data Warehouses with Microsoft Azure, however, I would like to at least grasp the concept at a high-level so that in future when I work with a project or speak to someone in regards to heavy duty data storage and manipulation I can be a little more up wiht the play.

I also think that as a developer, the better your understanding of databases and architecture, the better you will ultimately be able to implement feasible strategies and deliver robust solutions.

But hey, it’s still early days for me to be forming hard and fast opinions that cannot be challenged. I do expect that these views will likely change with time. As everything does so, it’s all relatively to who and where you are at any time given.

One idea that is unlikely to change any time soon is the concept that surely, if I can keep up that sort of momentum for a year or two I can find myself well on the path to greatness.