Charlotte’s post “As a new developer” isn’t a new subject but reading it, it must be pretty overwhelming joining the web industry these days.
Don’t worry Charlotte. As someone who’s been making websites for more than a decade, I too feel inadequate.
I too see people publish their side projects and my Twitter feed is filled with people posting how awesome it is working with X or Y company and earning sums of money I can’t fathom for their time.
I design websites, I build prototypes and then I laugh (or cry) heartily at projects I worked on less than a year ago when I look at the code I wrote.
I value what I learned from a project and what I can use to make the next one better, more robust, convert better for our clients and of course help their customers or users achieve their goals as easily and efficiently as possible.
I too have felt the pressure to write blogs, submit talks to conferences, frame my latest screen grab of something in such a way to gain likes on Dribbble or cultivate a reputation on behalf of our company that helps generate work enquiries that pay the wages of our team.
In public, most people are doing awesome work for awesome clients and solving unimaginable problems for the latest app or website while it feels like we’re sometimes slogging away with a local company who sell insulating pipes for the building trade and not rocket packs for start up billionaires.
As an old designer I too feel overwhelmed having to learn some new build tool and then after spending a week feeling like a moron for not knowing how to install a hundred different packages to make an HTML page my celebrations are cut short by at least one person telling me I definitely made the wrong choice using Grunt and not Gulp.
I take comfort in no longer being at the very cutting edge of tech but find sitting in the slipstream of those who are and battle testing things for me.
The industry is a fishbowl these days, there’s a clamour for answers in an ever changing landscape and the rewards for inventing a new technique or creating a new workflow are public admiration, Twitter followers and travel to conferences around the world if you want it.
This is why so many are so vocal about their opinions on the best X for Y. It’s fine to take a minute when you’re free to review something and not adopt it right away. Considering your options before diving in is always a good character trait.
What I see on Twitter and what people confess to over a beer at a conference or a meet-up about their projects and stresses are always different – there’s no need to sweat you’re doing right now.
Stop comparing your behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel
As an old designer, I value any critical feedback I get. I cherish it and appreciate it. I don’t care if it comes from someone 15 years my junior or not. Our industry thrives on collectively helping each other and in most cases we’re incredibly helpful and open about working with and aiding our “rivals”.
As a new developer and an old designer, there’s always pressure to do well, to deliver something great and show it off.
You’ll have hits and you’ll have misses. Learn from both and you’ll be just fine.