Note: this post was written many months before it was published (creation date is at the start of August 2013). While my feelings have changed over time, this is a timeless viewpoint .
I first started listening to 5by5’s Quit to hear the interview with Marco Arment shortly after the Instapaper sale (episode #21: Quit & Analyze) and I have been listening to the show ever since. While there are parts of the format and personalities in the show that I don’t like, the general message of the show is good. My main gripe is that often the majority of the show is Dan Benjamin going off on a rant. I prefer the episodes where there is more call-in or guest content. Along with events of the last few months, it has got me thinking of the future.
The show got me thinking, am I coasting? Have I reached a point where there is no further path up? Am I getting bored? If so, it may be time to change route and keep on climbing the mountain that is a career path.
This site is acting as a first step: refreshing my web development knowledge. A lot has changed in the last 6 years since I built a site from scratch! Web development was my technical passion through the end of high school and the start of university. It tied in well with my sporting passion of rollerblading as it allowed me to publish myself and my friends achievements. This was in the time before social networks really took off, so having my own website was really the only way to share this content. Building a website got me hooked: it started my interest in programming and ultimately chose my career path, although the language has changed. I am not implying that my current language, Java, is an issue: I just believe it is good to have a wider knowledge of current languages. Constant personal development is a must if you want to stay current in the software development world.
Last year I tried to get back in to writing, and started a new blog (the content from which is now hosted on this site). Posts have been infrequent, but hopefully useful. Technical, informative, writing is something that I have wanted to improve at for years, but it has always evaded me. Partly it is the limited amount of time I have available for projects, but sometimes I just seem to hit a block. Throughout school English was never my strong point; I did achieve an Intermediate 2, but could never achieve more than that. I do not believe however that a Higher grade would really make much different to my current situation due to the difference in writing styles. The education program for English promotes making fuzzy interpretations of what a piece of text could mean. While this kind of interpretive ability can be useful in deciphering user requirements, it is completely opposed to how technical documentation should work. The end product of the writing process should be documentation that is strict in it’s meaning and is completely unambiguous.
Only time can tell what the future will bring.