I am a web developer by trade and I program as a hobby. I love the idea that people who choose this career path are considered smart. Some of my non-tech savvy friends ask me questions like how Facebook works and they are awed when I answer: Facebook uses a giant database. In front of them I feel like a winner. The go to guy when we are talking about anything technical. But then I go back home. I open my local repository and look at my past, present, and future projects. Then I think to myself: I have absolutely no idea what I am doing.
Before I get thrown into a new project, most of the time I have no clue what I am up against. But because I am also a yes man by trade, my default response is to accept the challenge. My advices come with an implied disclaimer of no guarantee, nevertheless they are sometimes useful. Some may say it is a good thing that I did not become a doctor and I say that it is a good thing I did not become a doctor.
This is how I code
I started this blog in hope of becoming a better writer. The successful ones like Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky are an inspiration to me. I read their blog and essays back to back. At some point they all said, "If an idiot like me can make it, so can you". Not their exact words but very close in spirit. Since I have the idiot part covered, I figured I should do it too. One problem occurred however. I got the part where I should start writing. The how to write part and how to become better at it, not so much. I am hoping it will be one of those things where I will look back at my work years from now and see the improvement. So far, all I can say is I have less run-on sentences and a little more commas.
I don't really have a stretched out plan for my career but I know for sure working at a company is not the way to go for me. I have multiple projects on the side and I don't know which one will deem to be useful. But one thing that I noticed over and over is that the most rewarding projects are the ones where I start as a complete noob.
If you read this far you are probably wondering what is the point of all this incoherent rambling. Well doubt no more. First, I was just writing the thoughts in my mind. They may or may not be of interest to you. If interesting is something writers do, I have yet to master it. I don't have control over the "interesting level" of my post. Second, I also want to motivate you. I want to show you that having no idea what you are supposed to do or having no control is not a bad thing. We sometime claim to be experts, while in our mind we know we are just following our guts. Not knowing much can drive creativity because you don't know all the things that can go wrong yet.
It is very motivating to watch talented people do amazing things. But it can also be motivating to see regular folks trying despite all the odds against them. The latter is where I fit best. I hope that at the very least, you can positively hate it.