The Olympics have just started and I can’t help but look at those competing and liken them to the development work so many of us do. What’s the same, you ask? How could an international sporting event of the best of the best possibly connect with the work we do behind our keyboards? It’s simple – it’s all about being the best.
Olympians work most of their lives (if not all of them) trying to become the best at their sport that they can be. Some of the figure skaters have even been paired since they were little kids and know each other’s moves as if they were their own. They have honed their craft down to the point where they know in the first thirty seconds of a routine or race how well it’ll turn out in the end. They know the result because they know themselves. They’ve worked hard to get to where they’re at and they know that to compete on this new level, they’ll have to step things up and do even more than their best.
It’s easy to see how this relates to us, the software developers (or managers of these developers) all over the world. There’s no excuse for you to not look at things on a more global scale and try to be the best you can possibly be. Sitting in your chair and being comfortable in the knowledge you learned five years ago isn’t enough. Don’t lull yourself into thinking that, just because you know your current codebase, you’ve done all you can. Get out there, look at what other developers are doing and hone those skills. There’s tricks that you can learn from the best and tools that you can use to hone your own development work into a razor sharp edge that can cut through any problem and push you up into that next level of development.
Who knows…you might just find something you can apply that could make you and your development soar to new heights and help you feel the rush that you did when you were first learning a language – flying headfirst into the unknown, unsure about what was to come and where you might land.
Don’t be afraid. Take the risks. Become the best you can be.