I have been a software developer for just over 12 years. Not a crazy long period of time, but long enough to have learned a couple of lessons!
In that time God has blessed me with the opportunity to work in a whole host of development environments, business domains, and countries. One of the things that I am constantly trying to do is push and stay outside of comfort zones. This is a life principal that is not just localized to the realm of my career. God does not want you to camp in a comfort zone, you can’t grow in a comfort zone. You can only maintain.
For the majority of my consulting gigs I have been able to experience a very high degree of success and leave with glowing reviews from both the managers and developers that I spend my time with. As a developer my primary focus when engaging clients, has been to focus on the code side of the fence. That is where my work passion lives. I am not interested in iteration management or project management. Having this knowledge has allowed me to maintain a very high degree of focus in honing the “craft”.
As a perpetual student, I am constantly welcoming of the opportunity to work with teams and individuals of all skill levels. In this capacity, I have historically been brought in as a senior resource to help cut some crazy code. It has been a while, but for the first time in a long time, the current contract that I am on has me feeling like a complete beginner again!!
And I will tell you the truth, it is times like this when I am reminded at an even higher level, of how exciting the realm of software development is. I love having my ideas turned upside down, and even in the span of only one month (the contract just started 1 month ago), I am actively and happily questioning, and shifting a lot of the approaches that I have taken to developing software, and more importantly design in general!!
Every morning for the last 5 years, I have woke up and thanked God for the fact that my career was starting again, that very day. When you wake up in the morning you get to choose how you are going to react to the events that come along in your day. You get to choose to be the beginner again. To realize that what you know now can become a small fragment of what you will know in a month, a year, a decade.
If you let go any assumptions you have about your own skill level, and go forward with the “pursuit” and not attainment of mastery; every day will be an amazing opportunity to tap into the creativity of the One who created us to be creative. You can choose joy, choose to be thankful, and choose to make a difference in not just your attitude and approach, but of those you surround yourself with.
Thank you Lord for allowing me to start my career again today!! I choose the path of the beginner.