A Deep Dive in Overcoming Discomfort

The beginning of my career in the web was simple enough. Learn the basics, learn a little more & start working with small local startups with low budgets to gain experience. The concepts of HTML and CSS came easily enough and I felt comfortable learning enough PHP to put together a custom WordPress theme or alter existing themes to fit a given project. A regular full time job kept my focus away from the deep dive I really neeed to take it to the next level and I found myself learning just enough to make it through a client and move to the next. Real life was a blocker to legitimate momentum.

A few years later, the phone rang and I found myself knee deep in a full time development role at an enterprise level company on the verge of a complete rebuild of their legacy site and a migration to a new CMS. Within my first week I learned CSS techniques and workflows I never knew existed and I started to see the potential to really begin a major evolution. As one of two developers, there was a steep learning curve, but the gracious nature of my team and the web community as a whole brought me to a place of relative confidence, despite the full realization of all that is still to learn.

Since then, I’ve built a number of pages for the company, reworked our many years old home page into a mobile first responsive format while we work on the complete redesign. I’ve reworked my workflow and approach to building from the top down and in building our new site, 90% of the techniques I’m using we’re absent from my skill set when I started this role.

None of this would have been possible in any other community. The support and committment of the community within our industry is like nothing I’ve ever seen. The ability to reach out to major figures in the industry and get engaged advice is a truly unique experience.

There is still so much more to learn, and there always will be. The ever changing landscape of our field means that none of us, no matter the experience level, will ever have it all mastered. Given that reality, I am truly grateful for the support I have received thus far and am looking forward to the point where I can begin to reciprocate that gesture to other developers. My appreciation cannot be understated and it’s all owed to the people who have been gracious enough to lend a hand at each step.