What Do I Know?

A couple of years back, I began to let the waves of new tech wash over me, knowing the tide would go back out again. I started to relax a bit more, and accept that the stuff I knew was enough for what I needed. "What’s the rush?" For that, I count myself lucky.

That’s not to say I stopped learning new things — far from it — but I came to accept that I’ll never know everything. I started with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript over 10 years ago, and I’m still using them today. I’ll probably be using them for the next 10, too. All the while I’m tacking on new bits of experience and knowledge. Slowly but surely.

I found my work journal from a previous job, and it kinda shocked me the number of things I was doing on a given day. I never really stopped to assess what it would all lead towards, or how I could eventually spend that experience to sell my skills. For example, on one day I was working on 3 different projects, troubleshooting with clients, reviewing code, attending meetings, and writing a spec for an upcoming job. That’s a lot of stuff I would cast off as "just work", before spending my nights tangled in envy at all the cool stuff people were building in the open-source world. I was envious because I filled all my social feeds with such amazing people, and I compared myself to them.

I’m not an internet-famous developer. I’m not a Vue or React expert. I haven’t created a library that’s used by thousands of developers.

But I know stuff.

If I hadn’t kept a log of my days, I don’t think I would have realised how much I’ve been exposed to and developed from. I can’t underestimate the value of writing stuff down with pen and paper. I don’t need to charge it, I don’t need to be connected to the internet. All I need is a few quiet minutes to reflect on my journey thus far. I can build a piece of software, and not understand every software engineering principle, but I’ll learn some more of them eventually with practice. Just because I can’t put an exact name to all the stuff I know, doesn’t mean I don’t know it, if that makes sense. Know what I mean?

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