A blog about trying to make yourself better at making and designing websites. Also about random shit.

Don't think of yourself as a web developer

First of all, if you're building websites, you are a web developer. It doesn't matter if you're a beginner. You are one.

But there are times when it's useful to think of yourself as being in another profession. Sometimes web developers (or programmers in general) get too caught up in thinking that they're in demand and that they're special snowflakes who are here to build something big and are here to "disrupt" how the world works.

While it's true that software has had a big effect in our world, it's not a good way of thinking about things. Here's what I noticed:

  • People want to build big things and build full-featured apps right out of the gate. People tend to forget to take it slow, build habits, and be consistent with small things. There's no need to rush. (Unless you've got a Predator wrist gauntlet that's going to explode if you don't design this website!)

  • People shy away from web development because they think that people who do it are gifted geniuses who twiddle their thumbs at their desks and create amazing designs and programs. That's totally not true. *twiddles thumbs*

So here's something useful that I like to do myself: I like to build on top of the "hardware store" analogy and imagine myself as being an electrician or a plumber:

  • You're here to do a job, to give value to people. This is what it all boils down to. Web development is a skill and not a talent. So if you don't know something, you can simply go out and learn it.

  • It takes hard work. You need to put time into it to learn it. There's a process to it—it's not magic. Like I said, it's not a talent that someone is just born with.

  • You're not a lone genius. Programming and design means collaborating with people. In order to give value to someone, you have to know what their problems are. It's like a plumber coming over to your place and asking what your problems are. She's there to solve a problem and not invent a problem and disrupt your house.

  • Don't worry about new tools that much. If you've got what you need to do the job, then don't worry. Learning is very important, but don't get stuck and paralyzed thinking about what you could do. Use the tools in your fanny pack.

And that's it! I hope you get to use this tip in your journey. Till next time!