In web development, it’s never enough

It’s not enough to know HTML, CSS, MySQL, and PHP.

It’s not enough to know JavaScript, jQuery, and AJAX.

It’s not enough to know LESS, Sass, Stylus, and the CSS preprocessor du jour.

It’s not enough to know Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari.

It’s not enough to know iPhone, Android, and God help us, Blackberry.

It’s not enough to know Linux, Apache, and Nginx.

It’s not enough to know Ruby, Node Package Manager, and Grunt.

It’s not enough to know SublimeText, PhpStorm, and Coda.

It’s not enough to know SFTP, WordPress admin, and cPanel.

It’s not enough to know Git, SVN, and Mercurial.

It’s not enough to know XML and JSON.

It’s not enough to know Composer, Capistrano, Puppet, and Vagrant.

It’s not enough to know WordPress and all its classes, functions, hooks, filters, and template hierarchy.

It’s not enough to know the different coding standards for each language.

It’s not enough to know…

When it comes to this web development thing, it’s never enough. There’s always something changing, and it’s not all progress. Web development is a fool’s errand, yet we’re attracted to it like an addict to a crack rock. Because it feels good to take that hit.

Just know if you take up web development as a job, you’ll be the fat guy on a treadmill with a pork chop dangling in front of your face, and all you’ll ever get is a whiff. Because the pork chop doesn’t get closer and the treadmill never stops. But it sure smells good.

Like moths to a flame

Moth to a flame

Moth to a flame

It’s getting late and I’m sitting here just staring at the computer. Flipping between things – the code editor, my website, Twitter, and the notepad where I jot down my thoughts.

This late I’m not really getting much done, except feeding that inner hunger for whatever the hell it is that draws me to this light. This computer is a portal to any number of places in the world. Yet, it’s just a box that glows. If a caveman saw me looking at it, he’d think I’m stupid or something.

The content on the screen changes from minute to minute and each time a new world emerges. Yet, to the caveman it’s all the same. Me, staring at the glow, touching it, for long periods of time.

Think about the concept, not the details. Now imagine you can see the hundreds of millions of people around the world doing the same thing right now.

Just sitting there, touching a box that glows.

Like moths to a flame.

Don’t call a welder to fix the toilet

When I have plumbing problems at home, I do what most sane people do. I call a plumber. And you know what, he does a really good job. Why? Because that’s his specialty. He has years of experience. He’s an expert. I don’t call a welder, and I suspect you don’t either.

Don't call a welder to fix your plumbing. Photo by Seth Anderson.

Please do not ask welder in back about plumbing. He does not know anything about plumbing. Photo by Seth Anderson.

So, why is the newspaper industry calling on journalists to do photography and videography? Journalists are writers. Writing is their true love. It’s in their blood. Writing takes time. Good writing takes even more time. Continue reading

Pick your battles

We all like to get our way. That’s pretty obvious, right? Who doesn’t want to get their way pretty much all the time?

Here’s the thing, every time we insist on getting our way, we create friction. Sometimes this friction is necessary, and the battle is worth fighting. But sometimes it’s just not worth it. Even when we’re right. Especially when the others in the relationship lack the capacity to gracefully accept their loss.

Some battles are too small and not worth the collateral damage. Keep your mind on the long game. Don’t piss off the whole world around you just so you can win every single battle. Even if you’re convinced you’re right.

Pick your battles wisely.