When I think about the skills I have acquired to date, I realise that they all came about unexpectedly, without making conscious learning decisions.
I’ve learnt everything by mistake. I know they say, “you learn with mistakes,” but quite literally, everything in web development that I’ve learnt to date has been by mistake.
Humans like to think that we have control. Choose your path. If you do x then you’ll end up at y. But my career so far in web development has taught me that you can’t have control. In this world, curiosity replaces control. Fulfil it, and you’ll end up somewhere you never expected, but it will inevitably be in the right direction, because that’s the essence of curiosity.
I wanted to learn how to make awesome web apps. Many Google searches, Stack Overflow issues, IRC pester sessions, and iterations later, and wow, much to my surprise, I know how to: build and design a REST API in Node.js, write scalable and maintainable CSS at over 10,000 LOC, build Backbone.js applications, and so much more.
I killed my curiosity, and I accidentally learnt a set of new technologies and tools. Instead of worrying about learning the right things… do.
(This is a lesson for myself as much as it is for anyone else.)