Don't be afraid to learn

6 months ago I started playing Ultimate Frisbee in my hometown. Today I find myself "coaching" the team. Don't get me wrong; we suck as a team, that's the only explanation for why a newbie like me can be doing the coaching part. But what makes me feel good is that I wasn't afraid of learning something new. Today we have practice and I've been reading and watching games about zone defense all night long.

Out of the comfort zone: from Python to Javascript

Last year I had a great job as a Python developer. It was a good paying job with amazing people. I love Python and I love what I do but something was not feeling good; I was feeling too comfortable. So I decided I needed a change; something to challenge myself to learn something new. I was curious about all the javascript fuzz out there so I decided to give it a shot. I stepped out from my job and went to look for new opportunities in the shiny javascript world; it didn't take long and after a month I was working as a "node.js developer". I will not go into much detail about this experience, it might be the subject of other post, but the bottom line is that I didn't like it too much. The good thing was the learning process. During the month I took to find the new gig I focused 10 hours per day in building javascript applications from the ground up, just by myself. I felt like a newbie again: reading books, tutorials, investigating, cursing the goddamn javascript debugging tools, etc. I felt alive once again. It's like you're riding a roller coaster where you go from knowing nothing, to make something work, to don't even know how it's actually working, to completely understanding it. It's magical.

During this period I completed several "professional" javascript projects and I feel like I've mastered the language and platform; I'm not sure if I'm going to keep doing Javscript or go back to Python or do something else; I'm just really happy about the experience.

Final notes

Learning is an amazing process; once you do it your body seems to crave it, it's like a drug (a nerd drug). I you ever feel like your job is monotonous or not exciting enough try doing something new; feel like a newbie again.