I firmly believe that life is about challenges. Doing something out of the ordinary, pushing the boundaries. I understand this isn’t for everyone, and this is my post to try and hopefully convince someone to try something that they wouldn’t normally do.
Throughout life we are constantly doing things we’ve never done before. We all start life not speaking any languages, and for the most part, most of us manage at least one. We have no understanding of mathematics, yet we learn.
This is true for everything. Wind back a few years and I’d never heard of Laravel, let alone begun learning it. Here I am, about to start a career as a full-time PHP developer utilising Laravel, even writing the odd blog post about it (more to come by the way).
The main reason I hear from anyone to not even attempt things they wouldn’t normally attempt is “what if I fail?”. To that I have one simple thing to say, borrowed from Nike.
Just Do It. Seriously.
You might fail. You might succeed. You won’t know until you give it a go. If you fail, you will learn. If you succeed, you will succeed. Either way, you grow and develop as a person and have lots to gain.
Anyone who knows me will know that I often start projects, build them to some kind of completion, and then realise that realistically it’s probably not possible for me to launch this at the scale I’d like to. Luckily for me, this is typically code and server-based so its easy to throw it in the virtual bin and move on to something new. But regardless of how many projects are ultimately “failures”, I learn a ton.
I started building a video sharing website a couple of years ago. What did I learn? Well, this project was my first real step in to Laravel so it got me in to the Laravel ecosystem. What else did I discover? Guzzle, distributed processing / scheduling, working with Google’s OAuth API using their PHP library and many more things. Things that I hadn’t even read about prior to this project, but was now working in.
Sure, that project never launched and will probably sit on my bitbucket account unused for a long time. I still learned a ton building it and go back to reference things that I wrote in that project, though.
So, don’t be scared. Go out there. Do it. Fail. Succeed. Who cares? At the end of it you end up being a better person, and more prepared for your next challenge.