It was great to be have Robin Stanley join me at the end of October. He joined us in our little office for a weeks work experience. I have never had a student work with me before so it was a bit of a leap in to unknown territory but I had a few thoughts as to how I could help him.
If I think back to what has helped me most in the past, I think of particular projects or problems which I had to work out. For me learning through real-life tasks has been the most effective way.
From an initial conversation It occurred to me how much I take for granted the gradual experience I have gained over many years. I guess, because I'm always learning, I still view myself as a student. I often feel very inadequate when I'm learning new things, and I remember the pressure I felt under when I was just starting out. You feel like you have to get everything right but even in building a regular website there are so many different skills you need to draw on, it's impossible to make the grade.
I love the passion we have in the web community, I don't think there is another industry like ours. We have certainly got it good. But like any other craft we need to be able to get it wrong to move forward. It really bugs me when I see comments on twitter and other networks slating other developers (I've done it myself), there should always be space for constructive critisism but let's not shoot before listening.
One of the things having Robin that week has taught me is that learning and discovering is one of the integral pieces to being a developer. It's a continual adventure...