Join LinkedIn Learning Developer Instructor for an in-depth discussion in this video Rae Hoyt, part of Career Clinic: Developer Insights.
- So, before I took this job, I had a day job and then, in the evenings, I would go and teach courses at a place called TechShop, which is like a maker space. There's engineers that work there and artists and I taught topics from textiles, sewing, wood shop, metal shop, some CNC tools like water jet cutting, we even did some welding. And I would go and do this after my full day of work and it was just so much fun.
I loved spending time with these tools that were right on the cutting edge and I love helping other people find their use of that tool and locking the software and the hardware, and then coming back in four, six weeks with a project and saying, "I built this and you helped me do it." It's so much fun to help somebody find their end. So, I'm a big fan of the idea that art and technology, or creativity, are really just one endeavor.
It takes creativity to be a really good programmer and it takes a little bit of guts and willingness to try some new technology to be a really good artist. Alan Kay has a quote that I love that says "technology is everything that was invented "after you were born." And I think that's just a beautifully accurate statement. There's so many people that are timid or apprehensive to use something that's that new piece of technology. So, I think everyone on both sides of the table has an opportunity to up level whatever it is they're doing by incorporating some more creativity or tech, depending on what side of the table they're sitting on.
And so we get to see a lot of really unique ideas that I think both help me as a technologist, but also just as a creative. Being able to look at how someone solved a problem and say that's never the way that I would've approached that. That might help me three or four projects from now when I have a problem that is different, but similar. I can look back at that application and say, well, they did it this way, I think that's how I might approach this problem, and it makes me a better problem solver.
Regardless of the application, whether I was sewing a new dress or working on my motorcycle, programming something, hanging out in the wood shop, anything, the easiest thing to lose is perspective. It's so easy to get so granular in your project and you're just looking at 1% of the project. And you don't know why these two pieces don't fit together or you don't know why this seam won't sew flat.
It's really easy to ask a question of someone can you help me figure this out. A lot of the time you walk back to the project and by the time you're back at the table, you go, I don't need your help anymore, I figured it out. Because it's just something small. You pinned the two pieces of fabric off the bias or I didn't tighten a bolt down far enough, so the engine can't get compression. It's these little details that are so easy to overlook when you're excited or frustrated.
And if you just take that minute and get your perspective back, a lot of the time, you can solve your own problems. It's a joke in programming that we hear all the time, it's always a semicolon. It's that one piece in my 300 lines of code that is causing all of it to not work correctly. When we get tied up in what we're doing and you lose that perspective, you sometimes get caught in hours and hours of debugging and that one person steps over your shoulder and goes there, you're missing a semicolon right there.
Having perspective and being able to take those moments and step away when you need to is one of the greatest tools in my tool belt.