September 2019 marked my 20th year as a professional developer. I feel that I have come a long way in those twenty years, yet I continue to feel like a complete impostor almost every day. Pretty much the entire of my experience has been on the job learning or self taught. I didn’t complete school, and have made no effort to return to academia to try and get a piece of paper.
I think that has negatively impacted me along the way, not having the confidence to say “I’m qualified, look it says so right here”. So, in that twenty years, I’ve only had four jobs. Maybe it would have been different, I don’t know. I am, where I am.
To me, my chosen profession is not “just a job”, and in order to be the best I can be, I have to continue to grow in whatever way I can. With this in mind, I felt that trying to share what I felt about software development with others might help me reflect and grow in new ways, having found so many excellent “dev” streamers making positive impacts on others. So, this was the year I decided to give streaming a true shot. In doing so, I have learned a lot about me, a lot about what I really think and feel about software development. I have learned that I am not alone in my lack of confidence, or even alone in my origins story. I have learned that there are people out there excited to develop, but scared to fail.
In streaming, I discovered a great community full of helpful and understanding individuals. I believe my streaming has been a positive impact on myself, and more importantly, on others. After making affiliate, I applied and I was invited to join a team of like minded individuals in the form of the Live Coders and have been honored to have other team members visit my stream. Considering the negativity that is easy to find out there on “the internet”, it makes a refreshing change to find so many people who are genuinely out to help their fellow human.
In addition to my software development journey (because I have infinite amounts of time!), I decided to take my health a little more seriously. I began a new journey, taking up Karate. Going from completely out of shape to being in a class full of teenage black belts was quite the start, but I’ve seen positive improvement. Both in my mind and body. I have had the chance to reflect on my own personal beliefs in ways I didn’t expect, and feel that I’m a better person for this new path.
I hope that 2020 brings with it new positive challenges, new growth and new possibilities.