In my last post, I talked about the importance of change. As a developer, you need to be open to constant change. I prefer to replace the word change with growth. It's a positive spin on a scary thing. Even if it is scary, we should have the courage to take it on.
There are a few things in my own life I've decided to take on. I've been working on changing my diet and eating less processed food because my body is the only one I've got. This enables me to also try to be a better husband and father by hopefully keeping away incapacitating back problems. When my family life improves, my work and hobbies improve as well. It is all connected and it all cascades from one part of my life to the next. No matter how much you try to compartmentalize your life, most of the aspects of your life are intertwined. Each compartment affects at least one different compartment.
I've started working on a game as well. I'm planning on broadcasting my dev as I work on it. This will allow me to grow in multiple ways. I've always had this desire to teach people. I find it to be a rewarding experience, and it also feels like I'm contributing to gaming society. Broadcasting also forces me to talk through what I'm doing, and I can then go back, analyze, and learn from my own mistakes. I also want people to see my process and not be afraid to screw up.
Development, like many areas of life, is all about learning from your screw ups. It's hard to improve if you're perfect, and no one is perfect. When I make a mistake, I correct it. I may sound self-deprecating when I realize I made a mistake, but in a way I'm just poking fun at myself. I want people to see that it's okay to cut yourself some slack if you don't know something, or if you screw up. In the moment, I may appear lost, but I'm just finding the correct path. This is how experts become experts. It's a growth mindset.
This makes me think of a previous blog post about willpower in independent research. It also reminds me of a brief conversation I had with a younger coworker. I read about development a lot. I've been reading through the GOF/Gang-of-Four/Design Patterns recently. This coworker was wondering how I have time to read books about development and other things. My immediate thought is, "How the hell do you not?"
His question was fair though, and I feel like it has a simple answer. It boils down to how we view time. I don't have an abundance of personal time in my life these days, so any personal time I get, I make sure I put it towards what feels like a good use of time.
To me, this means creating more and consuming less. I love playing video games, but I find teaching and creation more rewarding. That's where I choose to spend my time. My coworker prefers to spend his differently. He's not wrong; just different.
This is my final thought for you, examine how you are spending your time. Time is your most precious resource that you will never get back. Time is the best thing you can give someone, and you have to give it to people and things you find important. Next time you find yourself contemplating what things you could/should do, ask yourself, "Is this what I want to give my time to?" Do not give your time lightly. You are giving away a piece of yourself, and it always feels best when it's meaningful to you and others.
If you would like to follow my game dev (I'm using Monogame), you can look to the following links:
- Twitch - There is no regularly scheduled time, but I will most likely stream when my kids nap on the weekends
- YouTube - All of my casts will be archived and added to this playlist