Streams of Inspiration
When do you know it all? You might be wondering what I mean by saying that, but is it possible to ever say that you know all there is to know about your chosen programming language? There are really some very good programmers out there. Guys and girls that dedicate their lives in the pursuit to knowing all there is to know about their language of choice. And when you come across one of these individuals, their grasp on that specific technology or topic is astounding. How do they do it, you wonder? They must know everything about XYZ.
Well, I can tell you now that due to the nature of technology, knowing everything is damn near impossible. But knowing a lot, isn’t. I think that to be one of those programmer superstars, you need to be a 24/7 programmer. Basically, you get two types of programmers. You get a 9 to 5 programmer, that only focuses on writing code during work hours. But come 5pm, they will have nothing more to do with anything IT related. These are the people that develop software just in order to collect a paycheck at the end of a month. There is little or no pride in their work. They aren’t team players, and they can pull you under if you’re not careful.
The 24/7 programmer
Enter the 24/7 programmers. No, I don’t mean somebody that sits in front of their PC 24 hours a day, 7 days a week writing code. That’s just stupid. And if you are currently doing that, you either have a deadline to meet, or you have a problem. Get help, because you need time to relax too. What I mean by a 24/7 programmer is somebody that still has their programmer hat on when they leave the office. They might not be writing code after 5, but they still surround themselves with IT related streams of inspiration. They are a rare breed indeed.
To do this they are the type of person that subscribes to professional magazines relating to their topic of interest. They subscribe to blogs. They follow professional people on Twitter. They sign up to sites like Stack Overflow or Code Project. They are the type of person that sees each and every programmer they meet, irrespective of field of expertise, as an opportunity to learn something new.
While I am on the topic of Twitter (and because I am totally addicted to it), let me interrupt myself quickly. If you are a programmer, and don’t have a Twitter account, then get one now. Sign up using your real name if available and follow people that share the same interests as you. Trust me, Twitter has a wealth of knowledge and you can really learn so much by what other people post. Oh, by the way, you can follow me here http://twitter.com/DirkStrauss
Since I started using Twitter, I have learned so much and made so many new friends. Obviously I started off following a few celebrities, but I have scaled that down a bit. As a programmer, here are some of the real gems I follow on Twitter: @patelchiragca (Chirag Patel), @abhi2434 (Abhishek Sur), @beckynagel (Becky Nagel), because I find maths fascinating @mathematicsprof (math prof), @CreativeAddict (Lisa Casson), @tonylukasavage (Tony Lukasavage), @sharpcms (Jürgen Gutsch), @dougholland (Doug Holland), @priyanr (Priyan R), @mbcrump (Michael Crump [MCPD]), @jonskeet (Jon Skeet), @joefeser (Joe Feser), @Tordf (Tord Fauskanger), @olgachaidou (Olga Chaidou), @siravington (Steven Moseley), @adatapost (KV), @amazedsaint (Anoop Madhusudanan), @jcdickinson (Jonathan C Dickinson), @scottgu (Scott Guthrie), @AddoLover (Vincent van Zyl), @JanesOosthuizen (Janes Oosthuizen), @jfayling (Jason R. Fayling), @HilzFuld (Hillel Fuld), @AkiAnastasiou (Aki Anastasiou), @RABotha (Reinhardt A Botha), @shanselman (Scott Hanselman), @DennisCode (Den Delimarsky), @Elsheimy (Mohammad Elsheimy), @ProgrammerWorld (Programmer World).
The idea behind creating true wealth is generating many revenue streams. The same can be said of becoming a better programmer. Create many inspirational streams. Use Social Media to your advantage and as a tool to learn something new. If you want to grow your expertise, don’t confine yourself to one technology only. Learn as much about as much as you can. There is Always something new to learn. Just because it might not be the latest thing, it might still be new to you.