A couple of years ago I was faced with a bit of a personal quandary. I figured that, to progress further in my career I would likely need to learn some new technologies other than Office products and VBA and settled on web development. After about ten years of using just the one technology I started to worry a little bit and even questioned my abilities to pick up stuff I hadn’t really looked at before.. Now that I’ve been at it for a while I wanted to quickly post answers to the questions I was asking myself then:-
What if I get stuck?
You will. Google, however, is your friend. I have no developer friends and very little in terms of a support network for general web development and design stuff, but I’ve coped pretty well. There hasn’t been a single question I’ve had that I’ve not been able to get the answer for myself through search or posts on sites such as StackOverflow. In addition to that, there are a whole host of sites and tutorials that can point you in the right direction. Getting involved in social networking is also useful! Find well known people who are experts in the field and follow them – you’ll be surprised just how much you can soak up just by reading their tweets/status updates and reading links they provide.
What if I don’t get it?
You will. The best advice I can give here is that the best way to learn is by doing. Just reading an article on jQuery, for example, won’t teach you enough to be able to use it. You need to practise, make mistakes, fix them, and then practise again. The only way to successfully pick up anything new is to keep at it. Don’t stress out if you keep forgetting things, just keep on going back and repeating what you’ve already done. It’ll stick, eventually, I promise.
What if the new stuff I’m learning makes me forget stuff I already know?
But there’s so much to learn!!
Whilst this post relates mainly to web development, it applies to pretty much any new subject that you want to learn. My main advice to you? Go for it. It can’t do any harm, and broadening your horizons also has the potential to open up many more possibilities in life and your career.
Until next time.. Comments as always are welcome.