Melt My Brain

I’ve been called a “new media expert”, “technologist”, “programmer”, “web guru”, “creative software ninja”. I have a degree in design, but am a self taught webist. I love the Open Web, and I spend a lot of time staying up to speed on what’s new and exciting. I can make the code do what I need it to do (most of the time).

But I always tell people “I’m not a developer.” They always tell me “Yes, you are.”

After hearing, Chris Heilmann‘s, presentation on Monday, I felt like I’m not learning fast enough and that my twelve hours a day on the web are not enough and that my exhaustion from all the freaking learning and exploring I do isn’t justified.

Reading the chat during John Resig‘s talk reiterated some things for me. Developers tend to assume that everyone is schooled in the lingo of the land. I thought that maybe some of the less techie people in the lab and some of my less techie followers/readers might benefit from a little enlightenment.

It isn’t as complicated and we aren’t as smart as you think. I’m not saying Chris Heilmann isn’t brilliant, he definitely is, and I’m not saying that we shouldn’t respect each others talents (JQuery is a fantastic library and John Resig is a genius). Hell, I’m not even really saying “We aren’t as smart as you think” (cause we are!) I’m just trying to put it all into perspective for those of you who feel a bit overwhelmed.

I didn’t always know what an API was or why the DOM is important. I didn’t always know that I could learn Python or JQuery or JS or PHP without taking classes in mathematics or computer science. It’s ok to be unsure. Generally, people in the Open Web community are super loving and nurturing of newbies.

In the development of “Newsle“, the fully bescheuert title I’m giving my software product for now, I’ve been feeling unprepared. I’ve been feeling like it was pure luck that I got into this lab and that my ideas are actually total BS. I’ve been feeling like a fraud. My conclusion for this insistent and fully unwarranted self doubt is that innovation is hard.

It’s growing pains, kids.

I’m spending quite a bit of time researching the pre-existing libraries and technologies that will make a decent prototype easy(ish) to build. I’ve also been spending a lot of time trying to work out the interactions that a “Newsle” user could use.

At this point, I have no choice but to begin hashing out a GUI because I can’t work my way around the problems inherit in the plan without seeing what the user sees and disagrees with.

I’m moving along in my process, my way. But I want to let all of you know – competition or not, open means open, and I’m open to helping you in anyway I can. You can tweet at me or email me or comment here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

  8 comments for “Melt My Brain

  1. cole
    July 21, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    you are awesome!

  2. July 22, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    I feel exactly the same. Can’t wait to hear about Newsie.

    It’s challenging to iterate actual interfaces. There is always the fear of reactions like “this sucks” and losing that user forever.

    I suppose the point is to learn from that and regain that user tenfold down the road.

  3. July 23, 2011 at 5:19 am

    you´re definitely cool!Best! ;-)

  4. July 24, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    I think “Newsle” is more beeindruckend than bescheuert :). I also love the fact that I’m learning German from the lab as well as everything else ….

  5. July 24, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    «But I always tell people “I’m not a developer.” They always tell me “Yes, you are.”»

    same situation ;)

  6. July 25, 2011 at 1:39 am

    I love your site! I know exactly how you feel. If there’s a fraud in the group it’s me! The first time I wrote a line of code was in March of this year. Everything is going to have to be on paper for me! If you can help or have any ideas on the best (and easiest way) for a coding pleb to build a framework or prototype for what I want to do please HELP!!!

  7. Trina C
    July 28, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    You just said what I’m sure a lot of us are thinking. Growing pains, indeed. I watched a Ted Talk awhile back (wish I could remember who it was!) where the speaker was talking about professional achievements and the concept of “experts.” He said that most of us feel like frauds because there will always be someone out there who is better at our job. This is true, but it shouldn’t be a reason for giving up.

    I think that many of us also forget to give ourselves credit for the amazing work that we do. AND I think that everyone needs a good challenge :)

    • laura
      August 1, 2011 at 10:52 am

      Haha, I just reread this comment and realized that “I wish I could remember who it was” is one of the reasons I want something like Newsle. If you’d have been using Newsle and seen that Ted Talk, you might have saved it to your Dashboard, where I could see it!

      Thanks for the feedback, it is GREATLY appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.