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.
- #MozNewsLab week one lectures by @azaaza @burtherman & @amandacox now online (phillipadsmith.com)
- John Resig Discusses jQuery and Decision to Join Khan Academy (startupsopensourced.com)