Recently I read up a post from a guy with a 25 years Coding experience and nothing to show for it. And it made me think — We all do this. Start with a project and never finish it.
Sometimes it is because we want the product to be perfect before we show it to the world. Sometimes it is beacuse we abandon to work on a project since we can’t find the time to make it perfect. An even worst case of this is when we think of starting a project but never do. As someone rightly said, “Well begun is half done”.
Even right now as I am writing this post, my mind is still winding up about a stupid spelling mistake that I did in the previous paragraph. And I am continuously thinking of removing it before moving ahead. But I will leave it there. I don’t have to be perfect.
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This idea of perfection has to go. We should not aspire to be Howard Roark, but Peter Keating instead. And it is very understandable given the present times. Times that need us to learn about everything and nothing. I would rather be a Jack of all trades when it comes to my work than be a know it all at a certain technology.
Why? Because a certain technology might very well meet its end by tomorrow. What will I do then? Also knowing even a little about diverse technologies helps me to formulate a solution better. It helps to talk about different ideas and I cannot do it all by myself stuck in a rat’s hole anyway.
Some people will call it Mediocrity. But is it? And how do we get better if not by being Mediocre? I cannot learn to play guitar like Jimmy Hendrix, before releasing a few stinkers. Neither can I write like Cassie Kozyrkov without having a few failures. So should that mean that I should wait for a perfect post that could rival Cassie’s post or should I just start building a following by letting the world know about the few ideas I have? Maybe when the time comes I will get better at writing and I would have a following too.
The main idea behind all this is to start creating something. Anything. Is it of value? Maybe. Maybe not. The one thing that we humans are good at is selling ourselves short. We make a connection in our mind that if we know about something, then, of course, that something would be known to the world. Or that something is easy. We learned it somehow and the resources are there to learn it. Why create any more. And that is a fallacy. What if everybody thought like that? Would you even have that much content or resources to learn in the first place?
Also with the advent of social groups forming around DS/ML/AI, it is a good idea to mentor new data science graduates. But still, most of us with experience won’t do this. We fear — What if I am wrong? Or What if I can’t be the subject matter expertise on any question a new person will ask? But have we ever put ourselves in a new person’s shoes? Maybe they just want to learn from someone who is even a little more knowledgeable than them. Be it for learning, discussing ideas or even networking with the folks in the trade.
What we don’t realize is just how many people out there are seeking anyone who knows even a little more than they do.
It was not a long time back I thought like this myself. Although I have had a blog for more than a few years, I was never fully an active writer. Most of my blog posts have been about creating codebases around data science technology, which I could access at a later time while working. It was not to build a following, but nevertheless, it provided me with a platform. And surprisingly, I built up quite a good following on various networks like Quora, Medium and my blog around my skillset without doing much. This actually proves the point — People are looking to find someone just a little better than they are.
Every day we think of starting something without starting it is a wasted day. Ideas will come to fruition more often than they will if we start them and not sit on them. And that is my resolution for the coming year. I will be opening up my Jupyter Notebook to code something before drawing up detailed plans. Or maybe I will write my plans in the notebook itself.
But those plans will not be detailed, nor will I be perfect.