This post was originally published on December 5, 2020 on my blog.
I'm sitting here on this lazy Saturday morning, working on my latest embroidery project. (In case you didn't know, I've gotten really into this new hobby over the past month!)
When I was just starting out with embroidery and learning the ins and outs of the different types of stitches, I felt like I was just barrelling through each design as a means to finish and move on to the next one.
What started as an almost-compulsive drive to complete each project turned into stress and tension - something that I never thought would come out of such a relaxing pastime???
But as I was working through stitching a series of flowers and leaves in my latest project this morning, I came to the realization that there's actually nothing dictating that I need to go quickly in order to finish it.
I mean (not saying I'm going to or anything) I could potentially work on the project for a year if I wanted to - taking care to get each stitch just right, watching videos of particularly difficult stitch techniques that I'm just not understanding from visual explanations of the technique, etc.
And then, of course, I thought about that in terms of my own coding journey and the adventure I've been on over the past year and a half.
I've touched on it a tiny bit in my last couple of blog posts, but I'm having the same realizations as I'm deepening my understanding of Redux and state management within increasingly more complex web applications.
Taking my time to truly understand something, and intentionally not moving on until I'm comfortable with a certain concept has proven to be the best strategy for improving my skills as a developer.
If that means stopping my learning for the day in order to come back the next day with fresh eyes and a fresh outlook, then that means it'll take me an extra day to move on.
And that's totally fine. Plus! It definitely beats the frustration of moving on anyway and then having to circle back way down the road to try to understand it again (putting us right back at Square One).
Honestly, taking up embroidery was meant to give my brain the occasional break from coding and constant learning.
But I'm actually delighted to report that what it's really giving me is a great dose of perspective and appreciation for taking all the time I need along the greatest adventure of my life (thus far).
P.S. I'm launching a new course - Crafting Your Come-Up - for early-career developers to set themselves apart along their coding journey!