Benjamin Read's code garden.

On Having Delusions of Grandeur

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This article is about: engineeringpersonal

I’m not as good at this as I thought I was. This much became apparent to me recently, when I tried to run with some industry leaders and found that my abilities in web development are still comparatively lacking.

As developers, we find no comfort in the thought that we’ll never know enough about the languages we use, the frameworks we work in, the libraries we utilise and the platforms that underpin our whole industry. It’s impossible to absorb and retain all of this information.

What really shook me up was discovering the W3C Validator tool, and finding out what I’ve being doing wrong all this time. I’ve started to retroactively go through my sites and fix the errors that were revealed, but it still smarts that I’ve been ignoring these standards for far too long.

It doesn’t help either that I wasn’t even aware of them.

What I take away from this experience is that I need to “stay foolish”, and instead of having delusions of grandeur, be prepared to take knocks like this as jolts of advancement. I realise too that I want to improve—I’m not content to go through life without continuously improving my professional abilities.

And that, I think, can count for something.”

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“Wisest are they who know they do not know.”

— Jostein Gaarder