2016-02-11

JavaScript fatigue fatigue

Enough with the fatigue – tips against feeling overwhelmed:

  • Don’t try to know everything – it’s impossible in modern web development. Given that there is always more to know, it doesn’t matter that much what you learn (unless you have a specific need).
    • Go for depth in areas you love.
    • Go for breadth and on-demand learning in areas you are merely interested in or think you should know more about.
  • Wait for the critical mass. You can often afford to get started by reading the opinions of people you trust and wait it out until new ideas prove themselves.
  • Stick to things you understand: don’t use more than 1–2 new technologies per project.
    • It’s important to retain at least some feeling of control.
    • Every technology that people need to learn before they can use your project raises the barrier of entry and makes it more difficult to find collaborators, colleagues and employees.
  • Do exploratory toy projects: I like creating small projects that explore technologies or aspects of technologies.
  • Diversify in life: Specializing is good, but it’s also good to have regular activities not related to tech and/or brain. The advantage is that if you are frustrated in one area of your life, you have others to fall back on.

Even with the last of the previous tips, I find it important to remain human. Don’t overdo discipline, don’t become a life improvement machine. Periods of boredom and doing nothing are important for recuperating and inspiration.

When in doubt about what to learn next, you can always go back to fundamentals:

  • JavaScript, CSS, etc. (which technologies are fundamental depends on your work)
  • Non-technological skills: time management, social skills (communication, team building, …), health (posture, breathing properly, moving well, eating well, …), management processes and so on.

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