Overnight success takes years

Great advice in a post on Coding Horror, from Jeff Atwood and others.  This title made me laugh: Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years.  I started playing around with BASIC on the Apple II’s at school in 4th grade, then on my parents’ Kaypro II.  So I’ve been been at it a long time.  There’s a whole lot left to learn.

I also (sort of) studied violin for ~15 years.  I can manage to play a few things well, but it’s mostly frustrating, because I can’t just pick it up and play.  And I know what it would take: consistent, dedicated practice — not just playing, but practice, doing specific exercises to develop specific skills and expand my repertoire.

The same definitely applies to software and business development.  I’ve had extensive experience with some technologies in some application domains, but there’s so much I don’t know.  I’ve definitely reached a stage in my professional career where I’m starting to feel like things should be happening, and it is hard to be patient and keep slogging away.  Keep learning something new — that’s the easy part, actually.  Focused, intentional practice is not so much fun.  But I’m in it for the long haul, maybe one day I also will be able to wake up an overnight success.