Relearning An Old Skill

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Skills come and go like the planets around the sun. They’re right in front of us easily observed for a time, perhaps a long time, and before you know it, they’re out of sight and out of mind. Just as the planets do, we never fully forget the skill, but time passes and our accuracy with the skill fades. This recently became a reality for me when I started working with Thirteen05 as a web developer.

Acquiring my skill…

I attended Bowling Green State University in Ohio with an initial declared major of Architectural Design. I was enamored with Legos as a child and precision was always a passion of mine. Thus, I was off on my pursuit of becoming the next Frank Lloyd Wright. The first few years were fun, but then the real-world application, and more importantly the real-world implications, of my knowledge were realized.

Having people’s lives literally hanging in the balance on a bridge I design wasn’t something I wanted to take on day after day for the rest of my life. I jumped off the architecture ship after 3 years and started anew. One of the best decisions of my life!

Ironically enough, the field I pursued was web development, which was introduced to me in a required course for my architectural tract. I was endlessly intrigued with the boundless possibilities web development offered. I could build complex systems inside my computer, destroy them with 1 keystroke, and then build on top of the ashes, all without the fear of Jimmy and his parents falling off a flawed bridge of mine. Eventually, I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication and Technology with a focus on web development and print technology.

My skill fades…

After graduation, I took an entry level position with a small internet marketing company in Connecticut. Shortly after starting, I was promoted to a management position where my knowledge of web code and my personal organizational skills would suit the company more efficiently. This was a wolf wrapped in sheep’s wool.

Inevitably, my coding skills were limited to an “as needed” basis and I spent my days organizing work for other developers to code. I was taking a step out of the direct coding operations and focusing my time on completing projects. My coding skills had orbited to the other side of the solar system and out of mind. However, the wolf could only hide for so long, and after 4 years with the marketing company, I decided to leave and join Thirteen05 as a web developer.

Relearning my skill…

The greatest aspect of letting a skill fade is getting to relearn it. On the flip side, the worst part of letting a skill fade is having to relearn it! All the joy floods back into view as I started coding for full websites for the first time in years. This was immediately followed by sheer rage and anguish as I stumbled through seemingly rudimentary code sequences and syntax.

As the days progressed, the roadblocks starting to crumble and my skill started returning to me in waves. Not only was I getting acquainted with old knowledge, I was catching up on new techniques and learning totally new material. This was all simultaneously exciting and frightening, being in command of my knowledge again and adding new realms of technological expertise to my plate. I am by no means at the end of my journey to rediscovering my passion and knowledge for web development, but I’ve gotten over the initial hurdles and I’m looking skyward toward the mountain top.

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