I’ve been thinking a lot lately about boundaries. Limits we set ourselves and others. Now boundaries can be a good thing, but they can also bring destruction and prevent us from reaching our full potential not only in our work lives but in the way that we interact with other people in our everyday lives.
Who we are and how we act should be a decision we make on our own as we grow up, but so often that is determined by other people and judgement of what we wear, how we talk… all sorts of things.
You will almost certainly heard people talking about being more of either a left or a right brain thinker, more creative, more logical. The left hemisphere of the brain has logical and analytical qualities whereas the right hemisphere has creative qualities. I love that we are all different. That we can all prefer different aspects of everyday things and thrive under different conditions. Accountants passionate about numbers and designers passionate about…well…design. Creativity. But what happens when the two mix? Can people who are more ‘logical’ also turn on that other side of the brain and cross the boundary into learning to be creative? And in fact, more to the point, whoever said accountancy couldn’t be creative?
Within the web development world there is a huge amount of terminology thrown around. Back end, front end, designers and specialist UX developers, python specialists… I believe there will always be a preference and a natural place we will each find our place, like I will always love front end development and be geekily passionate about SASS. But if we limit ourselves to just those areas we never know what we might be missing! How by engaging the other side of our brains and pushing those defined limits we can do things we never knew we could do and perhaps find we can do more than we thought. How can we bring creativity to things that can seem like purely logical tasks? How can logical processes and thought take creativity to the next level?
“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. – William Faulkner”
The problem is how can we get to that place when we never give ourselves a chance? As a front end developer I would normally not be expected to be good at MySQL or PHP, database development…all that scary back end stuff. I have been lucky enough to work in an environment where I have had the flexibility and encouragement to play around and experiment. After 2 .5 years of web development I can say I love databases as well as the pretty interfaces I get to primarily work with. I enjoy seeing things come together and just work and so to some extent enjoy back end development just as much as front end, although I am not as proficient in it due to the amount of time I spend there.
“Thinking about the whys of what we do and, for me, how I code…just because its a trend or we are told it is the ‘right’ way to do something doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be tested & challenged. – Beth Elwell”
People talk about full stack developers as unicorns…some mystical creature flying way up somewhere in the clouds vomiting rainbows…I hope one day to be able to call myself a full stack developer though I am not sure I’m there yet but I’m not gonna lie, I am no unicorn and I don’t want to be either! Trying out new things and pushing the boundaries that your clothing, job title, friends, family or religion define should be a natural part of life. Not accepting facts as facts until they have been tested to be so. Not accepting what you’ve been told is impossible but taking it and making it possible.