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Best thing you can do for your career is to be active outside your employer. Publish, speak, build. Repeat. Publish, speak, build. Repeat.— Rachel🦄Nabors (@rachelnabors) July 3, 2017
I discover ideas every day by talking to people, listening to them, reading, writing, attending events, going to meetups, sharing ideas, pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
None of these are restricted to Web development:
- I studied psychology for six years. I bring a huge number of things I learned from that experience to my new job as a Web developer every day.
- I read books on writing, artificial intelligence, war-torn Cambodia and many more. They help me get a broader, more informed view of the world, and this helps me be a better developer.
- I am interested in the stories and views of everyone I meet. The variety of things I've learned from people by just asking them questions is amazing.
- I've volunteered and worked for companies that have nothing to do with technology. Every single one allowed me to meet people and learn things that make me a more well-rounded developer.
- I've worked and lived in (for at least 6 months) six different countries. Being immersed in cultures unlike my own helped me open my mind, consider others' points of view and learn that our similarities are stronger than our differences.
There have been so many moments where I’ve gone a little out of my way, above and beyond the call of duty, to seek out a new perspective, and come away thinking ‘Wow, my views have just been entirely shaken up or changed’.
Such moments are like little flames that keep me motivated and constantly wanting to find more. I don’t know how many people get to experience such shifts in their views as often as I do, but it’s something that feeds my thirst to know more, get a more holistic view of the Web industry and figure out how I can help it move in a good direction.
I've been granted so many cool opportunities by being proactive and enthusiastic about learning. To name a few: a internship where I get paid to learn, a great and supportive mentor, a chance to speak internationally, a meetup where I learned and now teach, a website where I can spill my thoughts, endless tips and advice, a huge and amazing network of friends, etc.
The Web is at a point where more of us need to be putting in some effort to get a broader view of the world and the people living here. The social effects of the Web are stretching further and further every day. More and more people are getting access to it. More than ever, we need to make sure it's an accessible and secure place for everyone.
Make a plan, set yourself time, push yourself out of your comfort zone, talk to people, write down what you learn, enjoy what you experience. Get excited about learning and experiencing. Get excited about Web development. The Web needs you :)
Get in touch with me if you have any thoughts about this article, how you learn outside your employer, or to share what excites you about Web development :)