On Learning New Things

About a month ago, I attended a UX Conference in Johannesburg.  Garth Braithwaite (@GarthDB) from Adobe, one of the speakers, encouraged the audience to work on side projects to learn new skills and contribute to the open source community. The conference was quite inspiring. Consequently, over the last month or so I’ve been teaching myself a new PHP framework. My mail goal is to become a more experienced and knowledgeable developer. Before that, I spent most of my time playing PC games. A week or so into my side project adventure, I’ve noticed that I feel happier than usual. I feel much more driven and stimulated.

I did a quick search, and found that learning indeed also releases dopamine in the brain. It also improves connectivity in the brain, caused by stimulated growth of myelin. Pretty crazy!

My husband, also a software engineer, enjoys coding side projects. I always thought him crazy, to be “working” after work. There is an old, cliché proverb that says, “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. We all know its not always that simple and that every job has its good and less good parts. However, web development is a very creative field. I’m learning that making a hobby out of my job is not only beneficial to my career, but probably also to my health and overall happiness. Luckily, the state of web development technologies won’t have anyone bored soon – there is LOTS to learn. In future posts, I’ll write more about the state of web development and the web development community.