I came across a great post on Smashing Magazine this morning by Andrew Clarke titled A Modern Designer’s Canvas.
In it he talks about four things he learned in art school that have served his career well.
I’m going to talk about four lessons that can help us do what we do better. These have been important to me, especially over the last challenging few years, when how we make websites has changed so much. They’re lessons that I learned a long time ago, at art school:
1. Find a medium that expresses your interests and talents.
2. Don’t get intoxicated by a process or fall in love with tools.
3. Challenge what you’re told, including what you’ve heard at conferences and in articles.
4. Beat your own path, rather than walk someone else’s.
#3 is the most interesting to me. As someone learning to code I feel like I’m in a position where I can’t challenge anything because I don’t know enough to realize what is right, what is wrong, or even if it is as simple as that.
It’s not that my voice doesn’t matter, it’s just that the value I bring to learning to code is what my eyes see as someone new to the industry. Some would call it the curse of knowledge, but if you have been immersed in coding for years some things you take for granted, like what a text editor is and does, or what a library or framework is, isn’t such a simple concept for someone starting out.
That is what is compelling me to document every step of the way so that anyone coming after me will have a clearer path to learning how to code.