Code And Cocktails

Life Is Short, and the Craft Is Long

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Hippocrates noted that there was so much to his craft to learn, but only such a short life to learn it in1. Chaucer paraphrased it as ‘Life is so short, and the craft takes so long to learn’2.

While I can totally relate to that idea these days I didn’t always. At one point I was a foolish person who thought they were good at what they did and just slid along, month after month, year upon year not improving. That changed several years ago when I was introduced to a bunch of new (to me) ideas and techniques and the scales fell from my eyes and I realized how little I knew.

I feel I know so little sometimes; that my skills as a developer are limited. I know that is not entirely true, my self-deprecation rearing its ugly head. But it is a frequent feeling.

There is so much to learn and one’s life is so short; why then should I even bother? I enjoy programming, and I, as part of my character, prefer to do the best job I can. Thus I am left with no choice but to do everything I can to improve my skills.

There is so much to learn and one’s life is so short; how then can I move forward? I have been focusing on the basics (such as simple design and clean code) - these will be skills applicable to any programming language I may use or project I may be on. From this base I can expand into areas which are less familiar to me (such as functional and logic programming) - these will broaden the mind and help clarify existing skills in the familiar areas.

  1. Aphorismi 

  2. Parlement of Foules