Mike Branski

3 minute read

Note: Initially this post was titled ‘Relearning JavaScript’, but as I started writing it I decided to first touch on the broader picture before diving in to specific topics.

Over the past few years, my skills have stagnated. While I’m mostly talking about web development here, it’s also true with photography and other areas of my life, to a degree. I’m not bemoaning myself or anything like that, but, looking back, I stopped challenging myself and making projects fun. Even the most mundane assignment can be turned into a learning opportunity, a chance to try a new framework (AngularJS now, Knockout around this time last year), explore something new, or look at an old problem from a new angle (Get it? Angular? har har).

Some time a few years ago, I stopped doing those things. I stopped learning to the degree I used to, despite more and more things coming out each year – and, truth be told, perhaps it was overwhelming! My how has our craft changed. It didn’t happen overnight, but I certainly changed, I stopped having fun. Now, that’s a bit dramatic sounding. Of course I had fun, in both my career and life! But, as a whole, I wasn’t exploring like I used to, and the undying enthusiasm for which I was known had faded.

In reflection, perhaps I did more than I give myself credit for, but in looking back and seeing where I am and what I do now, I see an excellent opportunity to relearn how to have fun and explore new things to the degree I used to, to the degree I loved. Getting out and exploring more – both in my craft and my life as a whole – is, I think, going to be key to unlocking renewed vigor and happiness in my life. I have a list of things I want to tackle and explore (I know I keep using the word explore, but it wholly embodies the idea behind what I’m looking to achieve): acquire the skills to produce quality concept art; become conversationally fluent in French; take my development skills to the next level by learning object-oriented JavaScript, keeping up on current tools and trends, and exploring mobile and game development; renew my passion for photography by creating stunning photos and sharing them with the world, both online and in print; complete multiple costume pieces that I can display, wear, and enjoy; and publish my first book.

Those are just a few, but they’re recurring interests I have that, while I may dabble in, I don’t explore to the degree of which I’d like. By seeing some of these through I’ll be rewarded with the feeling of satisfaction that comes from accomplishing the goals I set out to do. So, here’s to relearning how to have fun!

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