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Martin Himmel
Martin Himmel

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Introspective Questions For Personal Development

As devs, we're constantly working on external projects. By the nature of our work, we're always learning, though it may often be accidental or out of necessity. Learning for a job may be a necessity, but it may not always be what we want to learn for our personal growth/development - the internal project of our selves. Working on the internal project of our selves will almost always lead to benefits for our external projects.

With that in mind, here are a few questions I've regularly come back to over the years.

What do I want to learn?

This isn't necessarily code related. It could be a language, a skill, something for a hobby, etc.

Why do I want to learn that?

A lot of people get tripped up on this. You don't actually need a "great" or world changing reason. Sometimes, it's just because you want to try something new. It's hard to say if you'll have a long term interest in something before actually doing it.

What's stopping me from learning that?

Identifying the blocks can help remove them.

Who can I learn from?

It's great to be able to bounce questions and ideas off of someone, if you can. If not, learn from whatever source you can - books, websites, podcasts, videos, etc. Whether you can find someone to learn from or not, online communities (like this one!) are a great additional resource.

Is there someone I can teach?

Teaching something, no matter how experienced you are in a given subject, is a great way to solidify what you learn.

Why am I doing what I'm currently doing?

If you really dive into this one, it can be challenging and scary, but eye opening.

That last question led me to a career change. I was a dental tech for 15 years before transitioning to full time development. For me, the answer to the question was that I was good at it, it was safe, and it was easy. And that wasn't good enough for me. I wanted a challenge and needed to learn something new. Where I was in the dental industry, there wasn't much else to learn (the process for making dentures hasn't changed much since the mid 1970s).

Really diving in to code (more than only as a hobby) put me on the path I am now, which has led to some great opportunities. The ability to work remotely. Meeting people I wouldn't have otherwise, especially with being able to work remotely - coffee shops are my jam. Teaching opportunities, which is something I love doing. The list could go on.

Hopefully some of those questions spark some ideas for your own development. If you have a habit of doing this, what are some of the questions your regularly ask?

Top comments (3)

itsasine profile image
ItsASine (Kayla)

I put these on a Trello board to give some thought to them over the next week or so :) Thanks for sharing!

aspittel profile image
Ali Spittel

These are great questions! This is a great exercise.

martyhimmel profile image
Martin Himmel

Thank you!