I definitely agree with all of this. So much time I've spent trying to figure out exactly what to learn turns out to have been wasted, since most of that energy could be channeled back into just experimenting and learning more.
Don't get me wrong, setting priorities is important. But not to the point where it's paralyzing and it stops you from getting a balance of short and long term goals. For me the simplest and most effective way to quickly do this is ask "what could I improve most in my workflow?" In a blank I was learning more Rails, since it's used often at my job, and playing around with Vue, since I wanted a simpler JS framework for small ideas and experiments. I don't know if they're the absolute best things to learn for me right now (could be React instead), but they get me the most excited to learn more, and that matters more.
I also agree about learning your way around roadblocks. I'm a junior dev where I work, but I'm getting to the point where I'm about to ask a colleague for help, and most times I stop and realize I can figure it out myself with some extra digging and research. That's honestly helped the most with feeding my passion, knowing I'm getting better at teaching myself broader topics. And that's going to keep me going through my whole career :)
This issue resulted in major grief and frustration, but oh my god did it force me to learn a lot all at once. Looking back at all the times this sort of thing has happened and how to take that attitude into the next issue makes me feel pretty great.
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