Outperforming the Competition

[U]nless your talent and skills absolutely dwarf those of your competition, the deep workers among them will outproduce you.
—Cal Newport, Deep Work

(via Shawn Blanc)

This is super relevant if you’re on your own or even starting to pursue a career in programming. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend. The intensity of focus counts. Call it myelin or what else you will: only deliberate practice will make you better. “Deliberate” means it’s challenging. And that you pay attention to the challenge. That you elaborate why you failed. All of this takes a bit of extra time, but the result is so much better than simply dashing through and hoping for the best.

It’s easy to leave the StackOverflow copy & paste “”coders”” behind.

That’s why I find Khuong’s 100 Swift projects or Patrick Bellot’s experiments in Swift so impressive. Everyone can do that.

I know for sure that I need to pick up a book on Core Image and Core Animation sometime, soon, because I have no clue how to use these frameworks. It’s not a blind spot. It’s a known weakness. Doing a challenging project in these areas will catapult my skill further towards mastering the craft.

Here’s my invitation to you: take a minute to evaluate where you stand. What does make you uncomfortable? Take note of that. Make these things projects. Then do or plan some research for each to find out how to tackle these known unknowns. Then execute.

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