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Inspiration Episode #6: 4 Tips for Starting from Ground Zero, and Celebrating 500k listens!

Published 4/6/2015

In today's episode, I'm ecstatic to announce 500k unique listens! That's half of a million, if you didn't already pick up on that.

I'm looking forward to the 1 million mark with all of you!

I also discuss a few tips for starting from ground zero. Thank you for your support!

If you'd like to give back to Developer Tea, head over to http://developertea.com/donate - every donation is a huge help to making this show a reality 4 days a week!

Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
Hey everyone and welcome to Developer Tea name is Jonathan Cutrell and today is a very special inspiration episode. Now I know you're thinking it's a little bit early in the week for you to be doing an inspiration episode Jonathan what are you doing? And I honestly I'm just too excited to wait until later in the week to tell you all about this milestone that we've hit on Developer Tea. We have just hit over the weekend 500,000 that's half a million unique lessons. That is absolutely incredible and I only have you to thank. Thank you so much for listening to the show and for making it worthwhile for me to do four of these per week. I'm so thankful. So a lot of you have sent me emails. I've asked you to send me emails with questions or comments suggestions or if you're just looking for advice you sent me emails at Developer Teagmail.com and a lot of these emails have a very similar question and I want to give you a little bit of inspiration by answering this question today. And that is how do I start if I've never done this before? If I'm starting from absolute ground zero, how do I wrap my brain around becoming a developer? This is not an easy problem to solve and I totally understand why I've received this so many times because I remember the same process. I remember the same part of my life when I was just starting out with development. It's not easy. In fact, starting out with anything that you've never done before is very difficult to do because you just don't have anything to pull from other than the people you might know or the stories you might read about other people who have already done that thing. And so today I want to give you a few tips based on the times that I've done things that were fundamentally new for me to do. But first I want to start with a reminder and this reminder is for those of you who might be considering doing something that is a little bit risky that you really want to do but you're just not sure if you should do it. This podcast didn't exist on January 1st of this year. It was just an idea. I hadn't even committed to recording the first episode yet. But I was really excited about doing this show and I really wanted to create Developer Tea. I wanted to create a short podcast about development. But see the thing is I knew that it was very possible that I would fail. I knew that it was very possible that I would invest far more than it was worth investing into something that would eventually fail. I'm so glad that I chose to do this. I'm so glad that I chose to move forward. And if you are in a similar position where you have an idea that is very likely or even just possible that it might fail, I encourage you to consider the benefits and consider how strongly you want to do that thing. Because if you just live out of fear, if you only expect to do the things that you want to do when they are guaranteed to work, then you'll never do the things that you want to do. Because so little is guaranteed to work. We have to treat our lives in such a way that we're willing to take some risks, that we're willing to risk failure in order to do the things that we truly want to do. So I want to share four things with you that I think might help guide you as you start out your journey, whether you're becoming a developer or something entirely different. These are things that I've learned when doing something fundamentally new and hopefully they will help you. Number one, start with what you have, everybody has something already, everybody already has some kind of knowledge available to them. For example, I knew how to record music when I started this podcast out. And so I could use the knowledge that I had and the tools that I had to record music to record this podcast, to record these episodes. And so I had that knowledge already available to me. You might have knowledge like how to Google something really well and you might be laughing, but that actually is a very good skill to have. If you don't know how to use Google, for example, you're going to have a hard time actually learning, making your own learning path to become a developer because so many of your resources are accessed through some kind of search engine. Maybe you come from a different background like business or even construction, for example, you can use the knowledge that you gain in a business scenario or even on construction management scenarios. Those things are applicable to your learning as you move forward with development. So don't count all the knowledge that you already have as useless. Use what you have, start with what you have. Number two, treat learning as an experiment rather than as a pass fail like a class. Failure is an outcome that we can use to inform our learning in the future. And we can go into our next experiment if we treat learning as an experiment. We can go into the next experiment after we failed with more knowledge and a better hypothesis because we use the previous experiment's outcome to inform the future. We learn from our failures. Now I don't think that it's good to constantly fail because then we aren't learning from our failures. If we keep on doing the same thing over and over and expecting something new, it's like performing the same experiment and doing the same things and expecting a different outcome. But we should appreciate the new knowledge that we gain from failure. So treat your learning as an experiment. Number three, understand that doing something new doesn't have a guaranteed timeline. Sometimes your learning process will go much slower than you expected to. Sometimes it will go way quicker than you expected to and sometimes your journey will be more like a roller coaster where you learn a lot one day and the next day you feel like you're crawling. And this is how it is for everyone. This is just the way learning goes because you're doing something fundamentally new for your brain. You're creating new pathways in your brain and you can never expect to predict how that will go. You can never expect to predict how quickly you will learn something because you don't know anything about it. You're starting out from a blank slate so you're just making a guess. So if you understand that there isn't a set timeline, then you will have a much better process of learning because you allow things to go the speed that they naturally go and you'll learn better rather than focusing on how slow or how fast you're actually learning. Finally number four, and perhaps this is the most important thing. Maintain a steady and focused input. If you're trying to do something that is fundamentally new and you're only doing it sporadically and you don't have a consistent schedule or a consistent approach to the way that you are trying to learn or the way that you're trying to practice something, then you'll never be able to understand your progress. You'll never be able to consistently see how well you are learning something. And it's very easy to get discouraged because you don't see the change because it's difficult to measure. In other words, if you do the same thing every week, then you know how much better you have gotten on a week to week basis. But if you do something different every week, then it's difficult to measure your growth. It's difficult to see what has changed when you are changing your process of learning. So maintain a steady and focused input when you are doing something new. And I promise you will see returns from the input that you make. You will see returns on your investment. Thank you so much for listening to Developer Tea and thank you for 500,000 unique listens. I hope that we all can reach a million and half the time that it took us to get to 500,000. If you want to help me do that, go to iTunes and leave a review for the show. It's the best way to help other developers just like you find Developer Tea. If you'd like to reach out to me, you can reach me on Twitter at app Developer Teaor you can email me at Developer Tea at gmail.com. And until next time, enjoy your tea.