Here is my final editorial for the August 2014 issue of php[architect] magazine:
Escaping the Comfort Zone
We all like to be confident in what we say and do. We like to know a topic and our job inside out. We like to learn things when it’s fun, but we “know” everything we “need” to know. We do not like to be dropped into a situation where our knowledge is questioned, where we don’t know the right answers. IT professionals are supposed to know everything and be able to magically fix everything. We are supposed to wow everyone with our brilliance at every turn. If we ever consider asking a question, RTFM and LMGTFY are there to remind us that needing help is a sign of weakness, a sign that we are not cut out for our job.
This pressure, isolation, and shame have to stop.
It’s time to step outside our comfort zone and admit that we are stronger together with a collective, shared knowledge. We need to start valuing gumption, curiosity, and a willingness to learn new things. Hard work is not synonymous with isolated work. We can learn from the developers around us, and the technology around us.
To get you started on this path of exploration, Alan has an in-depth introduction to MeteorJS, and Maarten shows you how to leverage Composer to create your own plugin system. Matt’s Education Station column covers a payment system, Pin, that will help you get your payments flowing. Aurelio has some great tools that will make the front end feel more like our back-end home. Joe has an introduction to form processing, Aaron discusses data types, and Eli wraps things up with some thoughts on the latest design trends.
These are just a few articles to get you started, but the real change has to be an attitude shift. Knowledge is power, but the real strength is in our community and how we choose to use it. Let’s use it to build each other up, to share ideas to solve problems, and to make this place a happier one for all of us. Don’t let your comfort zone keep you captive. Take a brave step today, try something new, ask a question, and then tell us all about it (@phparch) so you can inspire someone else to take a step outside the status quo.