“Get Better” – make it uncomfortable…

October 21, 2011

The SEP Blogoff challenge this week was to write about getting better.   I had to think a little about this.   I mean, there are some good reasons that come to mind immediately – career growth, introspective challenges, helping others.  While these are great reasons for me to get better, I’m still limited by my personal comfort zone.

As someone who was working solo for over a year, one of the biggest problems I ran into was the lack of external influence to get better.  Even with the reasons above to get better, I was comfortable with my own pace, and being comfortable means you aren’t growing.

Today, I’m fortunate to be on a great team!  Sure, sometimes being on a team is uncomfortable for me, especially when I feel like I’m light years behind.  It’s a big change from being on my own pace, to keeping up with an entire team.

I’ve learned that in order to get better, you have to get outside of your norm, and make it uncomfortable.  Pick up a new SCM tool and pound through it.  Go through some new Katas for a development environment or language that you don’t know very well.  Practice Pain-Driven-Development to reduce pain points in your daily routine.  And spend some extra time helping solve problems that the team is having.

By practicing any of these and pushing my comfort zone, I continue to get better.  I make it uncomfortable.