Keep Your Swords Sharp

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No matter how long you’ve been in this business, you should keep practicing the craft of coding.
The better you get at what you do, the easier things will start to become. You’ll get gigs easier. Tasks that used to take you an hour will take you 30 mins. Your confidence will grow, and so will your bank account.
After a while some things will become automatic. You’ll get into a rhythm on a daily basis, and your career will seem like it’s coasting.
When things are good, it’s easy to let them coast. Don’t get too comfy here, or you can end up slacking.

Sharpening the Swords

With technical skills, it’s a must that you challenge yourself regularly. Learning new frameworks and tools is one way. Learning theory is another. Drilling (aka, practicing techniques repetitively) is another, far underrated way of keeping your skills up – muscle memory, baby!
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
– Bruce Lee
Soft skills – practice these too. If you find yourself coding without human contact for weeks on end, get out of the house and socialize. If you don’t have social skills, get some. (That’s is a whole endeavor unto itself – very achievable though).

Coast, But Not Too Long

Don’t get me wrong. When you’re good at something, ride that wave. There’s nothing like the feeling of success, confidence in your ability, and constant flow. But too much of that will make your skills slip.
Samurai sharpened their weapons regularly. Soldiers and police dismantle and clean their guns, and practice at the range. Olympic athletes keep practicing long after they get the gold – hell, even after they retire.
Keeping your skills sharp isn’t just what builds your career in the first place. It’s what takes you past your career and into your legacy – whatever that may be.
What are your thoughts on this? Leave a reply.