‘Just break things’

‘Just break things.’ ‘Get your hands dirty.’ ‘Just dive in.’

A simple, and infuriating piece of advice that I’ve been given, and given to others. So surprisingly difficult to carry out sometimes. I was reminded by this bit of advice while working on a project last week.

Last year, I built a static website for the Women in Tech campaign. A bit later, to make updates and maintenance more sustainable, I attempted to translate it into a custom WordPress site. As so often happens, over time things became busy, the project became frustrating, and the conversion fell by the wayside. Since the beginning of 2016, I knew that revisiting this project was one of the first things I wanted to do after finishing the MakerSquare program.

Back to last week — I finally had a chance to revisit the project. As I began digging into it again, I was surprised at how things started clicking into place — quickly. In the span of one afternoon, I found myself falling down a rabbit hole and completing most of what I had originally intended to do last year. It’s a very particular and different feeling to work through something with a methodical confidence. ‘I don’t know the answer but I’ll sure find it.’

It ties in to some of the thoughts I’ve had about the ‘bootcamp’ industry lately. It seems like every day I stumble across a LinkedIn post or Medium piece on the topic. I’ll probably write one myself eventually. From my current vantage point, one of the main benefits I can see is that the experience bolsters you. In ways, it provides a base layer of confidence. Where that confidence is most essential is as the spark of motivation to continue hacking away at it (pun intended), even in the moments where you don’t feel like you know anything (you do). To just keep getting your hands dirty and work at it, and eventually it will click.