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Markel!

Curve

I’m a few months in and it’s accurate to say that I’m enjoying my new role at work, doing great things with the VIP team at WordPress.com. I feel like I’m able to contribute to big projects by taking some grunt work and communicating with our clients clearly and often as we partner with them to do Big Things. I feel like I’m doing a pretty good job with my responsibilities, and am happy with the things I’m able to accomplish.

But I get frustrated an a near-daily basis, and that frustration is all with myself.

There are some neat things I can do now that I haven’t been able to do in the past. I’m using my knowledge of WordPress templating now more than I have in a long time. I’m learning more of the ins and outs of WordPress.com, which is really interesting. And I’ve gone from not even knowing what wp-cli is to using it on a daily basis and being comfortable with doing so. I can get things done.

One goal I’ve had with shifting to doing this job has been to try to use the (admittedly quite weak) PHP development skills I have to assist with other tasks. This has been great in theory and in practice I have been able to learn little things here and there.

But it’s the sheer amount of things I don’t know that has me intimidated and quite frankly annoyed with myself. I can’t read Javascript and hardly know what it can do or does in a specific context. I don’t even know what cross-site scripting is, let alone how to prevent it or other security problems. Best practices like sanitization and escaping and where to apply or which methods to apply where elude me.

I don’t even understand how to use git yet. (svn and I are cool.)

Debugging is sometimes a total and complete mystery—just finding a place to get started is on ordeal and I feel like it takes me way too long to catch on to some things.

The problem feels like one of sheer scale. Where do I start? What do I do? Maybe I’m too old to learn new things at this point; I don’t know. I get bored taking classes, because they are too far from actual practice, and I get frustrated with just diving in because I feel there are too many things to learn at once.

I’m not really sure why I’m writing this out. Is this a common thing to feel when approaching this kind of thing? Is there anything out there you’ve used in the past or things you have done that help with overcoming the intimidation factor?

I’m hoping that in a year or ever a few months, I can look back on this and laugh at it.