Stepping out of your comfort zone as a Developer: Read Time - 4 Minutes


Whenever I think of stepping outside of your comfort zone. It reminds me of the poem by Robert Frost on "The Road Not Take"..

Which focus on one's path of self-discovery through either walking down a conventional path or a path that is uncharted by anyone. 

As a person who is always going for the road less travel. It has paid both in dividend and experience in shaping who I am as a developer. 

Learning through Failure, there is not shortcut to success

Take for example that I had failed to complete my Udacity course for React Nanodegree on my first try. 

It was only my second try that I was able to complete my 3 React assignments to complete my nanodegree.

Being a developer is hard work with no quick shortcut that allows one to be a developer within 3 months.

Embarking on your Journey as a Craftsman

It is more or less the first step in your journey for Coding Bootcamp or other online courses like Udacity.

Which is a continuous journey who's focus is in building works of art. By applying our mind and experience practising our craft on a daily basis to become a craftsman.

For fresh graduates of university or coding Bootcamp graduates, my first suggestion is always to seek employment as a developer in a tech startup. 

My reason for this advice is that your given opportunities to grow as a developer by working with new technologies and software development practices like Scrum or pair programming. 

Doing things that Scares the Hell Out of You

Besides that, you are actually challenged on a daily basis to apply what you had learnt into your projects at work even you do not have a full grasp of the technology or practices.

I usually called it "doing things that scare the hell out of me" which is a useful process.

Since being comfortable is not really an ideal type of environment as it might lead you to stagnate in your skillsets and thinking.

Besides making a priority in upgrading one's skills or knowledge in software development. 

As a developer, we should challenge ourselves by stepping out of our comfort zone by enriching our mind and experiences. 

Like going to museums to understand art pieces, travelling to a country you had never gone before. 

Imperfection to Building Instagram

Attending meetups with different domains are some of the examples that enrich our mind and experience to develop solutions to problems that might be novel or groundbreaking.

Take for example the co-founder of Instagram Kevin Systrom, he was taking courses on photography.  Instead of using his latest camera that he brought,

He was given an old film camera by his photography professor to take photos. 

This leads him to appreciate imperfection by handling the quirks of the old film camera which he took photos. 

This eye imperfection and developing photos from films. Lead him in taking photos that is imperfection which was similar to his old film camera allows him in co-founding Instagram. 

While there was a growing pool of users taking a photo with their own smartphone. It leads him to create an Instagram filter that till this day is considered 1 of the top 10 filters that are commonly used by users of Instagram.


By making a choice to step out of one's comfort zone is a daunting task but it is never impossible.   

As the saying goes "whenever there's a will there is always a way".

Therefore i challenge you to make a habit of stepping outside your comfort zone.

Be it your career or just doing something different to grow as a developer. You will gain rewards and give you the precious experience as a craftsman.

"The Road Not Taken" Robert Frost Poem

Interview With Kevin Systrom On Master of Scale