We Each Need Our Own Voice

You’ve heard of the band named R.E.M., right? You may have heard their songs Everybody Hurts, Losing My Religion, or Man on the Moon.

An R.E.M. song came on the radio the other day. Some people wouldn’t say that the lead singer’s voice is “good” (others surely would). It’s not like Usher’s voice or Justin Timberlake’s voice. It may not necessarily be a very great voice, but it is unique.

This reminded me that we don’t have to be as talented as others, sometimes you just need to have your own voice. There will be people that love different, unique, and wonderful qualities it has. It may not be everyone’s favorite, but it can still be the favorite of many, many people.

You’ve heard of Casey Neistat?

He recently posted a video called: How to vlog like Casey Neistat, by Casey Neistat. In it, he shared ways that you can vlog like him. But in the end said that even if you do follow those instructions and do everything he does, you’ll have created your own Casey Neistat video and you’ll have failed.

You need to have your own voice. We need to not worry so much about sounding like others. Sound like you. Be like you.

I came across a neat post titled: Not Doing it Right Should Never Stop You From Doing it at All.

It’s about having your own voice and an outlet of creativity. It is a good reminder for me that I should keep going with my learning to code. There have been many times of frustration for me.

Two favorite quotes from the article: “Perfectionism kills good ideas” and “You don’t need to know everything to get started, you only need to know enough to keep yourself interested in learning more.” Also, I love that he uses a vanilla Twenty Fourteen WordPress theme on his site.

Here’s a longer quote from the post:

“I’m not an engineer, I’m a hack. My code will never be as efficient as yours. My algorithms will never be as elegant as yours. My comments will always include movie quotes, and inside jokes, and certainly won’t be as helpful as yours.

But my software will be a unique expression of myself. At some point, writing code stopped being a purely academic exercise (if it ever was that, and I personally don’t believe it ever was, except in the imaginations of those who wished it would be) and it became another medium regular folks use to express ourselves.

That’s a wonderful thing, it truly is. It means there will be messy, spaghetti-fied code that’s unreadable and inefficient and may not ever be fully understood even by the folks who write it, but that has always been the case. Code has always been messy, which is why there has been so much energy spent on teaching people how to write clearer and cleaner code. One of the main goals of objected oriented design patterns was to create code that humans can understand more easily.

If code was always clean, we’d still be programming in assembly.

We are going from code that was created to solve problems to writing code to create new problems. That’s the next step forward and we need minds who are excited about going places they’re not supposed to go.

The wonderful outcome is that the barrier to entry has been lowered enough that we can start teaching an entire generation of kids how to write code. It’s still an ongoing process but writing code is going to become as ubiquitous as writing a blog or posting on Facebook. While some may decry the current generation as being Snapchat-obsessed and only capable of communicating in Twitter-sized chunks, they are at the same time, capable of writing their own scripts and self-automating their workflow, in any vocation, from accounting to zoology. They are absolute geniuses compared the previous generation that grew up only having one computer to share among a whole class, or none at all.

If you’re an old timer who’s been there, made those mistakes, and has the scars to prove it, keep sharing your wisdom, it’s essential.

If you’re just starting to write software for your own personal reasons: come on in, the water’s fine.

The first thing to learn is that you can’t learn everything at once and you don’t need to know everything to get started. You only need to know enough to keep yourself interested in learning more. That’s all anyone else did.”

So in the end, just keep going. Think less about what others think. Don’t get very caught up in it. Just do what you do. Build. Create.

Lift up your voice and sing your song.

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