I attended Speak The Web in Manchester with Jake earlier this week, and I thoroughly enjoyed the talks given that night, as well as meeting interesting and influential people in the industry. All very good fun and the talks given were brilliant, very interesting topics and creative delivery, and one in particular got me thinking.
One of the talks that really caught my attention at the Manchester event was How to find your inner Superhero by Rachel Shillcock, and there was a lot I felt I could relate to in that talk. While it's not unknown that Rachel is a big superhero fanatic (she loves her Iron Man), her points in the talk were very well done, and I think a lot of people could relate to them, as well as see it around them.
It's important to remember we are human and, while we are in an industry that's competitive, we're not perfect as well as capable of having flaws. It can be very difficult to accept some things you can't get over, but I'm pretty sure we all have it at some point, if not all the time.
Realising some problems are common amongst most Designers and Developers
Some of the things I have a difficult time dealing with is having creative confidence, as well as accepting that mistakes can happen, or that there's things I don't understand creatively. Sometimes you can forget you have flaws, and for something to succeed, mistakes need to happen. However, I also feel held back as a creative as I don't feel I can achieve my creative goals sometimes, or that if my work is good.
Listening to Rachel's talk about overcoming the fear of such things made me realise it's a common issue to everyone and it's something to accept as it can happen to all of us. Listening to what was being said about making mistakes and the fear of such gave me some confidence in what I do, and hopefully I'll keep going and improve.
It's important to realise you don't need to be superhuman to succeed in what you do. Even superheroes can have their flaws and can fail but sometimes flaws can be something to improve on, or something to take advantage of for your own goals.
Being humble and meeting great people in what we do
I was very fortunate to meet Rachel after her talk, and got to meet other great developers like Harry Roberts, Chris Mills, and David Bushell, as well as giving Mark Boulton a heckle during his CERN talk (which then led to a brief anti-cat rant). But what's important to realise is even established designers and developers had to overcome obstacles at some point.
I think it's important to realise even established people in our industry had to get help and learn more, and that you're not alone in that scenario. Being a designer and, or, a developer can be very challenging but making mistakes or struggling is nothing to be ashamed of; for if you have to do something great for yourself, you may have to do a lot of mistakes to learn and improve what you do.
Look up to your web heroes, realise they have been in similar situations, whether it's learning something new in our ever-changing industry, or if you're stuggling to understand how something works, and take it as inspiration to be a better creative. We all need superheroes, they inspire us to do better.