As a full-time student with a part-time job and various social responsibilities, like local meetups, dates, and Disney, I can only manage small spots of free time to work on my design and front-end development experience. However it hit me as I was finishing up yet another one of my weekly exams, I am spending way too much time practicing and not enough performing!
At the beginning of the summer, I came up with several projects to complete by the time my full-time class schedule started again, but I found myself getting distracted, lazy, and forgetful of those once-exciting aspirations. When I finally got around to doing any work, I would feel unprepared and escape back to the online tutorials or library of ebooks I bought to become a better designer/developer. I would keep telling myself that if I just practice a little more then I'll be ready to conquer [insert project challenge here] and be awesome! Except I would just stay in my cave of guided readings and Codecademy lessons, always putting off the moment when I would actually apply my knowledge.
"Practice makes perfect" - but what do you have to show for it at the end of the day. Why not put that work to good use and make something useful?
This is not a new concept by any means, but it is one that needs reinforcement among the aspiring makers and creators of the web. Whatever you make doesn't have to be used by millions or even thousands, just as long as it's something you are proud to put out in the world. Learning by real world experience is one of the easiest ways to conquer that development concept or design technique. Don't just create some practice site or app and squander it away where no one else can ever see it- you never know what might become of that seemingly insignificant site idea or design.
This article is meant to be a short and sweet reminder of the dedication required to succeed. After realizing my mistake, I immediately set a schedule and deadline to complete at least one project by the end of the summer. I hope to be back in a couple weeks with a finished product that I will be proud to let others explore and use. I would love to see more people set on this path as well. So, if there is a completed project you would like to show off, please feel free to share it with me on Twitter (just click the bird in the footer) and good luck!