Everyone wants to make a name for himself. Everyone wants to do something new and extra-ordinary. People like me (read software engineers) want to develop “something” cool. BUT, the stage where most of them go wrong is the very first one. Most of them think that the road to develop something cool starts from a particular “language” or a tool. But I beg to differ. I say the first stage is “The Idea”.
Most of my friends and others around me think that having a particular skill set is very important to develop something the world hasn’t seen till now. And for this they end up reading through piles of books, which claim to make them a master in C, C++, PHP, Python, Web 2.0 and what not. This is all OK, but the problem is, when they have gone through the books, done all the exercises, made all the samle projects, then they have a question in their minds “Now What”?
What I think is that this question should have been asked in the very beginning of the journey. And it should have been answered by the occurrence of a new idea.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for reading books, developing skill sets, learning new technologies, etc. But the only point I want to make is that all this is a “means” to give your “idea” a shape. They are not where your story begins. What if you spent a lot of time acquiring perl skills and then when (and if) you get your brilliant idea, you find out that the best way to implement it would be using C. Are you back to square one? No. Skills acquired are never a waste. “Concepts” developed can easily be applied to the new tool that you have to use.
But one more thing, its again not a hard rule that now you should just sit in your chair all day long and keep thinking. I bet its much harder to get the idea stream flowing that way. Ideas don’t have a pattern that they follow while coming into your mind. They may come to you any place unexpected (I get most of mine while bathing ;-) ).
But there is something you can do to ensure that your brain gets accustomed to recognize an idea when you do get it. So, while you are reading through that book on C programming, don’t just get engrossed in typing out the exact source code that’s fed to you. “Think” about whether is that enough? Can you make some modification to it so that it becomes more efficient? Can you tweak it a bit to do more than its already doing?
Keep your eyes open when you go around your daily chores. Think when you open your door whether wouldn’t it be nice if the door could recognize you are there and open itself. There’s your idea. And while you are at it, think wouldn’t it be even nicer if your home would have poured you a cool drink itself when you enter it?
Now, tell me whether you would like to wait to think about these ideas till you read the book’s epilogue, or do you want to start thinking now?