Lifelong Learning and the Danger of Tech Hipsterism

A couple of weeks ago we took our first field trip as a class to Poetic Systems. It was awesome to see my first design/development business in full live technicolor. One of the things Matt, the founder of Poetic, emphasized was the difference between people who really loved coding and “Tech Hipsters”.

As a group, they’re looking for people who just want to build things and make those things look awesome. The Tech Hipster is the gal or guy who want to treat this world like it’s any other 9-5 job. You clock in, watch the clock for 8 hours and then you go home. That works for so much of corporate America, but it just can’t work in the context of this community.

For Matt, building apps and solving problems is a life issue, not just a job, and if you aren’t into making this world your life, please look elsewhere when seeking employment. It may sound harsh, but number one, it’s his business (literally) and number two from what I’ve been experiencing the past six weeks, it makes total sense.

We started really diving into JavaScript this past week, and an opportunity came up to go to a learner meetup Thursday night for people interested in JavaScript (long story, but it’s actually ECMASCRIPT… don’t ask!!!), where Curtis Schlak was basically giving a lecture about some great features for the newest/upcoming version of JavaScript and how the changes will have practical effects for those working with the language. For reference, when it comes to the web and JavaScript, that means pretty much everyone.

Here’s the main thing I took away from the meeting Thursday: Curtis is not primarily a JavaScript coder! In fact he’s currently working as a “suit” for an astronomically budgeted project and basically wears a jacket so everyone else can have fun. He just loves languages and has been messing around with ECMA6 (the new version of JS) enough that he’s teaching it to twenty newbies all eager to learn more.

If that sounds crazy, you may have the makings of a Tech Hipster, so beware! If that sounds awesome, this may be the life for you (and by extension, me). I’m wading through JS on a project now and there is one last little detail that has me stumped, so it was time to blog haha. But even in the midst of that, I love searching for the keys to solving the puzzle.

I am beyond excited that this is the world I’m stepping into, where you don’t have to stop and where once you learn something new it’s both expected for you to share it and also expected for you to be given the platform to share. OK, back to JS!

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