I do many different things. When I was younger (around 11 years old), I used to make 3D models with Blender and play around with raytracing, caustics, bump maps, shaders, and all that good stuff. At the same time, I was getting into GNU/Linux, MySQL, and Apache. A few years later, I started playing guitar. Eventually, I became fascinated by cameras and photography. I also became the founder of a company.
I consider myself a “Jack of all trades, master of none.” I surround myself with extremely smart people whom I often times consider to be experts in their fields. I see who the masters are. I never feel like one. I always like to surround myself with people who are better than me at certain things. They push me to become better myself and learn more from them, whether they realize it or not.
I’ve seen exceptional artists, developers, guitarists, photographers, and entrepreneurs. I’m just never at their level. It reminds me of my journey to perfection.
I think it’s really hard for me to gauge my abilities. I guess I’m better than average at some things, worse at others, and terrible at the rest. I never consider myself an expert. I just never feel that knowledgeable. I know who the real experts are. I’m nowhere close. What’s interesting is that some might call me an expert at certain things. So, where do I stand?
Something that I think helps is validation. It helps when someone more experienced than me tells me that my code looks good. It helps when an instructor tells me I had “textbook execution.” It helps when a client tells his or her friends about your company and how great the service has been so far. Validation is good. Validation tells me that I’m doing something right.
I’m the founder of a web hosting brand that’s almost three years old (woo!). I know quite a bit about KVM virtualization. I’ve been using Node.js for almost 3 (?) years now, and I’ve worked with it professionally. I’ve also been tweaking my guitar rig for over 3 years to get that awesome tone.
So, where do I stand? Maybe it doesn’t even matter. I guess it’s better to underestimate yourself rather than over, right? A friend of mine suggested neither :).
I guess I could end with this thought: discover your potential, understand your abilities, and just do what you can now knowing that you’ll always get better tomorrow.