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My turn to be the giant

Dear Reader,

I am a self-taught programmer.

This does not mean I conceived of all the knowledge I have in a vacuume. It does mean that I did not have a formal guide on my journey. I had to figure out what was important and what was not. Whether you are self-taught or formally educated, you are still learning what others before you have learned and shared.

As I learn new things, build on my experience, experiment, and come up with new ideas, it is important that I not forget that I am where I am because of those that have come before me. They shared what they learned so that I could learn it too.

It is up to me to carry on that tradition and share. I must share what I know with the current generation and the next, so that they can learn, be inspired, experiment, discover, and then share.

If we all stand on the shoulders of giants, eventually it is our turn to be the giant.

Until next time,
I <3 |<
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Figuring it out together

Dear Reader,

I am the first to admin that I’ve not figured out everything there is to know about software development. I don’t know anyone who has.

How am I expected to function when none of us have it all figured out?

The answer is that we have to rely on each other.

There are things I know that you don’t. Experiences that I have that you can learn from. Because others have shared their knowledge and experience with me, it is my responsibility to share with you.

You know things that none of the rest of us do. It is your responsibility to share what you know so that we can all have a more clear picture.

Help me become a better developer by sharing what you know with the rest of us.

Until next time,
I <3 |<
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Follow Friday: @lukestokes

Dear Reader,

Today’s Follow Friday is Luke Stokes. Luke is a PHP programmer, an entrepreneur, and lead programmer on FoxyCart; none of those are the reason he’s my Follow Friday today. I chose Luke because he lives a principal I aspire to; Luke is a servant.

I try to help anyone I can. If you know me and have a project you need help with – in any way – I’m always happy to help. However, being a narcissist, I sometimes forget to help if it’s not convenient; Luke suffers no such malady. Despite the fact that he’s just set out on his own and working hard to make FoxyCart the best e-commerce platform on the web, he always has time to stop and help me, even when I don’t ask.

Here’s an example. I gave Luke a copy of my latest book. He read it, he raved about it on twitter, and he rated it on Amazon. Then he went above and beyond and actually sold two copies for me. He told two friends “You have to read this book, go buy it.” Luke gets nothing financial out of doing any of this. Other than my thanks, he gets nothing out of helping…and yet he still does.

Those of us who live life on the web know that aside from the time it takes to create them, bits are free. It is tempting to think that writing an email or blog post really doesn’t cost Luke anything so it’s easy to “help” like that; I strongly disagree. Luke does what I strive to do whenever I can, he shares his influence, and shares it freely.

Luke is quite a bit younger than me – OK, most of you are quite a bit younger than me – but I learn from him every time we meet. I am honored to call him a friend and I gladly tell you about him because I want you to meet someone I think will be one of the great entrepreneurs of the coming generation.

Thanks Luke for your friendship. One day I hope to be able to repay you for all you give me. :)

Until Next time,
I <3 |<
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