Hi 👋, my name is Michael Erb.
I am a self taught full stack web/software developer. I love learning all things programming and never want to stop learning about new things. I spend most of my time coding, coming up with new project ideas, playing games, and being outside with my family. If I’m not at my computer, I’m outside exploring and enjoying time in the mountains.
My background into web development starts about 8 years ago and I have not stopped learning new languages or working on new projects (with something new that I discovered) since. I started with some small projects to help myself learn and apply what I was learning. When working as a support rep at a medium sized company, I was mostly on chat support taking about two to three chats at a time (I think that is why chat support is not great sometimes for the person seeking support). To help myself be faster, I started keeping track of common issues customers would come with and responses I had to them. Then, put them into a list and created a chat script frontend using Angular(js) v1 to add search to it. There were copy buttons and voting to bring other responses higher. I shared this with my team and they loved it. It was such an amazing feeling to create something that other people enjoyed using and that filled a need. Management eventually got involved and started making requests for features. (Got a crash course in some project managment then.)
Deciding I liked this kind of work, I sought out being a freelancer and found contracts from really small to increasingly bigger projects. Then, landed my first jr frontend web dev full time position. I learned so much about how to be on a team of developers and work through projects together. Fast forward a few years and I started getting into and learning more about how the back end works and architecting new projects. Fast forward a few more years and I started getting interested in dev ops with the needs of my job at the time.
I wanted to create this blog to share my passion for web development and coding in general. Something always held me back though. That pesky imposter syndrome. In this case, that feeling of someone else out there does it better than you. Explains it better, understands it better, and so on. Someone else out there is so much better I should be embarrassed to even try to share. Then, I came across this web comic that put it into perspective for me.
If for some reason the image above is not working, the gist is that many of us humans come built in with this pre-conceived notion that we should know a specific amount of things by the time we become “adults.” I have seen this in myself even with web dev. Have you ever told yourself or someone “I/you should know this already”!? You, my friend, have fallen into that trap.
In reality, we just cannot know everything. We could have never come across a subject. Or forgotten it. For whatever reason, we cannot be familiar with everything. With that said, some days you or I get to be one of the lucky 10,000 and learn something new. In the web industry, the math may work out to be more like the lucky 100, let’s be honest.
In the past, this held me back from asking questions in meetings so I would not look like a dummy. We are all dummys sometimes though, some people just put on a good face for the rest of us. I’m not saying we should interrupt meetings with every intrusive thought that comes to mind. My main take away I want to share is to not hold yourself back because you think you should already know something. Working on getting over this fear of asking questions over the last several years has helped in countless ways both professionally and personally.
My goal for this blog is to help someone be one of those lucky 10,000 or however the math works out. Another, more selfish, goal is to also allow more people to point out my mistakes or misunderstandings. I definitely don’t know everything, and I may have some pre-conceived notions about some things myself too. I don’t want to go on through life not knowing that! Who would?