This year I was lucky enough to go to Laracon EU as my company were sponsoring. As usual this was a fantastic conference with a host of brilliant speakers, all dispensing valuable technical insights or delivering a strong message about the state of our industry and how we should be conducting ourselves.
After the conference I have had time to reflect and come to a couple of conclusions on how I am progressing as a developer and how I want to shape the way I move forward.
The first realisation comes from Jeffrey Way's talk Things Laravel Made Me Believe. During the talk he went over everything a modern developer has to learn, the list in the talk is by no means exhaustive but, it is several slides long. Up until now I have aimed at being a "full stack developer", trying to learn and stay up to date with server administration, database administration, back-end languages & frameworks, front-end languages & frameworks, HTML, CSS... the list goes on. I now realise that this is a huge burden to place on myself, it is impossible to become great at anything when you are spread too thin. As such I will now be focusing my attention on being a back-end developer and improving my core programming skills. I will keep a broad knowledge of everything else so that I can remain current, but the core realisation is I cannot be an expert in all of these things.
My second realisation is that I want to be one of the people presenting, I admire the people that can get up on the stage and talk with authority about their field and I want to be able to do the same. Since the conference I have been thinking about how I can achieve this, it's not just about being able to present to an audience. I've been looking at what the speakers do there are a few areas I want to put my effort into mostly revolving around building up some sort of reputation within the community. This is the core reason of this blog post, stating that I wish to become a speaker and how I intend to achieve it.
I am making this post as a pledge to myself to focus my learning on back-end development & programming principles, share what I learn through regular blog posts and to contribute back to the community by becoming involved in open source and supporting others on services like Stack Overflow.