As cliché as this post’s title is, I tend to forget this simple truth from time to time. This week was one of those weeks where I learned a ton of shit. Worked with some new to me libraries. Learned a new term that I’m on the verge of over using. Hell, I even learned a bit about myself. It got me thinking about the fleeting trend of “TIL” posts (Today I Learned) on Twitter that I keep seeing. Could I in fact learn something new every day?

Pretty sure I could, but it would probably just be fun facts or word of the day type things. I don’t really care to learn new things that are trivial, I want to learn things that I can use and abuse for my own gains. It’s not that I’m selfish, it’s that I want to learn things that will make an impact in my life and I’m not entirely sure I can do that on a daily basis.

That being said, I am going to add “learn something new” to my weekly goals. Don’t worry, my weekly goals will end up being another post ;) I was fortunate this week because I learned a ton and didn’t have to go out of my way to get there. This coming week I am going to purposefully find something new to learn even if I inadvertently learn something else. My thought is that I can dedicate an hour or two a week to this process. I can take time to pick up a new software library and work through an intro tutorial or do something more artsy like learn to play a song I’ve never played before.

What I have found most interesting about the things I learned this week is that a few of them are actually kind of embarassing to talk about with my peers. Tech folks as a whole tend to be pretty hypercritical of their peers and really quick to try to one up someone based on their own level of knowledge or skill. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what language you prefer or what libraries you lean on. What matters is that you’re shipping.

It takes guts to admit when you don’t know something, so for the sake of transparency, I wanted to put the things I learned this week out there for everyone to see. Hopefully it will inspire one of my darling readers to learn something new today :) So without further ado, this week I learned…

  • The term “bikeshedding”. I’m still pretty floored that I never heard it before. Was also pretty shocked to hear that my buddy had never heard it either. If you don’t know it, go look it up!
  • I knowingly used Backbone.js and Underscore.js. I had interacted with code that used them in the past, but this week I had to read the docs and actually get in the trenches.
  • I used Laravel for the first time and deemed it bloatware for the project I was rebuilding. I also used the Slim Framework but didn’t learn enough to get the templates working, so I just ended up rolling my own very simple router.
  • On OS X, option+e starts an acute accent mark. Proceed to hit e again or even E and you will get the character with the accent mark added. Works for other letters too! Actually stumbled into that while writing this post ;)
  • Ed Kowalczyk was in Fight Club.

I had actually considered making this a weekly post topic to talk about what I had learned but felt that it may end up being overzealous and a touch self-absorbed. Not just that, but I have been striving to work on less things and focus on the projects that matter most . Doubling the number of blog posts I do every week would cut into that. Moving forward I think I will start to do a TIL tweet whenever I learn something new, if you don’t follow my already get on that and tweet at me what you learned today!