“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” -Aristotle
Very recently, I found myself knee-deep in another challenging web design project. I was attempting to design the site in a new program. This program would speed up the process ten-fold, and also provide a stronger dev handoff. However, there was definitely a learning curve. It occured to me in that moment of pixel-pushing… “Almost everything I do today is something I never learned in school.” Woah.
How often do you find yourself in the same position, approaching uncharted waters?
Here at Swarm, we love a good challenge. After all, what good is a ship if it sits in the harbor? Here’s why allowing the job to teach you is an excellent way to learn:
1. New Challenges Spark New Ideas
Imagine sticking to only what you learned in school. We’d still be making sites in Dreamweaver, and slicing out entire layouts from Photoshop. We’d never approach native apps, or chatbots and forget about the Internet of Things. Through our careers, we have seen new technologies come to light like the smart fridge, virtual reality and even social media. Almost every day, we are met with challenges that were unheard of during our days in a classroom. From those challenges, we have created innovative solutions we could not have dreamed of.
2. Some Things are Best Learned By Doing
You can read about best practices and should-haves all day long, but like many things until you actually do it, you really don’t have a clue. Several years ago when I had to design my first UI, I had no idea what in the world I was getting into. The only way to know was to just do it. Getting in the thick of things, and actually trying stuff out, is a great way to learn what is possible.
3. Nothing Beats Learning From Your Team
Prior to working with Swarm, I had only worked with remote developers. As a designer, one of the most important components of our work is that it functions well. This can’t be achieved without developers. Our Swarm development team has taught me more than any book ever has. By working closely on each project, I’ve learned exactly what goes into getting our projects up and running smoothly. This allows the design team to streamline our process, which leads to an even smoother project the next time. Over time, all of these experiences build on themselves, and before you know it, we are all a library of knowledge.
4. Taking Risks = Innovation
Though all of this sounds great, approaching an entirely foreign challenge is scary. Like, shaking-in-your-boots, drinking-too-much-coffee scary. And that is exactly where you want to be. Being scared means you are taking risks. Risks lead to innovation and ideas. At Swarm, that is exactly what we like. As long as you are calculated in your approach, you have the opportunity to learn so much. Growth is usually a little painful, but reaps so much reward!