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New blog post 'Being Good in General'

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pui committed Jun 19, 2012
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title: Being Good in General
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I decided recently that I like being a generalist when it comes to programming. I feel like I've had the "does someone need to be able to work on both the front-end and back-end of a project in order to be a good programmer?" debate with coworkers every couple of months. At least for me, I figured out the answer to that question has been yes.
I do think it's cool if someone wants to be an expert at making websites look beautiful and usable, then do that all day. I prefer doing a lot of different things instead. A good day for me would be helping write some [Sass](http://sass-lang.com/), then make some [Puppet](http://puppetlabs.com/puppet/what-is-puppet/) changes, and think about potential [man-in-the-middle attacks](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man-in-the-middle_attack).
However, working this way means I'm never going to be the best at anything. I am pretty good at a small set of things (like Ruby), but I am just okay at a lot more things. I'm fine with that. I may not be a Javascript expert, but I can ask intelligent questions and manage to learn something new almost everyday. These days I've improved my VIM skills immensely thanks to [Matthew Todd](https://twitter.com/#!/matthewtodd).
I've applied this thinking to the rest of my life too. I took ballet and tap when I was little, but stopped dancing around my mid-teens. I avoided taking dance classes later in life because I figured the opportunity to be a great dancer had passed. But then I thought "So what? I can still enjoy learning how to dance even if I'll never be a professional ballerina". I've gone to a bunch of different dance classes for the past 6 months and it's more fun now than it was when I was a child, since there's no pressure to excel at it.
So as of now, I'm a good programmer, I'm a decent knitter, I'm a novice dancer again, I'm a better baker than I was before, and I'm a beginner at yoga, among other things. I look forward to adding more stuff to the list.

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