I sat on this topic for a while because I've had this feeling, but I haven't had the words to describe it. At this moment in my career I'm in need. My need feels kind of odd to say, as it isn't money or happiness. My need is for professional mentorship. More specifically, I need a mentor in the field of software development.
As a developer in his mid twenties, I've far from peaked. Right now I'm just starting to get a sense of the bigger picture. I'm a sponge and I'm ready to soak up any kind of information and experience I can. I WANT to learn. I NEED to make myself better. This is a difficult mental state to output in words.
My main problem is that I'm missing that person in my career who has been there and done that. He or she has the t-shirt and has forgotten more nuggets of knowledge than I'll ever learn. Right now I feel like I'm fumbling through problems that might be avoided if the architecture was a certain way or the environment was set up different. I feel like I'm wasting time learning things via the school of hard knocks that are already common knowledge to some. I want to break ground not reinvent the wheel.
I'm compensating for this through other sources, but it feels like it's far from ideal. I'm making use of a few e-mentors though blogs and podcasts. I owe a debt of gratitude to Scott Hanselman, Jeff Atwood, and Oren Eini for their continued public outreach. These 3 blogs and Scott's podcast have really aided me in my quest for development knowledge. I've also started reading through Code Complete by Steve McConnell which is a goldmine. If you are a developer and don't own this book then you need to go buy it now.
Still, I need more. If you, dear reader, have any book, blog, or podcast recommendations, then please share them. I would love to see what motivates and inspires you.