I've just come off a whirlwind few weeks. The largest change is my departure from Geonetric, a health-care content management system (CMS) software maker, and moving to J & P Cycles, a after-market motorcycle parts dealer. A week an a half ago I also attended a Get Motivated event here in Cedar Rapids. I was particularly interested in hearing/seeing Zig Ziglar speak, as I'm a big fan of his books/audio. Then last weekend I attended the Alt.NET conference in Seattle. Then this weekend I went to a workshop on investing.
Being around the type of company at these types of events (whether technical, motivational or other) really inspires one to be better. At the Alt.NET conference I had a chance to sit with a small handful of developers at the TypeMock sponsored dinner. Sitting among the likes of Roy Osherove, Jeremy Miller, Dru Sellers, Oren Eini, and Steven "Doc" List and realizing that these guys are masters of their areas is really quite inspiring. Just listening to the talk of IoC containers and mocking frameworks (with two mock framework authors) is something one cannot put a price tag on.
On the plane ride back, it was evident in fellow attendee Chris Sutton that he was inspired the way I was. I've since spent the evenings cracking open books that have been collecting dust for some time and rereading them (Chris is doing the same since watching his Twitter account). At the same time I've been working to shut the TV off, not entirely but the mindless time I spend in front of the tube has got to go if I aspire to be on the level with these programmers.
I've spent the better part of this post talking specifically about Alt.NET but Alt.NET really was just one of the events in which I interacted/saw inspiring people. These past two weeks have been quite a kick in the pants. I would encourage readers of this post to question themselves about what you're improving yourself on whether it's your coding, your golf game, investing foundations, or some other hobby. My eyes have really been opened lately to the vast number of winners out there and the vast number of mediocre people.
Don't be mediocre, better yourself, starting today.