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The Power of Taking the First Step in Software: Embrace Exploration and Action

Published: 5:30am on 02/10/2023

In the software development industry there's a common adage that's echoed throughout meeting rooms, workshops, and coffee-break chats: "Just get started." At face value, this seems like rather generic advice, applicable to many aspects of life. Yet, when diving into the unique nuances of software, it reveals profound significance. Coupled with the idea of "trying as many things as you can," it becomes a fundamental philosophy that can set the trajectory of budding developers and seasoned professionals alike. Here's an in-depth look into why taking the initial leap and embracing exploration are crucial in the software world.

1. Breaking Inertia

Any task, no matter its size, begins with the first step. Often, the inertia or apprehension associated with starting a software project can be paralysing. Concerns about not having the perfect plan or the ideal resources can lead to procrastination. However, once you get started, even with small actions, these anxieties often diminish, and momentum builds.

2. Learning Through Doing

The theoretical knowledge of coding languages, design patterns, or development frameworks is essential. But real understanding solidifies when one gets their hands dirty. Coding, after all, is a craft – and like any craft, practice is vital. The more you try, the more you stumble, learn, and subsequently, grow.

3. Navigating the Landscape of Possibilities

Software development offers a vast landscape of languages, frameworks, tools, and methodologies. By trying out as many things as possible, developers can discover their affinities and aversions. Maybe Python resonates more than Java. Perhaps frontend development is more appealing than backend work. Without sampling various flavours, one can't genuinely know their palate.

4. Building Resilience and Adaptability

Not every attempt will culminate in success. There will be code that breaks, systems that crash, and solutions that fall apart. Yet, each failure is a lesson. By trying varied approaches and facing diverse challenges, developers cultivate resilience. This ability to bounce back and adapt is invaluable, especially in an industry marked by rapid evolution.

5. Encountering Serendipity

Sometimes, while exploring different avenues in software, developers stumble upon unexpected solutions, tools, or ideas. What might begin as a casual experiment with a new database system could lead to discovering a passion for data science. Serendipity often favours the curious.

6. Keeping Skills and Knowledge Current

The tech field, especially software, evolves at breakneck speed. By continuously trying new tools, languages, or methodologies, developers ensure that their skills remain current and relevant. It's an investment in one's professional future.

7. Fostering a Growth Mindset

Starting, even without a clear path, and being open to exploring myriad possibilities, fosters a growth mindset. Such an attitude, championed by psychologist Carol Dweck, revolves around the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed. In the software domain, this translates to an unwavering faith in one's capacity to learn, evolve, and overcome challenges.


The journey through software development, marked by its intricate challenges and rewarding victories, starts with the decision to take the initial step. Embracing the vast ocean of possibilities, diving deep into its depths, and resurfacing with newfound knowledge and insights is a transformative experience.

While planning and strategising have their place, there's an unparalleled power in 'just getting started' and 'trying as many things as you can.' It's a philosophy not of recklessness, but of courage and curiosity – an ethos that paves the path to mastery in the enthralling world of software.