There's a quote I've heard multiple times regarding people who dive into something new; "You Can Recognize A Pioneer By The Arrows In His Back". This quote is about the people who tear down all of the obstacles for others to follow. They're like the Amazon guides in the Brazilian rainforest hacking through the brush, so others have a path to follow. Their job is sometimes hard. They are forced to go into situations where few have been before and just have to figure it out on the fly. They have few reference points to go from and have to think on their feet.
This analogy reminds me of my current role working with Azure Resource Manager (ARM)/PowerShell and more broadly, my career in general.
As I sit here cursing the latest instance of the lack of documentation for a task I'm responsible for involving the Azure PowerShell module I somehow had an epiphany. Even though at this moment, I'm frustrated with the tasks I have ahead of me, I wouldn't change it for the world. Getting myself into these situations has, overall, made me a much better IT professional.
As someone new to Azure a month ago, I've learned a lot albeit the hard way. I've bitched and moaned over Twitter about how all the documentation on the web is for v1 (ASM) Azure VMs and how the Azure PowerShell module's help is horrific. I've repeated the same tasks three times to discover I was looking at old documentation and no ARM cmdlet existed yet and was involved in many more calamities. In my "free" time, I've been playing with Windows Server 2016 and Nano Server and have been hacking the shit out of a jungle path for a long time.
It's painful, but I love it. I may put myself in some frustrating situations, but I always seem to come out smelling like a rose on the flip side. I believe this attitude has helped me greatly in my career. If I were smart, I'd say I've had this short-term pain/long-term gain mentality all along, but that's not true. I don't think that far ahead. It's the challenge I see in front of me. I love solving problems regardless of the complexity.
Albert Einstein had a great quote that said: "It's not that I'm smarter, it's just that I stay with problems longer". This is true for many individuals that are considered intelligent. I don't consider myself any smarter than my peers or others that seem to be stuck in menial jobs. I'm just blessed to have extreme curiosity and a get a high from solving problems. I just happen to pick up knowledge as a byproduct as I continually solve more advanced problems.
This is why I consider myself a pioneer.
It can be painful and frustrating at times, but if you're not continually stretching and putting yourself out there, you'll never get better.
Remember this the next time you're put into an uncomfortable position at work. It's short-term. You will fix the problem. Stick with it. In the end, you will be better off for it.
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