We’ve all made mistakes that we’re embarrassed by at work one time or another and sometimes they’re hard to take. It can make experienced developers feel like amateurs and unworthy of their position. I have days like this now and again – just last week I released some code into production that should have been more rigorously tested. When I’m having a day when it feels like nothing is going right, I watch a video or two of my favourite guitarist: John Frusciante.
Fans of Frusciante will know that you don’t have to look too hard on youtube to find a video’s of him where he forgets chords, hits bum notes or just blatantly screws up. But it never phases him, he just gets on with it. (See about 1:28 on this video)
If an artist as talented and experienced as John can mess up then I think us regular folk are allowed too. In fact, I’d wager that the reason he’s such an excellent musician is partly down to the fact that he handles mistakes in his stride. Half of learning what works is learning what doesn’t.