Did you know that I teach programming at BCIT? I currently teach a few courses.

I’m currently teaching an advanced WordPress developer class. We’re learning about AJAX requests, programming design patterns, transients, and a whole bunch of other WordPress things.

And I seem pretty smart to my students.

There is so much to learn and you know so much. It’s going to take me forever to learn that much.

The truth is that I have been doing WordPress a long time. I do know a lot about a platform that I’ve built sites with for 7 years.

I’ve had 7 years practice. I hope that I know lots more about WordPress than my students that are just starting out.

Or they should find another teacher.


I had a friend named Michael growing up. He was my best friend from late grade school till the end of high school.

When we first met he played guitar. As a kid I remember him being pretty good. He would sit and play his guitar for a few hours a night, just because he wanted to.

Then, one summer, he decided that he wanted to learn to play the piano that was in the family room. I didn’t see him for almost 2 weeks. He was just always busy or didn’t answer the phone.

When I finally went over to his house, he could play the piano after listening to a song once or twice.

The next summer he rented a set of drums from school for the whole summer. Guess what, I didn’t see him for weeks and if I did it was to sit in the basement and play video games while he played drums.

The next school year he moved from playing the lead guitar in the school band to ousting the previous drum player during auditions.

The last year I lived near him, he could play a few wind instruments, a few brass instruments and kept up with all the other ones he had learned to play.

How long?

Remember when I wrote about being fully focused. There I talked about running between different ideas trying to ‘chase’ the success of other successful people.

Sure, we have to find ourselves and what we really love.

Yes, we have to start somewhere. I wrote some terrible code with major site crashing issues when I started programming.

What we almost always fail to recognize when we see the success of others is the time it took them to get successful.

To me it felt like Chris Lema simply burst on to the scene in blogging about WordPress and business. I’d have to admit to being a bit miffed to see his articles being shared everywhere while mine languished in ‘obscurity’.

What I didn’t know at the time was that Chris had been in the software industry for 20 years. He has run/founded a number of companies that were successful.

He’s taken lots of time to learn to tell a good story. That time comes across in his blog posts, and in his speaking.

When I saw the success of Pippin with Easy Digital Downloads I didn’t realize that he already had a number of other products. He has 54 plugins on the WordPress.org plugin repository.

He’s written so many plugins. He has lots of experience.

When my students think about how much I know, they fail to reckon the years I’ve put in to learning it all.


No one’s knowledge springs fully formed to their mind. They say NO to many things in life and focus on their task to master it.

Like my friend Mike who would spend weeks locked up with a new instrument. He put in the time to actually learn how to play it.

If you want to ‘catch up’ to others around you then start putting in the time they did to learn the same craft.

photo credit: keso cc