Why I'm nervous about attending #GiveCampUK, and why I think that's ok

October 19, 2011 - 2 minute read -

So earlier today, I posted on Twitter that Meanwhile, I’m quietly shitting myself about #givecampuk which is in just two days’ time!

This prompted a slew of replies, not least from Paul Stack, one of the GiveCamp UK organisers, who said

“I wish there was no nerves over #givecampuk - we are all in the same boat - noone is better than anyone else :)”

There was some discussion on this topic a few weeks back, which Paul addressed in an excellent blog post at the time, essentially stating that no one person knows everything about software development, and everyone (including the likes of Scott Guthrie) considers themselves to be learning from other people all the time.

Here’s the thing: I get all that, and I agree with it; the continual learning process is why I love this career that I’ve chosen as much as I do. But still I’m nervous. Why?

Paul said that GiveCamp UK is “NOT A JOB INTERVIEW” (emphasis his), and I do agree with that statement, but I think it is like the first day of a new job. It has the same unknowns: people, project, product, practices and processes, and in that regard I think those nerves I’m feeling are perfectly healthy. They’re the same nerves I felt when I started at Granta a little over a year ago. They’re the same nerves I feel when I play a solo bassoon gig. They’re same the nerves I still feel sometimes when playing an orchestral gig. They’re the same nerves I’m feeling for my new role leading a small Agile team at work. It’s not so much performance anxiety (although there is certainly an element of that) as jitters fuelled by excitement and the unknown; it’s the build-up of adrenaline as I get to face another great challenge.

GiveCampUK is going to a fantastic experience and, most likely, a massive rush. These nerves are just the start of it.