About the Author: Nathan Joraanstad is a software engineer at Myriad Mobile. When not figuring out inventive ways to bring technology solutions to our clients, he enjoys spending time with his wife Morgan and daughter Everine.
Growing up in small-town North Dakota, I had the great opportunity of playing on our school basketball team. Being the son of an All-State basketball player, a hoop in the backyard and a basketball career were never in question. Throughout the years, teachable moments were abundant, but the biggest thing that was continually reinforced was the idea of “going back to the fundamentals.”
Fundamentals were always the first thing we did at the beginning of practice and often the thing we ended our day on; dull, sometimes boring, and often tedious. Without doing those things, my skills wouldn’t be fine-tuned enough for the coach to trust me when it came to game time.
Recently, I applied that lesson to my professional career: software development. Over the last couple years, I had spent the majority of my time at work developing mobile applications with the Xamarin platform in C#, working for a client of ours. Before then, the majority of my programming was done in Objective-C. In the last month, I was able to work on projects back at the Myriad Castle, once again using Objective-C with Xcode.
Before I jumped back on projects using this language, I decided I would read through the documentation of the language once again. I was “going back to the fundamentals,” and in doing so, I realized that in the past I had misunderstood certain parts of the language. Having now realized I could dribble with my left hand as well, I jumped right back into Objective-C development, programming better than I was a couple years ago.
So I would encourage every programmer, regardless of your expertise, regardless of your years of experience, to go back to the fundamentals. Go back and look at that documentation of the language you’re using. Go back and read the documentation on the platform you’ve been using for years. You’ll probably find a way to do something more efficiently. You might find a new class that would make your life a lot easier. You may even find you’ve been doing something wrong for years. Regardless of what you find, I assure you, you’ll catch something that you missed the first time.
Take some time and go back to the fundamentals. You won’t regret it.