I have this problem when it comes to learning new things: if I don’t have a tangible problem in front of me – whether it’s an upcoming test or a “real life” issue – I have no motivation. I don’t really understand people who can just say, “You know, I’d like to learn Russian. I’m going to do that.” I’ve thought that before. But then I think, I’m never going to Russia. Why would I spend all that time learning Russian? And that’s where the dream dies.
Last summer I wanted to learn some more complex development skills. I’d asked my boss for some assignments, but things were hectic, and it wasn’t really a time to take to give me work that I wouldn’t be able to do well, while there were things that needed doing. I tried to do some book learnin’, but I didn’t really get anywhere.
Then I went to a comic book store one day during lunch. They were having a huge back issue sale, and – as my collection is full of holes – I picked up 10 or 12 issues at a very nice price. Unfortunately, I got a fairly unpleasant surprise when I got home.
As it turned out, I already owned 3/4 of the issues I’d just bought.
They were only $1 each, so it wasn’t a big financial loss. But it was annoying. I tossed them into the duplicates box (which contained about 30 issues already), and went back to the office.
When I got back I started talking with a guy on the team who I knew was a comic reader. He’d had the problem before. We both verbally wished there was some tool, or database, or website you could get to from your phone, so that when you’re about to drop $20 on a stack of books you already own, you can check your list and avoid the annoyance.
It was a few minutes before we realized that we could actually solve this problem ourselves.
It was also the exact type of problem I needed to motivate me to learn those higher level skills I’d been thinking about: not at all urgent, but persistent. So I set to work. And now, 9 months later, it’s released to the world: Comimics.com.
I doubt any of you – if there are, in fact, any people reading this – who were regular-ish readers here back when I actually paid attention to posting stuff are actually into comics. But if you are, head over and check it out. And if you’re not, head over anyway, you might find out comics are interesting. I know you’ve seen The Avengers and The Dark Knight…you can embrace fandom, it’s totally cool.