Ben Borgers

Not Developer Enough

May 17, 2022

I’ve had this idea for a week or so that I should create an app called Black Hole. It would be a web app that I keep as a pinned tab in my browser, and then I dump all of my thoughts into it and have them for future searchable reference.

I’ve been mulling this idea over, and yesterday I started building it. I created a new Laravel app, saved it to GitHub, the works.

And today on Twitter, I come across an app called Bike. It’s an app for outlining your thoughts.

I saw it this morning and thought “hey that’s cool.” Then I just took another look at it and realized that this could be a vehicle for the idea that’s behind Black Hole. Instead of building my own web app for it, I could use Bike to write my daily entries in a big list and collapse other days out of sight.

But somehow, the idea of using Bike for this instead of continuing to build out my own custom solution brings me stress.

Maybe it’s the fact that Bike costs money? It costs $30 for a license. In my head, building Black Hole for myself is free. I don’t want to purchase a license for Bike and then regret having paid for it.

But also, $30 isn’t a huge loss. I’ll be okay. (Plus, there are worse ways to spend $30 than supporting a very nice-seeming guy from Maine.)

I think that my stress and internal resistance towards Bike stems from the idea that I’m going to be “not developer enough” (kind of like the idea that one can be “not man enough”).

Like, I was going to build a solution just for myself, but then another guy out-developered me. And it’s not even that I’m using his app because mine would take longer to build! It’s that I probably could not craft an app that’s this carefully done. He is way better than I am.

So I guess that there’s fear wrapped up in there: that I’m not as good of a developer as I want to be. That I’m showing weakness by using an app that someone else made. Kind of like being a cobbler who asks someone else to fix his shoes.

But that’s a feeling that I should get over. It’s okay to try this app and see whether someone else has already dedicated themselves to maintaining a good piece of software. Not only does it save me time, but it also gives me the joy of seeing new things get added to an app I use without me having to do work.

And at the end of the day, it’s just pride. And usually, excessive pride is something to let go of.