It’s about overcoming your fears. The fear you won’t be able to understand the code you read. The fear that you won’t be smart enough to use it. The fear that you’ll waste your time. Fear is always there in the back of your mind.
But behind that fear also lies discovery (and even wonder). You’re discovering new ideas. You’re discovering new problems that you didn’t know existed. You’re discovering new ways to solve new and existing problems.
You’re no longer just a developer. You’re also an explorer (a coding Indiana Jones!) with a big world to explore. Each time you go out and read code, you’re going on an adventure.
It’s what you bring back from those adventures that counts the most. It’s an idol of knowledge, a nugget of insight or maybe just a bruised ego (hey, it happens!). At the end of the day, they’re all learning experiences.
And it’s those experiences that’ll make you a better developer.
I was a big fan of this post by Carl Alexander. It’s also why I love Github, beyond the deployment and sharing aspects. It’s the best dang code reading and exploring experience out there.