Want to be a better programmer and a better person? Ditch your coworkers, go out and meet other peers, ask questions, and most importantly, listen.

What the heck am I talking about? A little back story is in order.

Rocky Mountain Ruby conference was this last week and I had the opportunity to attend thanks to a ticket I won on twitter (thank you @bittheory_) and the company I work for being generous enough to pay most of my way.

I attended it without my usual crew and only knew a couple people at the conference, so pretty much as soon as I arrived, making new friends was a necessity. Thankfully I’m not a shy person, so I set about meeting everyone I possibly could.

Not being surrounded by folks I already know and have been learning from the past few years, not being in my comfort zone, gave me the opportunity to start completely new conversations. This is invaluable if we want to keep pushing ourselves to learn and become better people. I learned more during the three days at this conference than I have the last three months.

My title and intro were strong words (link bait!) but my point is this. Whether you are out with your coworkers or on your own, be deliberate about getting outside your comfort zone, meeting new people, building new relationships, asking lots of questions, and listening to the answers.

You will not be disappointed and the world will be a better place for it.