The Integration of Sports into Web Development
Hi, my name is Ben Frisby and I’m a new instructor at Red Academy. I’ve been asked to write a blog post that speaks about the skills and lessons I’ve learned through sports and how they have translated into programming.
First, to give you a little bit of a background, I have spent a good chunk of my life on a basketball court. At 6’7 (with a 6’9” father whose resume includes playing for the Canadian National Basketball team), my career in basketball was almost a given. I started playing in grade three and ended up achieving my goal of playing at the university level at the University of Waterloo. Along with two friends from my high school basketball team (that won the BC provincial championships), I have also biked from Vancouver to Toronto during the winter to raise $165,00 in 35 days for the charitable organization Movember. Another major challenge was qualifying for and competing in the World’s Toughest Mudder in New Jersey – a gruelling extension of the Tough Mudder that challenges you to run as many 10 mile 40 obstacle laps as you can within 24 hours in very chilly temperatures.
I am relatively new to the world of development, but I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing start-ups and companies, as well as being mentored by some very talented and experienced people. Outside of the natural comparisons of sport to just about anything, (think goal setting, time management, creativity, overcoming adversity, teamwork), the two biggest lessons that I carry forward as I continue to increase my skills in development are i) hard work pays off and ii) one can learn a great deal from failure.
The first lesson has been repeated in about every possible manner but now it helps that I don’t fear my ability to constantly improve. By this I mean that every person I have looked up to or aspired to be has gotten to where they are through hard work. To keep the sports analogy alive the best players in the NBA – the Kobe’s, Curry’s and MJ’s – are all revered for their work ethic. When they were in their prime, their stories were about how each of them put in more time, effort and practice than their peers. A work ethic that was unmatchable. In programming I don’t look at anything as being impossible, but rather any thing can be learnt given a sufficient hard work and time.
The second major lesson sports have taught me is how to fail but not fear failure. The best way I have learned something new in development is by making mistakes and then (hopefully) not making them again. As Michael Jordan once said “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
– Ben Frisby, Web Development Instructor
Creative Director / Lead Instructor, UI & Communication Design
Julie is a Designer with expertise in crafting highly engaging digital experiences for organizations like TELUS, YYoga, Escents, and Rutgers University at digital agency Pound & Grain. Originally from New-Caledonia, she joined the RED team where she uses her well-rounded set of skills and her background in fine arts & coding to fuel her strong enthusiasm for teaching UI & Communication Design.
Julie is passionate about thinking of innovative ways to leverage user-centric design at every possible moment - whether it's through her teaching, her design work, or while contributing to the betterment of her surroundings.