Graham's Blog

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Dec 10th, 2022

When it comes to frameworks, I’ve been firmly stuck in the React–and React-adjacent–world. Basically, my “coding comfort zone” has been vanilla JavaScript, React, and Next.js. The world of web development is much broader than that, but I’m going to be honest, I was a little scared to branch out.

Despite my curiosity and eagerness to learn, I tend to stick to what’s comfortable, and I have to work a little harder to branch out. I’m comfortable with React, so my tendency is to learn everything I can about React. I’m comfortable with JavaScript, so it’s more natural for me to try to master that language.

But there was a time I didn’t know how to do anything beyond a simple website with HTML and CSS (and I barely knew CSS). Heck, there was a time I was building websites with iWeb. I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am as a web developer if I didn’t get out of my comfort zone.

So with that in mind, after a friend suggested I try out Astro, I decided maybe it’s time to branch out and try new things. I’ve also been wanting to build a blog site where I can write about my other interests outside of web development. So it all came together nicely.

So, the other night I sat down on the couch with my laptop, opened up the Astro documentation, and got to work. Over the course of that evening I built a fully-functional blog site, learned the fundamentals of Astro in the process, and added another tool to my web developer tool belt.

Through this experience, I proved to myself that learning new things isn’t as scary as it seems. Does this mean I’m going to go out and learn every framework? No, I don’t think that’s realistic or advisable for anybody to do. But it showed me how relatively easy it is to branch out, so I won’t be so nervous about stepping outside the comfort of the React world in the future.

If you’re feeling like you’re stuck in your comfort zone, using whatever technologies and languages you’re used to using, try mixing things up. Find a project you want to build, and try tackling it with a tool you’ve never used before.

Also, if you’re curious, you can check out my Astro blog at

This post was originally published on my (now defunct) blog on my portfolio site, and was republished here for archival purposes.

Learning Life Web Dev