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Hacking Away Like The Clash & Joe Strummer

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    Ben Goldstein

You don't have to be have great mastery to make great things. Joe Strummer's legacy tells us why.


The Clash bassist Paul Simonon, shown here performing a little tech support.

You don't have to have great mastery to do great things.

The Clash are one of my favorite bands. But no one can accuse them of being great musicians.

Frontman Joe Strummer once said of his guitar playing - “Yeah, I can play all six strings or none.” Not exactly virtuosic.

And yet, they made some of the most iconic music of the last 50 years (IMO).

Sometimes, it's all in how you arrange things, what you want to do or say, and simply how much heart you put into it.

Coding is the same way. Some of the biggest apps of the last 10 years have been hacked together by people who could barely code, or were learning while they did so.

Like musicians sitting on top of thousands of years of western musical traditions, software engineers today have access to incredible open source tools and frameworks. These can help you build great things fast.

Don't underestimate your ability to make things just because you don't know everything yet. It didn't stop Joe Strummer.