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Last month, I was checking out the #eecms Twitter feed for updates about ExpressionEngine, and I saw an update from Amy Witty who was trying EE for the first time:

And shortly after, she posted an update that made me remember my first time with EE:

Learning EE is challenging. Learning anything new is challenging. It’s a frustrating process and it can be hard to ask for help, especially as a newbie. Which was why it was so gratifying to see the EE community show it’s true colors in response to Amy’s #eecms updates.

After her first “frustrated” tweet, several folks chimed in to offer support:

And it just continued from there. It’s still continuing as I write this. From issues with her initial install to her ongoing development, the #eecms community has offered Amy support, resources and advice. And Amy has her first EE site up and running:

If you follow me on social networks, you know that ExpressionEngine is a major focus for me these days. The reasons: 1) I’m co-host of EE Podcast, so I have to be focused on EE and 2) it’s my CMS of choice now that I’m working for myself.

But this isn’t why I highlight this story. I share this story because it reminds me of the best of the web industry.

I learned how to be the web professional I am from my colleagues; my community. Sure, I got the “piece of paper” certifying for the uninformed human resources recruiter that I’m “qualified” for my job. But what I do every single day is a result of people sharing information, and me taking the time to test that information.

This cycle of sharing and learning is one of my favorite things about being a web professional. When I started on the web, I learned by reading blog posts and tutorials. 13 years later, I’m growing by reading blog posts and tutorials and Twitter and Facebook. We’re still sharing, and we’re still learning.

I love the story of EE and Amy. It shows how a community can help an individual learn and grow. And it shows how individuals of that community can be reminded of the importance of being an active part of an community.

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