I’m not enjoying it, and I don’t see this for me long term.
These are the thoughts that were running through my head this morning. after a few weeks of failed programming battles.
Thinking back, it had been a while since I had pushed myself to learn something completely new. I had adjusted to being semi-comfortable in my Ruby on Rails bubble. While my engagement was starting to plateau, my self-confidence was at a healthy level. I was doing well at work, and was on the very last problem set of the Harvard CS50 course I have been working through since August.
Ihad already forgotten what it was like to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. And I was beginning to grow weary.
Around this same time, as has been happening along my CS50 journey, I saw an opportunity to test what I was learning in the class at my day job. We were using Semantic UI (kind of like Boostrap) to take care of the CSS on our internal dashboards, and, wait—Ajax? I sort of know what that is…right? All I needed to do was prompt the user with a dialog box, and send details to the backend based on their answer, and carry on with my day. Should be simple enough. Right?
As I struggled with this seemingly simple task, my already overflowing bounty of frustration was met with a fresh delivery.
This was supposed to be it. This was supposed to be the language I would get excited for! If this is making me want to throw in the towel and give up…well then programming must not be for me…right?
Then, even though it took me a whole day and the help of a veteran programmer, I got the damn dialog box to work. When I FINALLY saw that stupid pop-up appear on my screen, I screamed with unfiltered excitement. “OH MY G — F*** FINALLY”.
(Good thing I was working from home…)
It was a strange moment of pride and relief, and it almost (almost) made those hours of frustration worth the battle.
As I gear up to face the final efforts of my last problem set, I remind myself:
These are the moments that make or break our success. These are the projects that will separate those with grit and determination from those willing to give up when the learning stops being enjoyable, and the progress seemingly unattainable.
If you’re out there, stuck in a programming rut — I hope you push through it, I and wish for you a similar “FINALLY” moment of success.