Coming into my final semester of college I was filled with an impending sense of doom. At the end of high school, I knew where I was going. Now I suddenly am thrust into the world of working adults; four years squandered trying to meet deadlines and maintain a GPA instead of earnestly absorbing my professors’ efforts. A four-year hiatus from asking myself the real questions: Do I really want to be a software developer and if so, what am I doing to get there?
Amid this crisis of self-realization, I was presented with a reading and blog assignment. I regretfully confess that it’s been years since I’ve read an actual book – a byproduct of instant information (thanks Google!). For some reason I thought it best to not just skim Chapter 1, but to read it actively, and as I did so I felt validated. As the author referenced a student with a college degree from a prestigious program and a self-taught developer, I recognized that I too am a software apprentice, and this is one I should probably read fully, regardless of it being assigned.
While I can see all the chapters applying to me, the most relevant are Chapter 3 – Walking the Long Road, and Chapter 4 – Accurate Self-Assessment. Reading the introduction of chapter 3, I could see a lot of myself in the author as he described feeling discouraged by the skill of others; the same often happens to me. I must recognize that no one got to where they are from day 1, especially in the field of software development. It takes time and I have definitely not put in enough yet.
The relevance of Chapter 4 is probably apparent throughout this blog post, though it’s not quite in the way the author describes. Instead of being satisfied with my level of ability, it’s clear I am hard on myself, much more than is necessary. There’s a difference between humility and beating yourself down. I must learn the difference if I ever want to get to somewhere where I am happy with my ability.