I’ve Cracked the Code, Please Call Tech Support- Episode 5, The Entire Code Strikes Back

Moving right along in the class, and I’ll admit to feeling a bit overwhelmed. JavaScript has proven to be a bit of a beast in terms of implementing it, with a lot of the syntax being tough to wrap my brain around. But we keep moving, so I’ve just got to put more hours in and break more stuff.

  1. How do you describe the feeling of Imposter Syndrome? When does it affect your most? Why?

Well these are rather tough questions, but we’re here now. Imposter syndrome happens pretty constantly in this gig for me, I must say. I’ve been putting stuff together, and feeling pretty good with the overall results, but there’s always an aspect that I don’t understand. That makes me feel like I’m using furniture to hide the holes in the wall.

I know deep down that it’s impossible to know every aspect of every coding language that I’m going to be using. That’s an intense amount of information, and the internet exists for a reason. But when I run into a problem I can’t solve, and my Google skills fail me, that’s when that feeling starts to set in. It’s tough. I know I’ll start to plow through it eventually, but it can definitely weigh you down. At least in the short term.

2. What have you learned about the tech world that you are happy to know?

I’m pleasantly surprised at how collaborative the learning process has been so far. You always hear stories about how competitive the tech industry is, and I’m sure that a lot of that is true, at least on the macro level. But on an individual basis, everyone has been really cool about sharing their discoveries, helping to solve problems, and providing feedback on how to make ideas better. It’s refreshing, art should be collaborative. I hope that trend continues.

3. Why is the way we talk to ourselves in our inner mind so important? What effect can it have on our well being?

The way that we talk to ourselves isn’t always kind. The problem is, because it’s us doing the talking, we have a tendency to believe everything it says.

If that inner monologue is constantly berating us, telling us that our work is no good, and that we are no good, that hurts. That causes waves in our behavior, and we believe it wholeheartedly because we are saying it.

Odd as it sounds, we have to fight that. We have to stand up to ourselves.

It’s very important to acknowledge mistakes, and recognize/process negative feelings like sadness, depression, anger, and the like. But when that turns into your inner monologue tearing you down, making all of your mistakes and shortcomings feel like mountains? That’s when we fight back.

The Mind: “You messed all of that up. You failed.”

Yourself: “I didn’t do it perfectly, yeah. But I learned from it, and I’ll do better.”

The Mind: “No. You’re always going to be bad at this. You shouldn’t have even started. You should just quit now.”

Yourself: “No, I won’t. I learned from this experience. I am continuing to learn and grow. You don’t get to take that from me.”

The Mind: “You’ll just mess it up next time, too.”

Yourself: “Maybe. But I’ll have messed it up differently, because I’ve changed from this experience. The only one still going on about it is you.”

This process is tough to learn, and having the ability to stand up to yourself, for yourself, can take a long time. It can take professional assistance. But I believe that you can do it.

4. What about this course is challenging you the most? How do you think that you are growing through it?

I think that a big part of the challenge for me in this program is just the pacing. I have a tendency to keep chipping away at a problem until one of us breaks, and I haven’t been great at making time to rest.

Burning out is a risk. I was working on a JavaScript filter and it was just not working. After a few hours, I decided to take a nap. Or, rather, my body said “Look, dude, your battery is way too low. We’re shutting down.” After the nap, though, I literally had the solution to the problem in my head.

So, I’m going to make a more concerted effort to plan time to rest, as well as work. If I keep running out of juice I’m not going to be of use to anyone.

5. How has podcast listening influenced the way that you think?

I love listening to podcasts, and have done so for years. I’m still trying to find a coding podcast that resonates with me, but podcasts in general have really helped me think of things in different ways.

There are several that I recommend, for different reasons. Podcasts like “No Such Thing As A Fish” provide random facts and discussion around a topic, allowing me to learn and enjoy learning. If goofy but great, and has helped me learn how to frame topics so that people listen and retain the information.

I also listen to a lot of improv podcasts. You may not think that these provide more than entertainment, but I’ve gotten a ton of help from them. Mainly, the principle of “Yes, and” has been really helpful for me in engaging in social situations, and just life in general.

6. What has your spare time looked like in-comparison to what it looked like a year ago?

This year has been weird. Earlier this year all of my time was spare, and now suddenly none of it is. But it’s not so bad. I’m learning a lot and I feel more productive than I have in a very long time. I just have to make sure that I remember to rest.