5 Things I’ve Learned About Myself While Learning to Code:
- 1. I need physical activity in order to well sleep at night. This statement rang true even when I was doing the prework for the Flatiron School. I’m an active girl, and now I’m sitting for 10-12 hours a day. I had no idea the effect this sudden change would have on me. And oh the sleepless nights. Even when all my work is said and done, I can’t seem to go to bed before 2am. The moral of the story is that I need to be more diligent about the gym. And here’s the catch-22: I would rather spend my time hacking and reading about hacking than anything else.
- 2. I am prideful. Sure everyone has pride, but I did not realize to what extent I exalted my own mental capacity, until eight days ago. My class is smart. So imagine a class of dedicated brainiacs. Imagine sitting in that room during lecture feeling so horribly lost. Do you really want to be the girl to raise your hand and say “I have no idea what’s going on. Can you please re-explain?” It’s a terrifying concept. It’s admitting defeat. The feeling exactly mirrors that of saying “I am dumb.” That’s pride rising to the surface. And it’s something I’ve had to work on getting over, because otherwise I’ll never learn.
- 3. The highs beat all the lows. I spend most of my day with error messages, and that’s not an exageration. I am a Ruby Newbie, and proud of it. Those error messages, paired with overwhelming feelings of frustration and discouragement, and an ever present desire to bang my head into a wall makes my victories that much sweeter. And yes, I wrote my first Ruby program today. It took four people over an hour, but you can bet that I’m calling my mom as soon as I get home to brag.
- 4. It’s hard to take the training wheels off and just ride. I have two incredible teachers who are great resources for all my coding questions. And my computer is this expensive machine, that some part of me is still afraid to break with one single rm -rf (and I didn’t even know I could do that until one month ago). So I’ve hesitated in trying things on my own. “What if I ruin all of it? What if my computer just bursts into a million pieces?” The list of irrational fears goes on. And here’s the thing, I’ve already made a huge jump in being at the Flatiron School in the first place. I threw my training wheels to the curb the second I signed myself up for these 12 intense weeks. So why stop now? Yes it’s hard. Yes, it’s scary. But won’t I be that much of a better person by the end of all of this by claiming it as my own? The Flatiron School celebrates failure, and so do I.
- 5. Time flies when you’re having fun. This past Friday, we were given one hour to work on an assignment between blocks of lectures. And literally before I knew it, we were called back to lecture. I had barely even looked up from my computer. I hadn’t registered a single thing from the outside world, other than the six words I had composed that were hopefully going to turn into a successful method. It didn’t. I actually got the entire problem wrong, but that’s ok. Because the thing I took from that hour is that in 5 days of class, coding has become a part of me. I have never been able to do anything with such uninterrupted vigor ever. And this is just the beginning.