Many of you, my adoring readers, my internet cretins, and ...others..
Well in reality it's about two of you.
Maybe you have noticed there are not too many blog posts on this blog of mine. I have been admittedly, pretty stuck. We all have lately I'm sure.
Since redesigning my site to something edgy, stripping it down to one page I have put a lot of pressure on myself to write something. Actually I put pressure on myself long before that even.
I started down this learning path about five or six years ago now. For awhile it felt really good and I used to tell anyone who would listen that I was "learning how to program." I would dedicate whole paragraphs to it in my cover letters to companies as proof of my self-starterdom. As proof that if I can learn how to program on my own, that I can probably learn the role of this job. Then I finally got some jobs where I was hired on the basis that I did know how to program and that I would learn more and contribute in the way that I could, because that's what they hired me for.
That first job I got hired to "because I could code" I got fired from. I'm not sure if it was because I talked to the developers at the company too much, asked why too much, drank coffee and ate snacks at my desk, listened to music while I did busy work, asked my boss why they want us to do mindless busy work all day long when it could be automated and we could be doing more for our clients, or because I didn't wear shoes at my desk in my cubicle or because I asked to download Python on my computer, or because on my last day I saved a client upwards of +5,000 dollars. I'm sure it was one of these but when they asked me if I wanted to know why I just got up and left.
It wasn't the first time I was let go from somewhere but it was the first time I ever had an "office job" and the second I walked out those doors I made a decision that this is an opportunity, not a failure. That I am free to pursue a position that will indulge my curiosity and my need for efficiency.
I had had the job for all of two months.
This was right in the middle of my first try at the Twitter challenge, #100daysofCode. I didn't let it get me down and I kept chugging along, following tutorials, attempting to build my own things.
Then I got another job "because I could code."
I got fired from this job too.
I lasted a little longer this time, two years. The difference here was that I finally got to use programming in my position, contrary to the previous position where I had merely mentioned it. Except this time I was fired because I did program something and I didn't ask if I could. I had done this previously in this position, not asked, and just done. This was something I thought I could appreciate about this organization. I was literally automating shit left and right, so much so that we had named the automation and it had become another entity, a part of our department.
You're wondering right about now if there's a point to this story.
maybe at the end he'll say something like, "don't quit on your dreams guys, I'm a programmer now and I make a billion dollars a year"
That's hilarious. Obviously you've never been here before so welcome.
I got fired not because I did something wrong but when the bosses came round to reprimand me for what I had done, I actually agreed with them that I had done something wrong and that I was grateful they weren't firing me. One month later I got let go. No one at the company would probably even be able to tell you why I'm sure.
I didn't agree with them at all. And I should have told them that but I was afraid that they'd fire me. That's like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a fork.
What I had wished I had said was that this wasn't their wheelhouse and they should back off. I wish I had owned my skills back then. It felt good to build what I had built for them, I came up with it on my own.
And I'd do it all again.
Teaching yourself something is hard and since that experience, I have looked at this thing I've learned as a liability. I am still afraid to admit sometimes about how long I've been programming without yet earning the title of programmer or developer or data analyst from some organization who's given itself power to dole out these titles.
Maybe you are surprised I haven't quit yet. I mean, there are a few dozen other skills I could probably master in the same time as it's taken me to be fairly decent at this one.
So why this post now? Why am I ranting in run on sentences that contain enough commas to make all of my past English teachers sweat red ink?
It didn't take me five or six years to not become a programmer or data analyst, it has taken me five or six years to realize that I am looking at this entirely the wrong way.
My therapist (I have a therapist, this does in fact legitimize my insanity and yours by association) dropped some knowledge on me the other day, that all actions in life essentially fall into three categories. Growth, maintenance, and recharge.
Maintenance are mostly needs. I need to eat and need to go to the bathroom. But I also need to brush my teeth and do the dishes and keep my room relatively clean. Some maintenance things are not universal to everyone, for me those are journaling and working out.
Growth actions are things that progress you towards something, for example, learning how to program or if you're out of shape, working out could be a growth thing for you. These activities are normally pretty uncomfortable. Learning something new can be exciting but less so if it makes you feel dumb or attempting to not make people feel dumb because you're trying to be nicer, even though it would be so dang funny to be a jerk and put people down.
Is it obvious I have some experience with this?
The last is recharge and we are all familiar with these activities. These activities are seemingly unproductive (foreshadowing) but are fun and distract us from the bore of of reality. This can literally be anything, from watching (not binging) your favorite show to crocheting to reading to baking.
Well. When I got down to it, I figured out that I have a very small amount of activities I do to recharge from all this growth I'm forcing upon myself and instead of doing something that deem a waste of time, I'll just sit and fail to make it through another programming book or MOOC or some online tutorial, never realizing that I need a break from this to purse something completely unproductive.
And even worse, I tend to come up with activities to "recharge" with that are actually growth activities in disguise
I wrote this a few weeks ago. Well not this but everything above that line. And I am writing this from Washington D.C. Which was a trip I was afraid to go on. I actually almost canceled it a few times.
I think learning how to do data programming will continue to be frustrating. It will continue to actually get harder.
Maybe I'll continue to get fired from jobs because I disagree with the status quo.
That's going to be tough too.
Posting this was tough. (I still haven't done it at this point)
I guess the whole point of this was to just post what's on my mind and to say I care fork all about what people want from this blog.
Have a great day. Look both ways before you cross the street.
# Thanks for stopping by.