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A New Hope

Luke Skywalker’s Light saber training

In my heart, I'm nerding up this post with Star Wars references that relate to my own new found New Hope. Yet I don't feel up enough on the intricacies of Star Wars IV to sell it, but I’ll do my best.

Since my hopeful graduation from college in 2001, I’ve more often felt myself to be on the losing side an inter-galactic war. Despite having had no imperialist foe leveraging the dark side of the force against me, I've many times felt hopelessly lost in jobs that played a pretty good stand in for the evil empire, jobs where I've settled for less in order to get a check. What’s worse those job further disappointed me with checks that barely paid my bills.

Why did I do this? Why did I keep cranking the same crank these years since graduating as if  I’d get a different result? Believe me I’ve tried breaking away a few times, like when I started my own freelance copywriting business, or when I took two weeks off to help my friends with their hip-hop label. And let’s not start on my futile attempts at network marketing businesses. Honestly nothing I’d tried outside of sucking it up and dealing with an uninspiring job for a lousy pay check seemed to be feasible. That is until now and it’s due to what I’m learning here at Tech Talent South: learning to code Ruby on Rails. It hasn’t felt easy so far, but I’m left after week one inspired, hopeful and energized.

To briefly recap my first week, I’m feeling pretty wobbly on my feet like young Luke Skywalker must have in the early stages of his light saber training as he clumsily tryed to anticipate the floating droid’s next move. Like young Luke, I’m in my metaphorical early stages clumsily trying to take in what’s going on right now before the hectic pace of my training catches me.

Homework has been very challenging to me. It takes me severals cycle of wash, rinse, and repeat to get very simple seeming concepts. Yet I’m not discouraged but inspired for two reasons:

  1. My instructors say feeling a bit over my head is perfectly normal at week one.
  2. This work keeps me up at night in a good way. I keep coming across seemingly simple challenges, like accessing hashes, until I finally get it. I choose to see it this way: bit-by-bit I’m fighting for a new set of knowledge and I must say such a process is quickly becoming addictive

I’m not sure what to expect in the coming weeks as we move to Rails, but I look forward to experiencing a sense of accomplishment each time I’m initially stumped by the next phase of my Jedi training. In all, I love that I’m using parts of my brain that have been dormant all these years while, so far, proving to myself every step of the way that I’m up to the challenge.

That being said, after I week I feel ready for next phase of my training.

Ben, will you please pass me the vision shielding helmet? It’s time for me to use the force.

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