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Language Barriers

Devan Palmer, Feb, 22 2016 | 2 min read


Programming is a strange, emotional, frustrating, learning curve. This isn't at all like taking German class in high school and BSing my way through a passing grade so that I can harvest my skills of swearing in a foreign language later in life. This is like trying to walk through a deep, dark hallway that somehow has no walls, ceiling or floors and pretending to make sense of such a thing. I can leave class one day thinking, “I will never understand this, what am I doing here, my brain doesn't work like this!" Then I go home and read, and reread, and sometimes reread the documentation again and sit there in sorrow.

Amazingly, when I come to class the next day, we learn a more abstract and more complex topic, and suddenly the previous hurdle comes together in my mind and I wonder why I spent so much energy freaking out. It’s humbling to feel like I never know enough, and no matter how hard I try, I will never know it all because that drives me to work harder. Some nights I just have to set my computer down and try to focus on something other than coding, and then I find myself contemplating how my music was programmed on Pandora and how I'll probably never be a regular human again. Maybe this means I can be superhuman? Probably not, but we're in the middle of creating a Twitter app, so in a couple days I'm pretty sure I’ll qualify.

From day one, our instructor, Kaity, began telling us we are now developers. At first, it seemed like fluff. She's just trying to give us a false sense of self, right? The times each day I catch myself thinking to myself (and sometimes thinking out loud) that I’m really not smart enough for this, that I should probably just give up, are pathetic. I swear I've never considered myself a pessimist, more of a realist (honest) but I am extremely hard on myself.  Thankfully, I've got Kaity’s voice forever reverberating in my skull telling me to be positive and that she knows I can do it, and that I AM a developer! I'm starting to believe her. When I look back at myself and my fellow classmates a month ago, all bright-eyed and bushy tailed, we knew nothing. When I look at us now and our ability to command a computer completely, how to run an app, and most of all, to troubleshoot when it all fails, (thank you, Stack Overflow) I really am amazed. We have grown exponentially, and I can’t wait to see what the next month holds. Bring it on, week 6. I've got this.

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