Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Good Day at Work

Aspects of good days at work for me:

  • Learned something.  
  • Struggled a little.  Felt a little stupid.  Got over a hurdle and felt a little awesome. 
  • Taught something. 
  • Finished something.  
  • Laughed. 
  • Made someone else laugh.  
  • Appreciated someone. 
  • Helped someone. 
  • Talked with someone else about what they're working on 
  • Spoke up 
  • Shaped the conversation 
  • Left projects and people better than I found them
  • Felt appreciated and "heard"
  • Felt deeply in-the-moment for minutes or hours at a time, when I have something so interesting to work on I have to stay at my desk to see what happens next.  
  • Random bagels or donuts showing up in my path
  • Left my desk with a clear vision of what I want to do tomorrow

Monday, October 17, 2016

(Almost) young, scrappy, and hungry

Once again, I draw inspiration from Hamilton lyrics.

Just like Hamilton (and his country, by the transitive property), I'm scrappy and hungry or at least I aim to be.  

By scrappy, I envision doing whatever it takes to get the job done.  This means knowing about all of the tools at my disposal and how and when to use them.  I want code and answers to fly across the screen like in an episode of CSI. 

By hungry, I want to always want more.  Yesterday's tools might not be today's tools.  Stay on top of things, uncover new ways of thinking, be able to contribute meaningfully to a product conversation. 

These are great thoughts, and they do get me out of bed most days (my excitable dog gets me out on the other days), but I don't always know how to channel my enthusiasm other than thinking great thoughts until I get frustrated by not amazing myself yet.  

I want to call myself a programmer with a passion for code & software quality, quality being anything from user experience to code maintainability.  I want to troubleshoot problems anywhere along this spectrum and prevent future problems.  If my team needs me to write production code, I want to step up with whatever skills are needed.  Scrappily and hungrily.  

To be able to be as versatile as my "where I want to be X years from now" vision, I need to make the leap between "hello world, loops, and lists" and "being a real programmer".  Like Pinocchio wanted to be a real boy and Number Five wanted to be alive.  Getting involved in open source seems like the next step.  I've been sitting on the sidelines of github for a few years, not sure what to do next after creating an account. I found and worked through part of the GitHub for Beginners tutorial that goes a bit further than some basics I've seen, and is more step-by-step than some of the more advanced stuff supposedly for beginners that still contain too many nouns and verbs I'm unfamiliar with in the github context.  

Nobody can make me do this except me.  Though drawing inspiration from wherever or whomever it may be found certainly does help.