"You know, most programmers are libertarian", my workmate stated.
"I know", I replied, attempting to imply in my tone of voice that I had met many of these abstract libertarian programmers my workmate spoke of.
"It's because they think, 'Hey, I can solve this problem myself, I don't need any help!'".
"Yeah, they're also massive assholes".
I'm not a libertarian. I believe in giving as much help as possible, with the hopes that I'll receive some help in return. Maybe this makes me a bad programmer.
I finally began to come to terms with the idea that, not only am I a *bad* programmer, it was very likely I would never become a decent, or even remotely competent programmer. I'll certainly never be the hackers I romanticize. But, really, this no longer bothers me. Now that I've thrown off the shackles of insecurity, I'm free to learn at my own pace, and I'm starting to REALLY enjoy it. I read whatever strikes my fancy, work on whatever personal projects excite me in my off time, and this has been an amazing turn-around. I'm not trying to get through that C++ book to become a C++ super-guru anymore, I'm just reading it because I'm enjoying it. I'm no longer allowing myself to be embarrassed by a lack of knowledge in any topic anymore, and as a result I'm free to learn more.
If you find yourself becoming a slave to an ideal image of yourself, it may be time to re-asses that image and figure out if you really want to be that abstract that ideal, or if the ideal is what is really holding you back.
Hello 2012, I’m Josh. It’s nice to meet you.
6 years ago