BootCamp Lessons 3: Receive Feedback With Grace

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” — Max Planck

Only a week ago, in a class of budding and elite developers, a professional once said that there will be people who accept mediocrity; they do not strive to be better than their current state. I wouldn’t say I fall into such a category, but striving to surpass mediocrity has been a personal struggle. This is because circumstances had an influence on how I reflected on life and living.

I often wondered if contentment isn’t such a bad thing. I was made to understand that contentment only keeps a check on greed and wasteful habits, but it doesn’t discourage people to strive for excellence.

For a week, my mettle was greatly tested. Sure, I have had considerable physical and mental challenges in the past, but the last 7 days was a testimony to what striving for excellence was all about. I pushed myself (as I always did when the situation was a strong determinant for the foreseeable future). The physical tests were unapologetic, the test suites were impartial, and the need to consume knowledge like lives greatly depended on it was at an all-time high!

Like other nights, I would spend hours trying to write codes that work, and then spend another couple of hours ensuring that all test conditions have been met. But, it doesn’t stop there. It was through feedback reports I got to understand that best practices are the very things that separate the mediocre from the professionals. By best practices, I mean writing clean, efficient fewer lines of code.

Feedback is a free education to excellence. Seek it with sincerity and receive it with grace. — Ann Marie Hoghtailing

Like the demands of the last few days, feedback reports weren’t new to me. But, when you have been exposed to an environment where feedback reports (helpful or not) aren’t always delivered in a kind manner (welcome to my country), your defense mechanism kicks in and you defend your integrity. Andela did things differently. Initially, I took it with some doubt. I made my mistakes and the feedback reports were generous, regardless.

The challenges are far from over, but the desire to overcome them will always be renewed. I appreciate the efforts of heroes who are molding me to be better, and I can only show my gratitude for their hard-work by striving to surpass mediocrity. This world can use more heroes