Not easy but worth it

It is unbelievable to me that I am actually doing it. I am on the second day of the boot camp and the first day of the off-site plan. This whole journey began yesterday as a dream but it slowly becoming a reality as more solutions are born. Programming can be tough, it’s not for the faint-hearted. When the code is not working as expected, a lot of thoughts come to one’s mind. Why am I even doing this? Aren’t there better things I could be doing now? Is it really worth the struggle? Well, the truth with monologue is that questions never get answered but something more powerful comes up and overshadows the self-doubts and cowardice. Chickening out is more costly than fighting on. Even throwing in the towel requires some energy. This was my mid-morning after I had touched the code but before that let’s look at how the morning was.

Waking up, not a pleasant experience. However, after having a glimpse of what Andela fellowship entails and listening to Loice Andia’s passionate and personal story of hard work, I could not afford to drag myself around. I woke up fully charged and full of self-drive to finish today’s work. My heart was beating steadily meaning that I was not afraid of any challenge ahead. I picked my best friend, my laptop and ran to the lab. If not for the learning map and the skills I got from the self-learning clinic I would have started with checking my email and that would dictate how the rest of my day would be spent. Planning is very key in getting tasks done. From the Trello board, I knew exactly what I was supposed to do, and what I wasn’t. At that moment I remembered my Facilitator, Jimmy, saying that in whatever I do from the first day onwards, I should try as much as possible to impress myself. There are many occasions where we lower our standards to feed our pleasures, this was not going to be one, not for me. When this happens I call it self-betrayal because I would be knowing exactly what quality of work I should deliver but I decide to compromise. Killing the excellent by cultivating the average. Andela came into my life at the right time. I am writing from my heart just to let you know that choosing Andela can never be a wrong decision.

After settling down to work, I noticed my tests could not be submitted online. Panic used that opportunity to settle in my spine and I thought submitting over and over again would eventually solve the problem. I hit the submit button severally before settling down for the idea that maybe my code was not correct. This was a desperate move coupled with uncertainty because the error message was not giving any useful information. So I continued testing my code off-line hoping to get any bit of information that would lead me to what has gone wrong. In such moments when you are working with deadlines, time seems to be racing down mount Kenya with no hope of any obstacle to stop it, it’s a free fall. Looking at the time at the corner of my screen was not helping at all and so I decided to concentrate and look for a solution. All this while I had shut down my asking power. I told myself to do it first then ask for help. It did not take long before I realized I really needed some help. This is when I turned to my Crew on Slack.

Guessing right, I was the first on the channel to ask why my lab work had difficulties submitted. This made me feel like I was alone in the predicament but my teammates confirmed that it was a problem cutting across and there was a great solution for it. The power of collaboration cannot be equated even for a lethal weapon, ants are a proof. My next problem with my Test Driven Development was solved within five minutes and all that remained for me was to write the beautiful error-less code. My panic sneaked away just as it had come. I also had an opportunity to extend a helping hand to some of my colleagues and we all enjoyed the moment together. It is an amazing feeling watching people work together achieving goals bigger than the individuals. If I had 20 extra years on earth I would spend them at Andela, making great solutions for world problems. Having done my tests today has given me satisfaction. Excellence is addictive, I feel like I need to achieve more daily and improve whatever that can be improved. My second day of the boot camp has been EPIC.

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