Haste Not: Ye Aspiring Programmers

Seated on a couch with my journal on my hands. The year isn’t new anymore, so it’s time for self-evaluation. I was glancing through the pages, to see how many boxes have been ticked, how many of my to-dos have been accomplished and how many boxes are un-ticked. Am I still on track? I asked my self. Gladly, the answers I got were great, I’m still on track :). Before I closed the journal, an amusing experience that made me laughed at how greenhorn I was, came to mind.

Don’t worry. I’ll share it with you. Keep reading…

The not-so-good but motivating Experience

Apart from getting motivation with the way the internet was plagued with the words ‘programming, python, etc’ and the amazing solutions that were built with it, I also got a couple of advice from friends and mentors. All these sparked up the interest and made me learn how to program.

I picked up Python programming in 2018. I was learning from a book, as recommended by friends in a Whatsapp group for Python Programmers. It was very interesting, I read it like a dictionary(where I missed it!), I enjoyed it and I can recommend it. While in the middle of reading the book, I came across an e-flyer, it was an event tagged ‘Code Party’. Awesome! I love to Party. I love fun! So, I never bothered to make my researches about the ‘Code’ behind the ‘Party’. Though the ‘Code’ meaning was obvious, but the ‘Party’ made it confusing. Well, I cared less, I went ahead with the mind to party, anyways or at least meet new faces(I love networking too).

That was my initial mood in a Gif…

On getting there, I met some familiar faces, I felt cool, I made the right choice, I guessed. Shortly, I started to see some nerds with long hair and faces glued to their laptop decorated with stickers, they were beautiful, the ‘stickered-laptops’.

That was exactly how serious they were!

It was 30 minutes into the program already and there was no DJ yet, then I began to wonder, Isn’t this supposed to be a ‘Party’. I mean, I was supposed to be listening to some background music. Well, I kept cool, maybe, just maybe the DJ is yet to come.

Where art thou? DJ !!!

When it was two hours already, I gave up. I concentrated more on what the speaker was talking about, it was a presentation on Git and GitHub. I made some jottings anyways, even though I knew nothing about it.

After his presentation, we got to the stage that taught me serious lessons. It was a coding challenge time. There were two groups, the UI/UX and the ‘Algorithm Masters’. We were told to join a group. After been told that the UI/UX group members were going to compete on designing software and the Algorithm Masters members were going to write Python codes. I confidently and quickly joined the later, not because Python sounded familiar but I already read a whole book about it like a dictionary. I could literary remember almost everything I read.

The challenge began, we were served with some hot questions, looking like calculus, word problems, and some other advance questions in mathematics. I had to read the whole question before I could understand how to write the code. I was shocked! I was expecting to see something like this;

Write a program to calculate the square of the even numbers between 1 and 100.

But I saw this;

This was one of the questions.

Wow! It struck me hard, I looked around, I saw some nerds laughing at their screen, punching their keypads, the questions were simple to them..

I racked my brain, yet, I was only able to answer one, out of six questions. That hurts. I figured I was John Snow, I knew nothing! You could imagine how hot my head was that day, if you couldn’t, see the picture below;

That was me, confused, lost …

That day, nobody told me before I realized I didn’t know Python, even though I read a book about it like a dictionary.

Well, I kept the challenge questions on my PC. I gave up, what else could I have done? We were not allowed to check google!

Before I left the event, I ensured I collected the contacts of those nerds, I’ll love to have them as friends, so they can teach me this programming and have me as their mentee. Honestly, I was humbled that day.

I realized that reading a book does not guarantee you knowing all that’s in the book or about it.

I got home to share my experience with my mentor and I was made to understand that I read it badly, he said I should have practiced along with reading.

…That was the experience…But we are not done yet…

Fast forward to now, the future, after learning from the experience and learning rightly. I opened my PC and searched for the ‘code party challenge’ questions that I kept then and luckily I found it. I opened it, attempted it and solved everything in an hour. Lol, what I couldn’t solve two of the questions in 3 hours, then. Mehn!! I laughed at my self and was happy at my self at the same time. Here, I learned that consistency is key and you only know what you know.

Note: I’m not saying I’m now a Python guru, but I’m happy I’m more comfortable with Python than I was. Thanks to consistency!Friends and the lessons I learned from the ‘Code Party’.

Thank you for reading along, you are at the concluding part now…


My goal is to pass a message to aspiring programmers, and I hope I have. Even experienced programmers can also learn from my article too, at least on been considerate while setting questions in future code parties :) Anything you are doing or learning, though you may be a novice now, just keep at it, you’ll laugh at the past soon just like I laughed at my self while writing this article.

Just take your time to learn rightly and don’t forget that;

More haste less speed…

Finally, we all have a story to tell, If you have an experience similar or not similar to mine, feel free to share in the comment section, you just can’t know who you’ll be helping with it.

Also, give a clap if you love this post and help by sharing it with your network. This will encourage me to write more. Thank you!!


My mood after writing my first blog post…

GIS Developer with a really special interest in geospatial community development. Building @spatialnode