A friend in need is a friend in deed

We all have friends, if you don’t there is something wrong with you! If you have a younger sibling, you’ll concur with me when I say, they look up to you and never think you are wrong. Just like a child looks up to the parent to get help from him/her in a lot of things, friends can rely on you just the same way.

Having deadlines makes people panic and get all tense. The friends we are with in boot camp at Andela feel like they don’t have a chance if they do not meet the daily outputs. When they encounter errors that do not seem to go away, they feel so bad and lose hope wanting to give up. They end up wanting you to think faster on their behalf when they seek your help. It’s tough when you have your own daily outputs and have multiple friends depending on you to help them out with their errors, and you have to help them because you care and want to be there for them.

Yesterday marked the beginning of a long night of debugging, research, encouraging and understanding. A friend came over all the way from Kasarani to Rongai to get assistance setting up flask. I pitied him since it’s almost D-day and the guy hasn’t even started his challenge. He got to our place at around 9 p.m, tired and so low that things were not working out for him. On greeting him and asking, “How are you doing brother?”, he laughs sheepishly followed by a reply, “good man but flask is giving me a hard time. I feel I’m wasted ”. I looked at him and felt sorry for him.

We got home and had something to eat. At the dinner table mum asks, “How are you John?What do you do?”. John replies, “I’m fine mum, we are working on a project that will get us a job”. Mum asks what brings him home,John replies,” I’m here to get assistance from Chris since he has been in boot camp before”. Mum is happy to hear this and welcomes him home. We hurriedly get done with our supper in order to start working.

John smiling half way lets me know that he believes that he will get to week two of boot camp. I reply, “Don’t worry my brother, we sure will make it. I’m here to help you to get in”. Setting up flask isn’t as easy as the tutorials document, it can be hard. We realized this last night. Most tutorials had Linux commands and we had to do extensive research on windows commands that were equivalent to those of Linux. Since I had helped John with a link to a tutorial on setting up Flask, I thought when I’m finished working on my challenges he’ll be done with setting up flask on his machine. This was not the case!

“Chris, I haven’t found an equivalent command for source…”, he begun. I replied and asked if all he had exhausted all the solutions. He answered, “Most of them are not working…”. I put my laptop aside to look at what he was doing. Interestingly, he had tried a lot of solutions and all of them were not favoring him. This made him feel low and tired from trying. I tried to encourage him, telling him not to give up. He’s eyes were blood shot from exhaustion. Observing this, I had to tell him to get some rest we will work on the issue early in the morning when he is fresh and can understand what is happening.

Wednesday morning, we are up early with a goal to get John somewhere, to at least set up flask because it seemed to be a stumbling block. As we sipped our tea, we focused on one solution that we believed could help us resolve our problem. Step by step, we followed instructions just as they were. Amazingly, everything we did was working and after a few minutes we were done setting up flask. John had a smile extending from the far right to far left. “Thank God we are done with flask set up.”

“Now you need to render your templates John”. He replied saying” That’s so easy my guy ….”. He sat quietly with his laptop and eyes fixed on a tutorial. I observed as he keenly went through the tutorial, typing something on his laptop and smiling after each stroke of the “Enter” key. At least he was having a good time and not feeling low, he was having a feel of being successful with each implementation of the challenge.

Right now John is on his way to becoming an Andelan. I hope he does, he has gone through tough times to get things done. I am happy to have helped someone and now is doing great!