Don’t Let the Ceiling Distract You

“What’s more macro than closures?”

This is me asking my instructor at Dev League a question, but not just any question. Whether I was conscious of this or not, in hindsite, that question was probably my most loaded question of the class thus far. I think I was asking, “is that the finish line in sight?”

Few highs compare to the feeling of learning. Until now, I’ve thought I like learning for learning, but I don’t think that’s quite right anymore. I like learning because in the past, I’ve been able to figure out how to be good at what I learn. I like being good at what I do. I treated learning in Dev League as no different. I thought that if I can just wrap my brain around a concept, it’ll just be a matter of time before I can get really good at it.

… but maybe my current approach to my education is flawed?

This past Saturday class, we learned about writing tests in mocha, a Javascript framework that runs on node.js. It was rough. For much of the class I kept on looking at the examples trying to see what the pattern was. When I didn’t get it at first, I dug deeper. Eventually I was in a hole that seemed so unnecessarily difficult to climb out of that it felt embarrassing to ask for help.

I did get help eventually and the hole didn’t seem so bad afterwards, but what can I learn from this?

I think tests are written to verify very specific functionality. Is there an author on the blog you’re making? Write a test. Can you edit the author’s name? Write a test. You validate small and go from there. When an application evolves and grows, so then do the tests. I think I began digging my aformentioned hole the moment I started thinking too big, too soon.

“If I can get closures down, I can build so many secure things!”
“If I can get tests down, I can build so much good code!”

While true, there is something missing from these thoughts…

“… have I made sure I can do the smaller patterns that make closures and tests in mocha possible?”

I’m noticing a tendency in myself to want to aggressively find the next new end goal, only to look back to find I have not adequately prepared to tackle it.

… or maybe I’m overthinking it?

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