Starting Grace Hopper Academy on Monday!

Just a quick post, because I can’t quite contain my enthusiasm (and nerves) that I officially start as part of Grace Hopper Academy’s first cohort on Monday! I’m very excited about the first day, but also nervous as I prepare for the Foundations assessment. Tests don’t usually make me nervous, but I also don’t usually care that much about the results — and this time, I definitely, definitely care. Even after all the work I’ve put in, it seems like this last sort of looming gate I have to pass through. I cannot shake the nagging fear that maybe, just maybe, I’ve been fooling myself and everyone around me into thinking I’m good at this. I guess that’s pretty much the definition of Impostor Syndrome… but I’m pretty sure it’ll all be fine.. yeah, like 80% or so…

Right now, I’ve just finished running through the practice problems a second time around, and it’s been a very eye-opening experience. It’s strange to discover what I find hard and not on this second time through. For example, I’m usually pretty intimidated by the math-y problems. I usually find the math part more confusing than the programming part (probably because I’ve spent considerably more time with programming than I have with pure mathematics). I remember ruing these problems last time around, problems like Fibonacci Sequence, Pythagorean Triplets. I tend to have this feeling like “But why? I don’t need to use a Fibonacci sequence to make my website! What, am I going to use this for?” (A common self-dialogue when it comes to me an math — ah, grade school). (And yes, I know, math is beautiful and amazing — in theory, I agree with this… in theory… ) But I’ve actually really surprised myself — many of these more math heavy problems have been coming, well, naturally to me. Why, I guess I’m not completely horrible at math! I just need time to stew over the concepts, and also to curse the existence of math as a field — then once I’m over it, and I actually sit down and do the problem, it’s been actually pretty painless!

The problems I’ve found harder this time around have involved the idiosyncrasies of JavaScript as a language. I’m just still getting used to how JavaScript works at a deeper level. And boy does it require a lot of arbitrary memorization (why, JavaScript class inheritance — why can’t you be like Python??) It’s very strange and new for me to come across a problem where I understand the concept just fine, I know what I’m trying to achieve, and I even have a pretty solid idea of how — but the exact syntax escapes me. (”Wait, so I call Object.create on the prototype of the class I’m inheriting from? What?” “Okay, and then for some reason I have to reset the prototype’s constructor for my new class and I– Why won’t you do this for me JavaScript?!”).

I suppose I’m discovering just how spoiled I’ve become by working with Python! Don’t tell JavaScript, but Python was my first love, after all. And it’s pretty likely that I will come back to Python someday. But honestly, it’s kind of fun to take on this challenge of really getting to know the inner workings of a language that works so… differently. It has so many interesting little quirks. And sometimes I don’t know why I would ever want it to do the things it does… but it’s still been interesting figuring out what those things are.

Anyway, my quick post has quickly become a less-than-quick post, so I’ll just close with this:

  • JavaScript, I think I’m learning to like you.
  • Python, I miss you.
  • Grace Hopper Academy, here I come!

Originally published at paloobi.tumblr.com.

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