Embrace the Suck

To make a well rounded developer you need to teach them not just how to code but what happens when you stop writing. Code isn’t written in a vacuum. Your clients and your teammates are every bit as integral to your masterpiece as any algorithm or data structure.

Recognising this, the Andela Bootcamp focuses on soft skills as well as technical. On day 2 we learned about the Growth mindset.

For me, learning is all about chasing what I call the “click feeling”.That sublime moment when all you know about a subject just comes together like a jigsaw puzzle. A very beautiful “AHA” moment.

Reading about the Growth Mindset was one such moment. It’s an idea I’ve had for a while but Caroline Dweck’s work made it painfully clear.

The Fixed mindset can take many forms. For me, it’s an obsessive focus on efficiency and perfectionism. Almost to the point where I wouldn’t try new things. The average human life is not a very long one. There’s only a few things you can really be good at so why not focus on those you can realistically peak in?

Here’s a list of things I’m bad at:

Image Credit: EDLI AKOLLI, Deviant art

Art is challenging because you can see yourself suck in real time. At the beginning there’s this huge yawning gap between what looks good and the stuff you make and it seems you’re just tossing stuff down the abyss. It took a while to be realistic with myself and see that being afraid of sucking at these things pretty much ensures that I’d always suck at them. There is joy in creating great art but it only comes after you get beyond being terrible.

You fill that void with the bodies of thousands of your bad work and one day you’ll have made a bridge you can walk over into the land of good art. This advice works for pretty much anything.

If you’ve read this far, I’ve been talking to you for a few minutes, through WRITING. I just made that pic up there. It’s not horrible to look at. 3/5. Not bad for 3 a.m..

In conclusion I’ll leave you with the words of Jake the Dog.