Lighting Post — Dreaming in Code

I remember back when I was in high school and college, I would often have dreams where I failed to complete some sort of assignment, and that my academic future was in jeapoardy. After college, I would have dreams that the Office of Administrative Records at UCLA would discover an issue with my previous coursework, and was going to retroactively take away my Bachelors Degree. I’d have this dream for a few years after graduating, and be discovered that all my academic success was a fraud.

I’d awake from these dreams shaken, and would even at times go back to the online Degree Progress Report system to just make completely sure that what I dreamt wasn’t real. Confirming that I’d fully completed all the units necessary, and that I was in fact who I thought I was. After years of working, these dreams would eventually fade away. I wasn’t worried anymore about my previous academics, long cemented.

More recently, I’ve started to dream about code. I’d dream that no matter what I did, I couldn’t get the desired outcome from my code. In my dreams, I’d triple and quadruple check the documentation and still not get any progress done in my dreamworld app. I just had no clue how to do things in the dreamworld. I’ve waken up very frustrated by these dreams. Now when I wake from some of these dreams, I’ll periodically log in to repos on Github on my iPad to look at some code that I had written. Just to make sure that it was “as it should be”.

I’m not sure what it all means, but I think the impostor syndrome runs deep in my subconcious. For all that I’ve learned at my time at Hack Reactor, and the year of basic prep before coming here, I’m still unsure about my competency as a Software Engineer. I’m worried about the upcoming job search and how I’ll fare. I’m worried that I’ve wasted the time, money, and support of my family through this career shift.

It feels like there’s a second layer of doubtful dreaming that I’m living in now. I’m hoping to wake up from this second layer soon.

I’ve seen some signs of progress. At a recent JS meetup at the coworking space that I’m studying at, there was a presentation on new ES6 features. There was a question about Pseudoclassical Instantiation, and a survey of the room showed that more than half of the people there didn’t know a thing about classes in JS. At least I have a pretty decent understanding of that, which is pretty cool. These doubts will fade away with time.

A single golf clap? Or a long standing ovation?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.