Discipline vs. Enthusiasm

From Beginner to… Sophisticated Beginner

Sometimes I get ahead of myself. Going through Launch School, my feelings have bounced around from “Can I even do this?”, to “I can do this!”, to “I’m a deluded moron!” so many times I get dizzy. The truth is, it’s almost a total waste of effort to bother with weighing those questions. With my future on the line it’s hard not to, but the decision to complete Launch School has already been made. Giving too much thought to finishing timelines and job prospects can become a major distraction and feed into the enthusiasm/mood category.

Whether it takes me one thousand or two thousand hours to get there, I just need to know that I’ll get there through studious practice and dedication. Programming is an in-demand skill, and the implementation details of how I’ll use that skill can come later. The Launch School assessments are proof enough that I’ve been building strong foundational knowledge.

“It seems like the swings from desolation to elation are just part of the process. I think maybe you have to get used to it, so that when it happens you can notice the panic but not take it seriously.” — Liela Rotschy

I don’t expect to finish Launch School as the greatest programmer the world (or even the school) has ever seen. What I expect is that I’ll have the skill to swim as a programmer, rather than drown. And that’s something to be proud of. What field could be stimulating enough for a long career if you could become a true master within a short time? We chose Launch School because we’re either masochists or on to the fact that we don’t just need to break into the industry, we need to destroy the ceiling that threatens our long-term happiness. Finding myself lacking confidence in my skills and/or stuck in a low-level tech job for the next decades would be throughly unsatisfying.

I want a long and fulfilling career of problem-solving, program-building, best-practices and being at the cutting-edge of society. If all I wanted was a job, I could have remained a cabinetmaker.

Embracing the struggle is part of the process, discipline is what carries you, and improvement is the long-term goal.

As if it’s that easy…

*A big Thanks to my weekly meetup group for all the helpful advice and criticism, and for always reminding me that I’m not alone on this path.

**Photos by Stefan Blondal