Personal Iteration

It is difficult to believe that over a year has passed since I last wrote a post! So much has happened: I have moved to a very nice area that allows me to be able to walk to work, and into the best apartment I’ve ever lived in (there’s an outdoor pool!). In September, I went with a friend to Medellín, Colombia, and we worked remotely for a week. It was such a wonderful week of getting into deep work while visiting a new country. It only took a complete 180 degree career change and a move across the country to only start to accomplish some of my personal and professional goals.

I have been working at a software company as an Integrations Developer since March, learning Python, Django and SQL. I really enjoy how explicit and clean the language is. Perhaps programming concepts are finally coming together, and that is why I am enjoying the language, but in and of itself Python is a good language with which to work. I’ve learned what a datasource, datastore, and dataset mean and how to pull in third-party data out of REST (and even SOAP/XML) APIs. I have finished reading Clean Code , and am currently reading Two Scoops of Django, hoping to start a side project with a friend who is very much into ReactJS. We hope that, in working on a project together, we can learn from one another.

It is funny how past experiences lead to present and future ones. In my last job, I was building RESTful APIs from scratch, using Ruby on Rails, and now I am using APIs in this current job. Prior to my previous job, I was unsure of what an API even was! I look forward to this next year ahead, and to see what else I am able to learn and accomplish!

It sometimes seems that those around me think I am incompetent or don’t know as much as I should, because I am never afraid to ask questions. If I don’t ask someone who does know, I won’t know, or it will take a lot longer to learn. In the end, having that knowledge is more important to me than what people think of me for not having it at that moment.  Perhaps it’s an age thing, and I realize I do not have those decades ahead to “discover” as a 20 year old may have. I have also observed that many people do not ask when they don’t understand something, giving the façade that they know what they’re doing, when really they don’t have that understanding.

Once I know something, I know it.

This is one of the reasons I refuse to fall into the whole “Impostor Syndrome” trap; you can’t know what you don’t know! If I ever feel insecure about my career, I think about one year ago, and all of the things I have learned and am able to do now that I was unable to do before. And then I think about just 3 years ago: I was performing in Symphony Orchestras alongside some of the top artists in the world, yet was unable to sustain it because of a lack of opportunity (which keeps getting worse and worse, sadly enough).

Classical musicians are trained for perfection. We prepare for auditions like athletes, months in advance, in order to execute as perfectly as we can on the spot, in a brief moment in time. Being careless is not an option. I come from this mindset of having a high standard, and apply this standard to my current programming career and life. Unfortunately, mistakes do happen, and if I do make a mistake I take it seriously but try to do better, moving forward. I am not the first and certainly won’t be the last to make a mistake!

The world keeps changing, as do we. It is important to always put one foot in front of the other, moving forward and learning, no matter what. You don’t need to know it all, but if you’ve learned something new today that you did not know yesterday, I’d call that a win.

Keep learning and coding, my friends!

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