Tag Archives: live life

Start before you’re ready

I’ve never quite been ready for anything, I guess.  I just start.

I could never possibly predict all the things that I would encounter when starting something, let alone prep for them.  If I did that, I’d find something and say “err, nope.  I don’t think I’ll be doing this.  Too hard.”  That means I’d completely lose out on learning something (or being forced to, which happens quite a bit).

My dad likes to say “When you have the money, you don’t have time.  When you have time, you don’t have the money.  If you want to go do something, go do it!  Don’t wait!”  It’s taken me to sea, various cities, racing, flying, and a couple of careers.

Like @jlyman said, “It means take a chance, take a leap of faith.”

Well said.  If you’re a christian then it definitely means lean into your faith.

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Time when I was scared to act

When was I scared to act?  This is an easy one!  When I started looking for a job as a developer!  There’s always a little part of me that’s scared that I won’t measure up to employers’ expectations.  I’ve only been developing since April so I’m still learning things that people around me already know.

Also I didn’t know if I wanted to stay in Charleston or try a new place.  I’d only lived in Chucktown for 6 months but I found myself wondering about the mountains a lot.

So there I was again.  New job, new career actually, new city, new friends, new routine.  Exciting yes, but scary – you bet.

I’m a veteran at doing this kind of thing by now, but it’s still scary when I actually act on it.  Always worth it though.

$(’<h1>new-life</h1>’).appendTo(‘.andrew’);

What money can’t buy

Money can get you a lot of things.  It’s nice to have around.  Hmm… so what it can’t get you are a lot of things you really want.

Work that is worthwhile.  I’m so thankful that I get to work for a company that translates old movies to digital content.  I do the front-end development work, and while it’s very difficult sometimes, I am really starting to thrive on the challenge.

Good relationships.  It’s such a good thing to have good support in whatever you do.  I’m lucky to have great neighbors, excellent co-workers, and a family that supported me when I changed careers in a very uncertain economical time.

Daily writing prompts from John Saddington.  Apparently it’s free.

Innovation.  Actually I’ve usually been more innovative and creative when I don’t have money.  It forces me to think different.

It seems whatever itch that we feel we just have to scratch in life, seldom can money take care of it.

Dilligence

I’m helping a student go through the Iron Yard code academy.  It’s good because I not only share what helped me, but I remember the hopeless and lost feeling that came right before those great ‘AHA!’ moments.

So I got to go along for the ride, giving advice, pointing to references, and doing what I can short of giving him the answer.  That’s really what I wanted to do, but he wouldn’t really learn if I did that.

Yesterday they were off from school so he attended 3 different study groups to try and get a handle on some javascript.  All of this is new to him, he just started last week!

Yesterday I was swamped at work and couldn’t help out much so I had to keep putting him off until I got home.  Even then I was so exhausted from work (and sore from running this weekend) that I forgot until about 9pm.

I had a few emails that went like this:

“Hey I’m struggling with this, what’s a callback?”

“Dude I don’t know where to start, have any go-to pointers?”

“I’m going to my 3rd study group today, still don’t have a clue”

Before I could write back, he sent me one more:

“Hey man we figured it out!  I’m so happy that this worked out! We just didn’t give up and now it works! Check out my github and comment!”

This is the best email I could get!  I didn’t help him, he figured it out!  Getting news like this is a breath of fresh air and now I’m revisiting it while telling you.

Nice way to kick off this Tuesday!

“Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse, wouldn’t quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out. Gentlemen, as of this moment, I am that second mouse.”

Yes he is…

Thankful!

sunrise

Blogging from my back deck this morning.  We dream of our ‘future selves’ having the life.  Cars, house, wife, bit of cash, and you know – the good life.  I don’t really have those things yet, but I’m working on it.

As individuals who are always striving to better ourselves and our situations, we tend to miss what we already have.  Maybe take a few minutes this morning and maybe grab some coffee and look at the sunrise.  If you can do just these 2 things, I think you’ve got a good start on the good life.  Let’s just appreciate how lucky we all are this morning.

As for me, I’m watching the sunrise from the back deck this morning and realizing just how lucky I am to be here.

Mentoring

How fast you turn from student to teacher in this industry.  Crazy.

Only a few months ago I was asking myself if I would even make it in this new career. Now I’m helping others get into it and get through it.

Their thoughts and concerns bring back not only memories of when I felt the same thing, but also the little tricks I used to get myself out.  I continue to refine my outlook on the things I do professionally and as a hobby.

As a distance runner, I’m not out there at full bore – giving it all I’ve got every step.  That would be a sprint and I’d only make it to the end of the block.  I carefully think of things to improve my run.  I look at running as a balance of machinery.  My arms have to swing enough to benefit my legs and, using synced momentum, take some of the load from my legs.  This is incredibly helpful, and you’ll find you can rest during a run.  Further refined, you can start intentionally running with your arms creating most of the momentum while your legs aren’t necessarily driving you but catching you.  You’re almost low-level hopping.  You have to do funny things like that to go the distance.

Coding is the same to me.  You can’t sprint all the time, learning every possible thing all at once and be an expert after 1 or 2 days.  You need to set a pace, learn a little, refine your learning a little, and repeat.  Then you’ll be able to go on these distant runs (projects, hackathons, etc) because you’ve refined things.

I hope this makes sense.  I am trying to convey a similar concept to new students of web development.  Constant refinement, being in running, coding, or working on cars, whatever.

I don’t know it all, and neither do you.  But we’re all working on it, aren’t we?

State of the Dev Community

I really do enjoy being a developer!  I mean I’m getting into it more and more each day!  It’s complicated and you have to master several concepts just to get moving but there’s such a great and helpful community around you!

When I got serious into development and decided to make it a profession I immediately ran into a roadblock.  I started at community college and it was so ultra-competitive- which isn’t bad – but no one would share information with anyone.  This is probably because there were about 50(?) of us competing for about 10 jobs.  I really felt like I was on an island and I would have to figure out everything myself.

My last semester I had an instructor who obviously loved teaching.  He taught our network security class.  Talk about someone who really embodied the open-source idea – he wanted ALL of us to know what he knew and build upon it.  That spirit completely engulfed the class and we weren’t trying to beat each other up anymore.

Fast-forward 2 years, after going through code school, I’m working in a start-up where we’re doing a few things new to me.  I’m on deadlines and I’ve got to perform because there’s only 4 of us on the creative team!  Luckily community is huge.  There is always someone who’s been in your shoes before and are willing to take a few minutes to help out!  This really spurrs the idea that ’sky is the limit’.  It’s great!  It’s a great feeling when you can help someone else out as well!

The state of the dev community?  Very good and getting better!

If you’re a developer – remember to pay it forward and help someone.  It’ll completely make their day and they’ll do it for someone else as well.