Becoming a Front End Developer – Diary 5

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I made a big mistake.

In this drawn-out decision to stay with my job, to find a new job, or to leave for my education’s sake, I forgot the reason for that decision; namely, that I want to become a very skilled software craftsman who can command a variety of employment for those abilities. I’ve basically been so preoccupied with figuring out how to best reach that goal that I have left out the main thing — development. I have ideas and I have plans to realize them, but I made the mistake of thinking that I need to make that decision before I can do any real work.

But that’s not the only reason for my procrastination. I have put off developing because I do not yet know a lot of what I need to make a full product. In particular, I know that I need a fuller knowledge of git and JS-based testing (Karma, Jasmine) in order to properly develop a piece of software. My perfectionism is getting in the way. I know that one of the marks of a good worker (let alone a good programmer) is to be able to identify the 20% of work that produces 80% of the results, and then to actually focus and ignore the relatively vast quantity of work that delivers minor results.

Oh, and I’ve been pulling crazy hours at work. That also kept me from working on my own education and projects. Ever tried focusing for 24 hours straight? Near the end, your brain processes nothing. I was “discovering” code I had written only a few hours prior. Pro tip: don’t attempt to drive a half-day journey immediately afterward. Better pro tip: go to sleep like a decent person.

This might not sound like a “big” mistake because lives haven’t been irrecoverably changed, but it’s big in that it delayed my professional goals by a month or two, and would have continued to do so until I noticed that I had silently fallen into stagnation.

I’m going to try to crank out a 0.1.0 version of the MemoryTyper app today. It won’t have any cool integration features, but it will work. Well. Let’s get to it.

EDIT 2015-04-12T01:32:00Z

I did it. Yes, I played a helicopter simulation for a few hours instead of working on this. No, I didn’t do anything else all day. Yes, it’s now technically a different day. I’ll still count this as a victory!

Proof: I’ll put it up on my personal web site when it’s not embarrassingly rough around the edges.


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