Transitioning from helpless to helpful

Four years ago I had no idea what I was doing in Web Development. Asking dumb questions in IRC all day was how I learned. Scrounging through tutorials trying to make sense of anything. Now I'm the one answering the dumb questions!

I felt like writing this because I've just realized that I now hang out in #django and actually spend most of my time giving back instead of taking. To me that's a huge achievement that deserves some attention, at least.

I'm helping!

It's not uncommon that I leave the IRC window up on my 3rd monitor and glance at it occasionally. More and more I'm seeing people ask questions that I have no problem answering... what the hell! Without even realizing it I've transitioned from an entry-level-nobody to kinda-somebody-worth-listening-to.

Being a newb

When I was just getting started I vividly remember being helped by FunkyBob multiple times... I had no idea why he was helping me. Maybe now I'm finally starting to understand why he would helped me, but a few years ago I had no clue. I've bought pizza/beer for a couple people and such, but that's not the right way to give back.

The real way to say thanks would be to, myself, become able to give back to the community.

The transition

I'm not sure when the switch flipped, but my best guess is recently with changes at work I am seeking out more and more ways to be proud of what I do. Instead of just getting the work done, I take pride in taking my time implementing a better solution. Not something perfect, but something I'm proud of.

I've also made horrendous fuck ups. Huge security holes, missed details, and poorly designed features. Though these seem like awful things, this where my growth seems to be happening. By being forced to confront these problems without the option to give up/change course: I am learning a fuck load.

It's regular to get stuck for hours on something simple like forgetting to pass *args, **kwargs to a super method, but in those painful hours I grow and stretch my brain around the problem. When I finally understand just how stupid I am with the small mistake, it's like taking a load off my shoulders.

Sometimes it feels like I have no idea how I'll get to the finish line on a feature. That's getting more rare. My confidence is growing that my weak points are shrinking. In the way I communicate especially.

Good for you!

I know this is kinda lame congratulating myself... but I'm finally getting happier doing web development, damnit! Our job is filled with negativity, set backs, and pressure--so why do we do it? Of course money is there, but that won't keep me around.

What will keep me around is this:

rpkilby: thanks for the help

xcyclist: Yes, that did it. Thanks.

shutupsquare: Hey Thanks, I never even thought to have the items have a fk to the person, perfect, thanks guys.
— 09 June 2015
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