“The programmer works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination.”
Three years ago, I graduated from Princeton University with a degree in English Literature and no career plans to speak of. My friends and classmates seemed to have all figured out their post-graduation plans: graduate or law school, investment banking, traveling the world. They would cheerily ask me where I was headed, and I would be too embarrassed to tell them what I was–or rather wasn’t–doing.
Today, I’m what you might call a software engineer.
Nowadays, when I tell people that I’m “what you might call a software engineer”, there’s a universal refrain:
“But you didn’t know anything about coding!”
I get that a lot–from family, friends, old classmates–and it’s true, I didn’t know much about coding. I didn’t know what an endpoint, API, or SDK was. I certainly didn’t know what a “stack” was.
But you can always learn.
I’ve learned a lot in the past year as a software engineer at Switch, from small eccentricities:
to things that I really should know…
- inheriting, subclassing, and extending all mean the same thing
- [NSNumber numberWithBool:NO] evaluates to
==isn’t the same as
to important life lessons
- You can never clean, quit, and rebuild XCode enough times. Clean, quit, rebuild. Clean, quit, rebuild.
- The more I learn, the more I learn that I have more to learn
I’ve also learned that when you’re learning something new, it’s all too easy to fall into these patterns:
- thinking that you are not the type of person to
program dance cooklearn
- forgetting to remember what you learned
- forgetting to share what you learned with the many others on the journey with you
Learning should be a natural state of being.
Learning should not get in the way of thinking about it.
Learning should be shared, like a smile, or a
So this blog will be mostly about getting from point A to point B. There are many point B’s in our lives, if we’re doing it right. I would love to share with you all what I discovered, and will discover, along the way.
Do share with me, too–I would love to hear from you.