I used to be terrified of reading large books. I am not sure what it was exactly but I was already defeated by just looking at the thickness of the book. This was of no help since my Christmas money was tied to how many books I read that year. Every week I picked up a fictional book, read it and wrote a summary for my mother, if you didn't finish this book by the end of the week it carried over to the next week, so the smaller the book the better 😅. Still every year my younger sister beat me.
I remember the first day I saw a Harry Potter book (Sorcerer's Stone). A friend of mine had it on her desk. It was not a particularly thick book, but thick enough. I read the back and then the inner sleeve and before I knew it I had read the first three chapters. I was hooked. I finished the book 1,2 and then 3. The fourth book, The Goblet of Fire was released just as I finished book three and that shit was huge. That was by far the largest book I had ever tried to read, It was daunting but I was on a mission. I soldiered through and crushed the book. When I finished it, it was like a part of my brain unlocked and I suddenly wasn't afraid of big books anymore, I suddenly could not remember why I was afraid to pick up thick books, the fear just vanished and a whole library of fiction became accessible to me and suddenly I could not stop reading books.
A lot of people always ask me. What is the best way to learn programming? The one advice I give everyone is: Find your Voldermort. For those not familiar with the Harry Potter series, Voldermort is the big bad guy in the books, if you are video game person, he is the final Boss. I found that this phenomenon (Unlocking my mind to possibilities) happened to me whenever I took on a large enough or complex project with lots of unknowns. I experienced this the second time when I completed a Social Network I created in University called Igbadun. Suddenly every project I built afterward became a subset of Igbadun. Igbadun was a social network built without any frameworks so everything was written from scratch with no libraries. I always tell people the reason I wrote it all from scratch was because there were no frameworks in 2005 which is partly correct but the truth is I didn't even know better🤦. My friend and I wrote our authentication system, database connections, and wrappers, painstakingly wrote every query in SQL, designed our emojis, built a user permissions and moderation system , etc... my head just hurts thinking of all the stuff we made that is one line of code today. It was buggy as hell, the site crawled to a halt if we had more than 100 people on it at once and honestly it was a shit show of unmaintainable code, but at the time it represented so much hope. We had something that was working, that we used and our friends loved that "rivaled"😂 Facebook and Hi5 in our minds 🙄. I can say single-handedly that defeating that Voldermort gave me the confidence and inspiration to pursue a career in software development.
When I pick up a new technology now, I find a big bad
Boss Project to bang up against. It always sucks. You can find me swearing at my computer or on my knees asking for divine intervention but as long as I complete the project I am flooded with a world of inspiration and ideas. It happened when I took on a project at work that lets you slice and dice videos by interacting with its text transcript. It happened again while building a ride-sharing app for Android and iOS. I have found giving myself a challenging worthwhile mission, which forces me to study the fundamentals of what I am trying to solve is the best way to open my mind to see all the opportunities that knowledge brings with it.
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