Shaun an 18-year adult who just got Internet-connected at his home. Having enthusiasm about the engineering of electronic devices and how the technology works. Exploring the vast Internet universe he quickly discovered the person who develops a program for a computer and machines is a software engineer. Perhaps, the boy didn’t have an idea, software engineering was just a leaf in a tree of technology. Having too few options to study technology he start studying Computer Engineering in his nearby college denying the fact that the field contains a majority of Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry where Shaun was always lacking behind at his school days.
As in every college story, there was also a trend of my friend earned $$ this week online or my friend has a website that is giving him $$ monthly, or my friend has a Youtube channel with 1k Subscribers. But the trend was not that impressive that could satisfy his inner cravings. Instead of catching tiny Anchovy every day, Shaun had a plan to grab a giant Fish. That doesn’t mean he never tried catching Anchovy. Fishing requires a large amount of fishing net, and other essential tools and the main thing is patience which he lacked. In a pond where there are already a lot of fishers involved, he would rarely get an Anchovy fish or even a fish.
The idea of thinking big is always good, but it always take years of practice and continuous work to achieve mastery on something.
Shaun off course was not from a family, who could afford him the essentials to catch a fish. Even his daily driver fishing rod was outdated and fishing for him was not smooth. Every student thoughts to be capable enough to afford the essentials for themselves, he was set to start a side hustle which is of course Youtube for any teenager geek person. Starting out was smooth, as he had heard enough success stories of those YouTubers. He was setting out to be the one among them. Perhaps, Youtube requires consistency and patience. He failed to manage his college studies and Youtube both at the same time.
Albert Einstein wrote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Finally finishing his college after 3 years, perhaps without certification and with a lot of backs. He set himself to be a programmer that would pay him enough to buy him a good desk setup. The trend was of course a Web Developer around his area, where he was never fond of. But he always thought a million-dollar idea will pop in his head, he had already learned to program in his college days. Seeking a million-dollar idea, he was gathering all the problems that exist in his society or even the whole country. However, the problems were too complex to solve that it would require a Quantum computing or the Master algorithm. The essence of the million-dollar idea was slowly fading with the ideas having too complex to develop.
But deep down there he was was interested in developing cool and intelligent software. After doing Java vs Python for almost 2 weeks he finally decided to learn both of them, Java in the morning and Python in the evening. Trying to hold a sweet in both hands he was confused about which to eat first. He began his learning journey however his old pal (machine) was getting older, and the pal was struggling to handle the process of Android Studio, the burden of Android Studio has turned the machine into less the computer but more the heater.
“Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.”– Albert Einstein
After months of learning and practicing Android Development, he was finally able to add (Calculator) to his portfolio. A pretty great achievement. He didn’t stop there, Clock, Timer app, Pomodoro app, and To-Do app, he kept adding for the next more months. Now the game was stepped up, the boy wanted to compete with Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. Remembered? The million-dollar idea app was still there. Pretty quickly he started creating a social media app. 2 weeks later, he was still figuring out how to create a UI.
Trying to bring down a mountain with a hammer, how long could you do it?
After hitting the mountain 20–30 times he was already frustrated. Now he desired to get a job so he could survive, more than the survival he was into satisfying his inner cravings to have a good desk setup. Besides studying and pondering on multiple projects, he is always busy watching the MKBHD desk setup or the fancy new gadgets on Youtube. With frequent engagement with the video, the expectation level would reach above 100% however on clicking the link of Amazon the expectation would suddenly decrease below 10% seeing the price. (The price of a single gadget is the monthly income of an average individual in his country).
Creating an unrealistic expectation always leads to disappointment and unpleasure which is directly proportional to burnout. Stop looking at things you cannot afford.
Lessons to be learned from a young programmer Shaun:
Microsoft, Google, Apple, or even Pyramid wasn’t built in a day. Perhaps to master swimming you have to start with a small pond or pool, with built-up confidence over the practice you will feel confident to dive into any river or sea. Understand we cannot learn everything or build anything in a single day, it requires time and patience. It’s is necessary to take breaks. We aren’t computers. We can’t go at full speed 24/7. We’re humans and we need breaks. Start with small, whatever you can afford. You don’t require a high-end workstation or even a MacBook to build greater things. A perfect desk setup is a myth. Engineer your set up whatever you have and make it comfortable to boost your productivity. You don’t require that Herman Miller Chair that you saw unboxing from one of your Youtuber.
Perfection is the enemy of progress
Never learn a skill just because it has the highest salary or higher demands. If you are a beginner, you should always focus only on limited things. Build up your base first, if you are jumping from one skill to another it will take a longer time to achieve mastery on it. Being not able to earn anything from your skill, your brain will stop releasing dopamine.
Example: If you are learning Front-end development. Master it first, you don’t need to jump to learn the highest demanded skills like Data Science and Machine Learning. Whatever you’ve learned, try to land a job with that skill you can catch up with another skill anytime sooner after surviving.
Mastery requires time and patience, don’t try to learn everything at once.
(Bruce Lee: I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.)
No one gets paid higher from Hottest Jobs, we get paid for our skills. We cannot eat everything at once. If you cannot afford a perfect desk setup or fancy gadgets, watching it on Youtube is totally a waste of time, it increases your inner cravings with which you will not be able to focus on your current work. It forces your brain to earn those needs where soon you will begin to crave for money. Hence you lose your focus.
An atomic habits, that needs to be done every day:
- Know your time and limit, and usually take breaks.
- Perhaps, the best thing to offer your busiest brain a glimpse of nature by visiting nearby parks or natural areas.
Previously published behind a paywall at https://medium.com/@devson/the-flop-story-of-a-young-developer-febe0c9bd3a2