Week 4! That was probably the fastest week yet. Let me just pull out my thinking cap for reflection time. 🎩
Things are slowly coming together.
As I start to feel closer to the people around me, I’m finding myself more worried about the state of my programming. Kwazy!
Thinking about thinking is draining
This week I gave a non-technical lightning talk at RC about Nonviolent Communication. I wanted to give a good overview and talk in constructive, nonviolent terms.
“NVC is a framework for improving your communication.”
“This is violent communication and it’s horrible!”
Whenever I put my mind in NVC mode, it usually results in me overanalyzing everything. Framing things in terms of needs/feelings over and over again:
Ugh! I feel X because of Y! …no I feel X because of unmet needs.
…wait X is a strategy, not a feeling.
Ugh! I suck at NVC!
…that’s a moralistic judgement about my abilities with NVC!
The result is that I’m quickly sucked into the idea that there are right and wrong ways to frame thoughts. Thinking about thoughts until the thoughts are the things I want to think 🤔.
It took me Monday and Tuesday to get the presentation where I wanted. After that I still hadn’t blogged. I switched from one heavily self-reflective task to the next. By the end of it all, I just wanted to code!
When I posted that I would be talking about NVC, it grabbed a fellow NVC aware Recurser’s attention. It was nice having someone to run ideas by. Also to have that person point out where I had been misusing NVC.
In the past I’ve gotten caught up in the game of “How can we translate everything to be NVC”. That would then quickly lead me to judging all my communication as good/bad. Seeing NVC as a tool rather than “THE” way to communicate helped relieve some pressure from myself. There’s no right answers!
Getting sucked back into RC
This week had a bunch of awesome events at RC.
- Contra dancing
- Non-technical talks
- Graph theory Workshop
- Spelling Bee Coding Game
- Job fair
It’s hard finding a balance with these events.
Three RC events in a row meant that Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday I spent my whole day at RC.
(Thursday I went to BrooklynJS, but would have been at RC if that hadn’t been the case.)
All this time at RC really anchors my sense of friendship and community to one space: RC.
And one purpose: coding.
It’s the different between being “friends” vs. “work friends”.
“Friends” are people you enjoy being around regardless of the context. You can go for walks, grab a coffee or talk about life.
“Work friends” are people you only interact with within a given context, and thus anchor your relationship to that context.
Jerry from HR is great, but I would rather not know about his personal life.
Cynthia the CEO is lovely, but we don’t talk outside of board meetings.
There are people who I enjoy at RC, but who I’ve only interacted with in RC.
Are we friends or work friends?
If we hung out on the weekend would it be awkward?
If we talked about life would it be weird?
I’ve found time outside RC essential to answering those questions.
Having spaces outside RC
Thankfully I’ve been feeling better about my relationships outside of RC.
Saturday some friends came out to an Electro Swing event with me. It felt SO good to get out dancing again.
Sunday I was able to have a group cooking/potluck sesh. Group dinners are one of my favorite things. Such a wonderful sense of community that comes from cooking/sharing food together.
Both these things were with people from RC and that just made it all the better 😍.
After a few days of doing nothing but processing thoughts, I was SO ready to crank out some code.
I disconnected, went into a room and started working on a PR for
nodepub. It’s an open source library for bundling HTML into
The library has been working well for me, but unfortunately was using some synchronous APIs. In the NodeJS world, this means the entire server can get blocked on writing epub files. I thought making the code fully asynchronous would be a fun little project. The last two days of the week I did that and opened a PR.
Support from RCers
You know what we all need to do more of? CODE REVIEWS.
I’ve been trying to get into the habit of opening PRs against my own repos for RCers to review. Did that with a bunch of my blog posts and was super appreciative to get RC perspective on them.
Now I just need to do that with…code. 😜
Non-technical lightning talks
The people at RC come from such a wide background, and sometimes you forget that when all you talk about is coding.
Non-technical lightning talks was a chance for everyone to share some of their non-technical interests. It was so interesting hearing people talk on everything from Disco to Judo to Brexit. I gave a talk on Nonviolent Communication (NVC) which was a lot of fun 😊.
Finished “Algorithms to Live By”
I finished reading this amazing book called “Algorithms to Live By”!
It was a super interesting mixture of computer science concepts and life advice. Reviewing old CS concepts and seeing how the author related them to real life was really interesting. Would recommend 👍.
I went to BrooklynJS
A friend at RC was speaking at the BrooklynJS meet up on Thursday and provided me with his guest ticket. Lovely crowd, lovely talks.
One of the highlights was meeting @brianloveswords. I watched a talk they gave at JS Conf a while back called “Being Human”. It was such a wonderfully presented overview of many thoughts I had been pondering.
So happy to find myself at the meetup mentioned in the talk.
I started going to interview prep
Fridays at RC are quieter than usual. It’s a time when people focus more on interview prep rather then coding.
I’m not decided on my post-RC plans, so interview prep hadn’t appealed to me. At the same time, it’s a skill that is harder to practice solo. So last week I joined a session and collaborated on problems. Made me realize how much I could improve on my whiteboard skills. So happy I did it.
Will sign up for more over the coming weeks.
I’m out of touch with my technical goals
All this running around, socializing and collaborating has really pulled me away from deep diving into my own personal tech problem.
I might need to take some time to focus on Harold. What do I want to learn? Why? Am I challenging myself?
- I want to publish more projects. (There’s something about open source/putting software into the wild that is terrifying and exciting.)
- I want more experience managing services. (EpubPress has been great for this, but is still relatively simple.)
Omg! So much food this weekend.
I made eggplant parmesan for the first time! Friends also helped cook with me. This is only one of three delicious dishes:
Eggplant parmesan is also very similar to chicken parmesan…so guess what I’ll be cooking next (hint: 🐔🧀).
Omg! So much dancing this week!
Contra dancing, which was a blast. I think I achieved new levels of goofiness.
Electro swing dancing, which was a blast. Also getting to the venue on the back of a friends bike, which was terrifying. 😅
Things have been really starting to gel. At the same time, I’m realizing that many of these lovely people will be finishing their batch in 2 weeks 😞.
But let’s not think about that. Plenty of time to complain about that next week 😅.