A week with the Winter 1s complete! Time for another review.

Overview

I’ve started feeling much more focused at RC. The change in people has really helped this. Excited for what the next 5 weeks bring!

Emotional 😊

Blogging is causing me grief…
Once again getting deep into a new week and freaking out about blogress (get it?… blog(prog)ress… teehee 🙃).

Is it going to be an accurate portrayal of what I did last week? How was I feeling? What did I do? How do I summarize all that?

It’s hard to blog in the present about how I felt in the past… at least without it feeling forced and unnatural. My new approach is going to be blogging about my current feels and relating those feels to the past week.

So much comfort
This past week has felt very comfortable.

There’s a group of people here who I’ve known for the past 7 weeks. There’s another group of people who are a blank slate. I can be whoever I want to be around them. They are so expectation-less.

As time goes on, I gain more familiarity with the environment and people around me. When I first got to New York everything was new and I struggled to take it all in. Now that I’ve adjusted I can do a better job focusing on different interests.

Election feels
Last week was the election and a large number of people at RC were very affected by the results.

I was also shocked, but not being a US resident has buffered me from the full feels. Was unsure how to best support my fellow RCers, and still not sure.

Thanks to everyone who’s shared their feels. Sorry if I’ve been lost for words. Much ❤️s.

Social 🎉

Welcoming Winter 1s
Monday was the first day of the Winter 1 batch. I had helped brainstorm/plan events, so I was particularly invested in everything going well. Was very happy with how the day went!

  • I gave tours at the start of the day. Moving people through the space and explaining where everything is.
  • I took a group for dumplings. Ended up being one of the larger lunch groups (pro-tip: write “Super Cheap!” next to your lunch destination to increase enrollment).
  • I did a QA with a small group. Answering questions about my first 6 weeks at RC.
  • I ran a Webdev workshop. Had everyone talk about their projects and explained common buzzwords (“And that, friends, is why everyone is Reduxing their Reacts!”).
  • I went with a group to an NVC workshop in the evening. Not directly “Day 1” related, but a Winter 1 joined us!

On my first day there was so much new stuff to get acquainted to. This time was much less overstimulating.

Keeping traditions alive
I was worried how the social vibes might be affected by the transition. Losing all our fearless F1s and being responsible for picking up the slack.

It was cool seeing everyone step up to the plate. Activities carried on, new events appeared. RC didn’t become a social desert. Phew 😌.

I’ve also been coming to terms with the idea that things don’t need to run indefinitely. Some activities are fun for a bit, but then you need a break.

Stop going.

If it is needed again in the future, you can organize it.

Intellectual ✍️

Discovering my take on “Becoming a better programmer”
As the half-way mark passed, I began to wonder how successful I’ve been at “Becoming a better programmer”.

When I came to RC, I had a certain idea of what that would look like: - I would learn a new language. - I would build a complex system. - I would master TDDing.

But in the past 6 weeks I’ve done very little of this. Instead I’ve: - Paired with a ton of people. - Pondered how I learn, and the systems that support that. - Dived into existential questions about what I want to do with software.

I started feeling really guilty about that.

RC: “So why do you want to come to RC?”

Harold: “I want to come to RC because I have a project I’m passionate about, but I’m currently building it in hostels. I need a better environment to build cool things.”

RC: “That sounds like a great reason to come to RC. You’re in!”

Harold: “Psych! I’m going to talk to people all day, spend all my time at events and barely code!”

RC: “Arggggh!! Damn you Harold! We were fooled!!”

I know others have grappled with this question too.

“If I spend all my time doing social stuff, am I becoming a better programmer?”

I’ve started to realize that “Becoming a better programmer” is more than lines of code, github activity and pull requests.

A good programmer makes others exited about their projects.
A good programmer teaches complex concepts in easy to understand ways.
A good programmer gives back to the communities they are a part of.

I do feel like a better programmer… just not in the way I had originally envisioned.

There’s a wonderful resident
Part of what’s helped broaden the definition of “Being a better programmer” has been having @glench at RC.

Glen’s done a bunch of programming, but hasn’t made that his only focus for being in the space. Instead, he’s opened himself up to talk about anything.

Maybe that’s discussing where an exception is coming from. Or maybe that’s discussing general life worries.

It’s been really refreshing to have someone in the space encouraging dialogs beyond directly technical things. To just talk about whatever and not have things eventually steered to “so what are you coding”?

Technical focus
Despite my rants on feeling more freedom to be less “technical”, I have been devoting more time to code.

I have a few projects that I wanted to finish while at RC, so I’m determined to get those done.

In particular, learning Haskell and writing a program for generating Javascript in Haskell.

Job prospects that are exciting
This week while perusing my news feed, I came across a job posting for Ladies Learning Code. Picturing the job opportunity to work for a diverse tech community got me very excited.

Then I starting judging:

“But Harold, you wouldn’t earn big cash $s!”

“Who’s going to know Ladies Learning Code? You’ll stop looking like a software engineer!”

But maybe there’s more important things to a job then salary and name recognition. I’ve loved being at RC where there’s more focus on learning, community and diversity.

Maybe that’s what I should be doing. If it doesn’t work out, I can always sell my soul another day.

I’ve applied. I’ll be on the lookout for similar types of jobs as well. We’ll see what comes of it
¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Physical 🚶

Looking forward to exercise
I never got around to getting into an exercise schedule. I’m not going to make excuses, it hasn’t felt important.

Spending time with people, learning to code and being at RC has been the focus. I do enjoy daydreaming about settling down and being able to get in shape again.

Macaroni is delicious
This week I randomly got into a conversation about Macaroni and Cheese. I had forgotten how simple it is to make, so I made a giant pot.

I feel like a 5 year old again 😋.

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It’s nice to finally feel at home in RC. In New York. It’s nice to have a clean slate and refocus on what I want out of RC.

I’m exited to take the extra attention and put it towards new projects.

Thanks to @drigberg for helping me avoid words like “Passionated” in this post. Hearts for @vaibhavsagar and PRs with corrections.