Programming insights to Storytelling, it's all here.
Going through an inventory of my electronic devices last year, I noticed that I did not own a PC. At least not one in the traditional sense: A tower humming under my desk. I do have a few Raspberry PIs scattered throughout the house. I also realized that my smartphone was 6 years old. What I failed to notice at the time was that my main laptop, an Asus Zenbook UX501V, the one I use to write these blog posts, is from 2016. And it still kicks ass!
"So, is everyone losing their minds yet?" My ex-coworker asked me over yahoo messenger. He quit after getting enraged by new work policies that specifically targeted him. I looked up from my screen, glancing into the next row where his old team were silently working on their respective machines. His old monitor had been taken away. His tower was sitting on the now open office desk, collecting its first coat of dust.
Early in my career, I've spent an excessive amount of time answering questions on Stackoverflow. I've watched the platform go from being expert-centric. Experienced programmers tried to get answers to some complex issues. To a much lower barrier of entry. Everyone who wanted to dabble with programming could have their questions answered. This opened the floodgates to some very basic questions asked in the most complex way possible.
What does it mean to use a phone for 6 years? Can you even use a smartphone for this long? Every year, there is a new iPhone, there is a new Samsung, there is a new Pixel. These are great devices. But for every year that these new devices came out, I asked myself the same question. What will I be gaining by switching my old phone?
In 2017, I set a new goal. I wanted to read. I wanted to read every book I could get my hands on. I started small with the Alchemist, and the next thing you know I was deep in the Game of thrones series, reflecting on Xaro Xhoan Daxos's story line. I loved every book I read, even the ones I hated. They gave me new ideas I never thought off. Reading is like living, but on steroids. You travel far and wide, through time, through history, and even into ideas, all from the comfort of your couch. I really enjoyed reading. But when I looked through my little online library this year, I found that I hadn't read a single book in 2022.
Every time I hear someone complaining about how much CSS sucks, I have one question: Did you ever learn CSS? The words want to burst out of my lips but I stay silent and keep to myself. When I was much greener in this field, I used to ask the question. What I noticed is that no one was willing to change their mind. CSS sucked, it was designed by some terrible people, and now we have no choice but to maintain it. The reality is, you can say that about pretty much every programming language. Though people like to point out that CSS is not one. But do we ever set time to learn CSS?
“Everyone in the office agrees, you are pretty cool.” That's the text message I got after the call. At that point, I had the confidence to work for this fortune 10 company. Sure, I had already failed the technical assessment 6 months prior, but this time, it was going to be different. We exchanged phone numbers, we sent text messages and memes. We communicated in the off hours. This was not your typical recruiter interaction. But I did not expect it to end like a romantic break-up.
What's really cool is an AI you can have a seamless conversation with. What's useful is a service that can answer your questions.
When my wife goes out with the kids, she usually texts me when she arrives at her destination. But this one time, she didn't. I knew everything was fine, but it's a force of habit. I waited a bit then sent her a text: "You guys made it in one piece?" I got no response. Again, I knew they were fine but... what if? I waited a half hour and called. The phone rang and went to voicemail. Again, they often go out and it's not like she always texts right when she gets there. Plus she is meeting her friends, maybe she just forgot. But... What if?
It was already March of 2019, I had promised myself I would do my taxes early this time. When you try to file your taxes on your own, you can see the invisible hand of Intuit making sure the process is as confusing as possible. This time though, I'd hire someone. No more confusion.