Angst on Toast

I just realized that this month is the 2-year anniversary of starting school at Fullstack.  I’ve been programming full-time ever since, and knock on wood, haven’t gotten sick of it yet!

The reason I haven’t posted in a while is because I have been using every spare brain-watt on new work projects.  Like most dev shops, we are crazy under-staffed.  The plus-side of this is that I’ve gotten to get my hands into so many new projects.  Earlier this spring, we decided to build nodeJS microservices for some 3rd-party integrations, and I got to build one of them!

And when our in-house d3 wrapper needed to be expanded to include a new kind of chart, as well as adapted to some new data, guess who got tapped?

Needless to say, my emotions have been all over the place.  I spent a few weeks out of my mind with the overload of learning new things that felt way over my head.  Async unit testing?  SVG re-rendering?  Some nights I went home thinking, “At what point are they going to realize that I am not capable of doing this and should just be left doing HTML forms for the rest of my days?”  And then somehow, impossibly, I would figure out the next step.

Other nights I went home and thought, “Wow.  I am really doing this.”  But usually it was just trying to figure out what to spread on my toast before numbing my mind with 30 Rock and crawling into bed.  (Literal crawling, because my room barely fits my full-size bed.)  And now, the wonderful knowledge that my microservice will be deployed to production next week.

All these back-and-forths, these crushing doubts followed by breakthroughs (most of the time) or the mundane humiliation of needing help (also pretty often) — this is all part of the package you sign on for when you get into software.  Or you are a cyborg who has no need to waste time on doubts (or blogs) as you are finishing up your cure for cancer app as we speak.

If I could go back 2 years and decide whether to take this stressful, sleep-stealing, mind-altering journey again, would I?  Hell yes!  And maybe with a little less ‘can I even do this?’ angst next time.  But you know, probably still a lot of angst.


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