Wednesday April 18th

Open Source and Progress

I just got back from an Open Source Meetup!

  • It’s specifically this one, where we stand in a circle, introduce ourselves, talk about what we’d like to work on. Then we are paired and work with a partner via the Pair programming method.

  • My requests were “No Java” and “No JavaScript”. And so naturally, my partner was a Java Programmer :D
  • So, we settled on trying Rust. We got through a couple of the excercism problems.
  • At the end, we had a retrospective, and I thought it interesting that my partner for the exercise immediately commented that I had “a lot more patience than he did”, even though he was a seasoned programmer. He’s been programming for several years professionally. I have not.

On the way home

  • My friend who ran the Meetup and myself were talking; he’s a good friend.
  • He said that a mutual friend of ours (who opted to become a PM) said she once met a developer who was from the Ukraine who said they learned with pencil and paper, and finally compiled their programme once a month.
  • I loved that, because it very much reminded me of the sort of process we were going through for my Programming Languages class.
  • I thought that sometime throughout the semester, something mentally shifted for me. Don’t get me wrong; I still have a lot to learn. But I’ve become more patient. Something about doing a different obscure language every two weeks and learning Haskell, and reading through a 458 page paper on the Implementation of Functional Programming languages (in two days) I think (I hope) has made me better.
  • I think that that is the sort of thing I’m looking for if I get the chance to study a PhD one day. The opportunity to think and understand what crafting quality software really is, and the opportunity to fail.
  • With a lot of structured programmes, students aren’t given the opportunity to fail and really accept failure. Everything is focused on doing well and passing. But so much of getting good at programming is about failing. It’s a paradox.


  • I’m also booked for a race in May, on this wonderful boat I sailed on last weekend.
  • I’m doing a few interviews and just seeing what the future holds. Wherever I end up, I hope they can have the patience with me to help me grow and become a good developer.
Written on April 18, 2018