Why I don’t feel like a programmer:
I use a mac at work
Real programmers don’t like Apple. Real programmers embrace all the manual dirty work they have to do configuring and trouble shooting basic functions on this or that linux distro. I just want shit to work.
I use package managers
Mac has homebrew. At home on Fedora, I just use the software manager GUI. If I want something not through it, I have to look up instructions. I don’t even know what my package manager is.
I use my mouse
Real programmers only use the keyboard. Also, they can type without looking. Not me.
I forget how to use FZF in vim every time my manager shows me
ctrl + p. ctrl + p. This time I’ll remember.
I don’t know how to write a bash script
Did you know bash doesn’t have types? An int and a string are the same thing. What does that even mean? Idk.
Or an awk script
I can’t process files fast. Wouldn’t that be fun? My coworker is going to make a text editing mini war for us all. Bet I won’t succeed.
Or use that JSON processing thing
Like you pipe JSON into it and process it and get answers. In goes JSON, out comes object.key. This was a problem when I wanted to find out if our users ever request a certain field from one of our GraphQL endpoints - I needed to process a lot of logfile. Which reminds me,
I have to copy pasta and double check the steps every time to 1) SSH, or 2) deploy
scp is an alien concept. And every other tool that Julia Evans has a cute cartoon explaining. I don’t know the syntax or the rules and I’m scared to screw anything up. Maybe that’s a good thing, on second thought. At least in some ways.
Or know how to set up a server
It has to like, connect to the internet or something right? And have some software running on it? At least an OS? An operating system counts as software right?
Or know how to explain what a server is
I asked my friend if the software her company uses is just for them, or available for anyone to use. She said, “It’s on a server…whatever that means.”. I said, yeah I don’t know - a computer that does stuff? Maybe without you? Then her roommate explained like a textbook: a server is a specialized computer that whatever whatever I don’t know I don’t remember, I was busy being sad that I didn’t really know what a server was.
I’ve never managed my own memory
I don’t know how a computer works. There’s memory and nands and ands and ors and nors. I’ve never used C or C++ or C# or C- or C%.
I prefer doing to planning
I don’t want to think through every possible outcome and option, I just want to make stuff. That’s too waterfall-y. But it means I run up against lots of impossible solutions, and spend time trying plan A then ditching in favour of plan B then returning to plan A. Seems like a waste of time. I’m scatterbrained.
I prefer doing to reading
I don’t want to read through the whole React docs every time there’s an update, I just want to make stuff.
I don’t care much about history
Who is Luna Lovegood? I mean Eva Rotwell? I mean…the girl? The famous one? Who wrote a program, or maybe she didn’t?
I use google services
And skype, and whatsapp, and I have a facebook account - multiple facebook accounts. Real programmers are wary of that stuff. Real programmers use discord, and signal, and tox, and the onion, and tor, and maybe the onion is actually just the logo for tor, and..?
I’m just a web developer.
I’m just a front end developer. I don’t have an engineering degree.
But I’m a web developer who can’t even do CSS.
Isn’t that, like, all web developers are good for? CSS?
I don’t need long chunks of uninterrupted time.
Real programmers get in a state of flow. Real programmers need quiet and space to produce genius inventions. I just make forms. No genius required. I have no right to complain about noise or interruptions.
I don’t play video games.
Ack! They all play video games. And chess. And ping pong. I’m an alien! They play chess because they focus and get in flow state and analyse…just like the last point.
Anyway, I feel a bit better now. I can still be a programmer if all of the above is true. I’m not static (I can still learn things). I can’t learn everything at once (and I’m still fresh enough in programming - 4 years isn’t a very long time!) I am just me and I can use my strengths of curiousity and desire to make nice things <3 And that’s enough!
PS - Don’t forget to be nice to your less nerdy co-workers. Don’t show surprise when they could be about to have a learning opportunity. Make them feel welcome and valued no matter their background and methods. In short, be kind to one another. :) <3
PPS - I picked up a couple advent of code puzzles, because I thought that might be a fun way to feel a little bit more like a programmer again. I think it’s working. :)
PPPS - Did you forget the first PS already? Go back to it! ;)