Sandi Metz and Grit- 2 mins
One of my favorite local meetups to go to is Triangle.rb. As the name suggests, it’s a meetup for local Rubyists. Ruby is a language that I’m trying to learn more of, and I love the Ruby and Rails community. Triangle.rb has speakers every month, and after a cancellation this month, Sandi Metz filled in!
If you don’t know who Sandi Metz is, she’s a very well known figure in the Ruby community. She’s most famous for POODR (Practical Object Oriented Design in Ruby), which is frequently touted as one of the best Ruby or Object Oriented Design books to read. Put simply, Sandi Metz is great, and you should read POODR and go to her talks if you’re able.
Sandi lives in Durham and has actually given at least one talk before at Triangle.rb. While I wasn’t able to go to her last talk, hearing her this past week was completely amazing. Her talk was called “Grit: 100 Miles of Hill”. If this doesn’t sound like a technical talk, it’s because it wasn’t one. Sandi’s talk was about the importance of grit, pretty much in life in general. Sandi is also an avid cyclist, and the talk interweaves the stories of her both writing POODR, and racing in the Bridge to Bridge, a grueling century ride with close to 10,000 ft. of elevation gain. She also talks in depth about research into the quality of ‘grit’. While I can’t claim to have done anything that requires as much grit as Sandi clearly possesses, learning to code has absolutely taught me the importance of grit.
Sometimes I find myself discouraged with how little I know about programming and development. I work so hard, but more experienced developers can do things in 10 minutes that would literally take me days to figure out, if I was able to at all. That can get really frustrating. While its great to be able to learn so much from these senior developers, it really does pound home how new and raw I am in comparison.
While I can build some really cool things, I have a lot to learn still. Generally, I feel a lot better after reminding myself that these senior developers are so good because they’ve been doing this for so much longer than I have. With my ~six months of experience, I’m completely dwarfed by people in my office who have been professional developers for the past 25 years. A lot of the things that I struggle with, they’ve done 50+ times throughout their careers.
Grit is ultimately the ability to just keep pounding. Eventually, in almost any endeavor, if you keep trying, you will succeed. As I put in hours and hours every day working on my abilities as a developer, I keep in mind that eventually, I’ll become a legitimately great developer. I have full faith that I’ll get there, it might just take a little grit.