Down the rabbit hole.

NOW seems like a good time to go back to the post I wrote last Friday about trying to do my code challenge.
I got an email yesterday saying that I am on the waiting list for the Development Accelerator, pending an interview, which should happen in about two weeks. In the meantime, the suggestion is to “read either Eloquent JavaScript or the You Don’t Know JavaScript books (or both!), and update her code challenges with the design patterns you learn there.”

I noted in that last post that I didn’t really find what I was looking for in Eloquent Javascript.
Allow me to clarify a bit. I may have alluded to some of this a bit in the past, in regards to self-study and doing pre-work – We’ve all heard about people “going down rabbit holes” whilst searching for information on the internet – when attempting to research how to do something of this nature, going down a rabbit hole feels like an understatement. The Eloquent Javascript example is a great one.

I find the chapter on Modules (Chapter 10) and begin reading. Pretty quickly, two other chapters are referenced (4 & 9, and obviously, ideally, I want/need to read the whole book, but it’s a bit ironic that it’s pre-work for the class that I’m trying to complete a challenge to get into, but you wouldn’t necessarily know that by looking at the pre-work listed on the website), and then a link is provided to npmjs.org, which you might not realize is something you need unless you skip ahead to the referenced Chapter 20. So then you realize that you need to install a test running package, and you try to do that, which leads you to realize that you need to do a global install of Node (you already have this installed locally, but didn’t even know it could be installed globally) and after you do that, you try to install the package and it doesn’t work, and you have no idea if it has anything to do with the fact that the video you are watching is outdated (I KNOW I HAVE MENTIONED THIS BEFORE) or due to something else, so commence with more googling, and poking around trying to make sense of the instructions in the video, because it doesn’t really make sense anymore because what you’re installing is a different version and by the time you’ve gotten that far (if you even do, I certainly did not succeed the first time) 4 hours have gone by, and you still don’t even know how to use the test package, and repeat the last bit about trying to figure out if you’re doing it wrong because the tutorial was made for a different version or if there is something wrong, or…?

And then you start to have a panic attack because there went half a day because you didn’t know what you were doing and you don’t have a guide because this is self-study and you can only hope that was the tip of the correct iceberg.
And none of this seems to have anything to do with writing code. (I am well aware for many reasons that it does, and obviously these are all things that need to be learned, BUT when you think you’re just going to sit down and write some code, and then you discover that you have to do a ton of other stuff, it can be a bit panic-inducing.)

And it is all good. It is all good learning and every day I know so much more (or I think I do, anyway) than I did the day before. Perhaps I am doing it all wrong in the respect that maybe other people have really already crossed these bridges before even attempting to qualify these classes. Maybe everybody else already had these things installed and had a good working knowledge of it before they even started. I have no idea. Maybe that right there is the test.

I continue to plug away at reading and tutorials, feeling a great sense of satisfaction for all of what I am learning, all the time sweating, wondering if the amount of time I have will be enough.

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