The importance of taking a breath, pausing, and looking back.
In the world of technology, it can be incredibly tempting to focus purely on the future, but as countless programmers, software engineers, and designers have discovered over the years, it will benefit you enormously on your journey if you understand the importance of the past.
Entrepreneurs and industry giants all have an origin story. A tale of the initial obstructions they encountered, the obstacles to their progress, the challenges, and the times they came so very close to quitting, and if they had, the technological environment we exist in today would be unrecognisable. So, while the lights of the future have a tendency to blind an individual with ambition and notions of limitless progress, this is why it’s vital to acknowledge the origin stories. While it’s not quite the wheel, it is very much a tale as old as time. There was a spark, a moment of difficulty met with ingenuity, and from it, technological progress, however it was manifested, was born.
There are so many helpful tips advertised online that will aid your progress.
You could spend a lifetime reading articles and lists claiming that these ‘10 simple steps will change your life forever,’ and while some have merit, others should go without saying. Even Code Institute is guilty of this, although our list was a bit more in-depth than Know how to smile and Don’t forget your colleague’s name. So here’s a hypothetical scenario, and here is just one tip that might help you – In understanding the significance of the past, in learning how to pause and look back occasionally, you can significantly assist your career advancement into the future.
It is a miserably wet, windy Wednesday evening, and despite the fact that you’re indoors, you find yourself underwater from coding errors, looming deadlines that will inevitably be postponed, and a project manager breathing down your neck, quietly muttering to him or herself about the unrealistic expectations that you have to adhere to, reaffirming the notion of coding frustrations. Before you are a coder, an entrepreneur, a software engineer, a database administrator, or simply the vaguely tech-savvy guy in the office that everyone calls when a printer malfunctions, you are first and foremost a human being. While your working environment may be dependent on your performance in a digital arena, among seemingly endless lines of numbers and letters, on your fluency with several programming languages, your ability to perform will struggle immensely if you don’t acknowledge your human frailty- you have to eat, sleep, and breathe, so take a breath. You’re tempted to call it an evening and quit.
For every coding success story of a brilliant idea emerging from strife, from chaos, from mismanagement, or from coffee-fuelled insomnia, there is a thousand untold stories of the frustrations and failures.
Not everyone can turn being fired from their own company, years of debilitating depression, and adapt it into one of the modern-day giants of the technology industry. Not everyone can experiment with the threat of electrocution and fly a kite in a lightning storm and change the scientific understanding of electricity forever, but for every Steve Jobs, and every Benjamin Franklin, there is an anonymous individual with downcast eyes staring at his or her desk, lamenting what could have been.
Obsessing over their failures instead of learning from them.
It is vital to accept that failure is part of the process, and how you adapt to that failure and inevitable disappointment, will define your career trajectory. As they say, every challenge is an opportunity in disguise, so your success will always lie in how you meet your obstructions – as a wall that’s impossible to climb, as an impasse that you will never cross, as a language you will never understand, or… or as an opportunity to better yourself in how you meet the challenge.
There are endless platitudes thrown around about just how to be successful. There is no one tried and tested abstract that can teach you the exact path to be successful in the world of technology, but from the get-go, it helps if you acknowledge the origins.
There have been brilliant minds at work in dimly-lit basements, there have been CEO’s who have slept in their cars who went on to make billions, there have been individuals crippled by debilitating medical circumstances who ran marathons and inspired countless people, and then there’s you – on a miserably wet, windy Wednesday afternoon. If you accept that you’re human, and accept that everyone has a tale of their origins, a story of how they began, how they failed, and how they moved on from there, years from now, you might just laugh at how you came to a point in your career, you took a breath, and instead of pawning your work off on someone else, instead of making excuses, of blaming others, you took a breath, you stood in the same shoes as giants of industry, of Apple and Google executives, as CEO’s, inventors and entrepreneurs, and you did the work.
The philosophy of Code Institute is one which understands the value of an individual’s time. No one wants to look back at wasted time, nor at wasted opportunities. This understanding, these founding principles, have helped form an educational environment and methodology that allows people to take the trajectory of career into their own hands. Your ambition will only get you so far – how you invest that ambition, how you accept challenging circumstances and learn from past failures, will directly influence your future.