Failures and setbacks are always part of life and sometimes it feels more like a roller coaster. You can either enjoy it or just spend the whole time screaming in fear. Those ups and downs in roller coasters are more similar to failures and success in life. If you think about it, it’s more like a journey where you have a starting point and a destination.
For myself, taking part in the Outreachy program was one of the steps in the journey and when you take part in a technical exam, it’s more like a rollercoaster where at one time your code is perfect and at other times, you are just giving up. I guess this is a story for everyone and from my perspective, how you conceive that journey, all it matters. If you learn from that journey, you are just adding power-up to yourself. But the secret ingredient to this power-up is that you need to trust your struggle altogether.
Journey Uptill Now!
So coming back to my struggles in the Outreachy program. Contributing to the project felt more like moving to a different country and learning a new language. Signs look different, language is different, rules are different … so many things.
So how do you counter this?
In the beginning, one of my struggles was to figure out Gerrit. I have used GitHub a lot but Gerrit felt different. In GitHub, you can push multiple commits at once and you can just log all your work into GitHub but in Gerrit, it feels more like an updated version of what I have been using for the past couple of years. In a single commit, you can have multiple “patchsets” and these patches can be then updated through updating the commit. Understanding this took me a while but once I learned it, it became a norm.
During the internship, there came a point when our code wasn’t working as per our requirements. We tried multiple things and spent hours understanding where we were going wrong. The struggle of debugging the code for the error was quite challenging but during this struggle, I learned an important art from my mentor which was “simplification”. Not everything needs to be made complicated. Sometimes, the answer lies just there and you are looking everywhere, making things complicated!
The Audience Perspective!
If you are learning throughout your journey and dealing with your struggles, you get noticed by people around you. Sometimes, people also have the same issues as you, and guiding them towards the right direction through your experience is something which I always value. It increases networking opportunities and empathy in society.
If you are dealing with any struggle, then few words of motivation!