The One where It's a Bit Too Much

Everything is a bit too much right now. I’m not complaining. It’s actually okay. I just don’t know what to write about and that makes me realise that I don’t really know what I’m doing and learning right now. The new team is great, but everything is new. All the people, their workflows, the team workflow, our ways of communication and so on. It’s interesting to work in a new context and with things I don’t really know much about yet, but there is so much I don’t understand. It feels like this application (they have only one main application, not like my old team) is a big ball of yarn and I try to probe into it or pull on some strings and then I’m surprised what happens. There’s Ruby that I don’t know much about, there’s Rails that I know even less about and then there are tons of concepts and things that extend the plain Rails application and I don’t even know what most of these concepts are.

I’m working my way through Head First Ruby but there is nothing to write about. There is not even much to learn right now because I do know a bit about Ruby. I read a chapter about hashes and keyword arguments yesterday that would be pretty boring for this blog and to be honest, it was pretty boring for me as well. That’s the thing about learning on one’s own I guess. A teacher or mentor could just say “Hey, what do you know about hashes? Can you explain them to me? … Ok, that’s a good answer for now, let’s skip to the next topic!”, but I can’t really skip the chapter because I simply don’t know how much I know or if there might be something hidden somewhere that would be new and of use to me. I

I still haven’t figured out how I am going to structure my learning process from now on. I asked one of the mentors from my old team if he would still be willing to help me out a bit in terms of programming basics and maybe some Elixir or Functional Programming in general. We’re not going to start with this right now so I still have some time to think about all of it, but I really can’t come up with something I could do that could help me keep learning Elixir without taking away too much time from learning about Ruby, Rails and Object-Oriented Programming. And I’m struggling with asking about he big ball of yarn because I don’t know how much input I can take and what would be most useful to me right now. I should probably find some time to ask one of the guys from my team what they think I should do. At least one of them has much more experience than my old team in helping a junior dev in their learning process.

I miss the guys from my old team. Being around them did not really make me feel good, but not being around them still feels wrong and weird. I can’t tell my head to stop thinking about them and us and what went wrong and when and it’s driving me a tiny bit crazy. My therapist is on holiday so I can’t unload my crap with her so I sometimes vent to one of my colleagues that I know a bit better but I guess that’s always a bit out of context and they might just think I’m pretty weird now.

But I guess all of this is stuff that time will make better. When I’ve learned a bit more, I hope that some of my unknown unknowns will become known unknowns that I know where to find help with. I’ll figure out how to navigate this application step by step. I’ll find people to help me figure out how to learn best. That should actually be much easier than before because most of the devs here had little experience when they started with Ruby and Rails so they might remember a tiny bit about how they did things decades ago (I’m exaggerating). No one here has started with Elixir, as I tried to do for the past 2 years. My mental state will get better. I will continue working on this on my own and I’m now in an environment that is a lot less stressful to me so that should work even better than before. And there’s SoCraTes next week. Tons of people interested in learning and mental health whose brains I can pick. All will be well.