The One with Ebbs and Flows

It’s the second Friday in our sprint cycle which means it’s Learning Time! We have a dedicated afternoon for learning (more here) which is really cool and I really need to be more strict with myself about what I do in this time. I spent way too many hours doing normal sprint work so far.

Aside from last sprint’s learning time. Which we all spent in my garden, learning about each other because we hadn’t been together as a team since some day in February! It was so cool to see all my team mates (outside, with a distance), barbeque together and talk to all of them (plus some extra family members that came along <3).

Today I did some finishing touches on a ticket that I was working on because it annoys me to keep stuff undone. Something I should work on (maybe in my learning time?), I guess. And then I tried to write a migration script for a new read model that needs to be filled with old events and I can’t figure out why it’s not working. We have a toolbox for event stuff that gives me the correct events, but when I order them, they are not those events anymore but a different representation of themselves. Huh. I know I’m making a stupid mistake but I can’t find it.

So I decided this is going to be what I write about for today’s learning time blog post. I’ve had lots of ups and downs in the past few years (more ups this year, more downs in the previous year) in terms of my career and learning journey. But right now, it feels more mellowed out somehow. It’s more like ebbs and flows. Sometimes I’m completely in the zone and I surprise myself with how quickly I get things done and easy it is to find the right way to do something. And sometimes I just feel completely stuck with a really simple concept.

Like today: We forgot some pagination and I realised that it should not be done in the frontend because of potentially lots of entities that need to be built when the page is loaded, and there were some really different pagination concepts in our app so I asked Sascha how we want to do it. I shared my screen and started typing and I couldn’t write the simplest Haml syntax. And I had some run-ins with Array methods this week that I should really be comfortable using.

But: Stuff like that doesn’t pull me down anymore. I don’t question my being a software developer just because I can’t remember some Rails concept. I don’t think I’m the stupidest person in the world because I still get confused about correlation and causation. That used to be different. Now I know (and believe!) that things like that happen. No developer always knows what they are doing. Everyone forgets things once in a while. And I don’t even need to become an expert in all things software development. Maybe there are things I’m better at and things where I’ll always ask for help and that’s ok.

I actually think a lot of my uselessness this week was due to the weather. It’s so freaking hot at this desk below a roof window. It’s so humid, you always feel disgusting all day. And I don’t sleep well in tropical nights, so I’m constantly tired. But this will pass. And I did manage to have some spikes of productivity and mental sharpness despite the weather.