public static rules myRulesOfLife (and coding) {

The views expressed in this post are my very personal take on life and coding. You can like some of them or all of them or none of them, you can choose to accept the advice or ignore everything i say. We all have different way of doing things, but i hope that my experience, acquired on the road to become a self-taught developer will help someone starting the same road.

About myself, i am in my mid 30s , currently work as a Junior Android Developer and a year ago I was a lawyer who never wrote a single line of code in his life. The journey I started one year ago was not easy. I came close to giving up several times. But my desire to became a developer and my rules of life kept me going even when i had no will to turn my computer on.

Learning to code is not an easy task. You can’t do it in three weeks (all-tough there are courses with that kind of promises). You need to approach coding in a certain way if you want to become a developer. In moments when learning to code was becoming overwhelming i found out that several of my life rules about discipline and persistence apply to programming as well. I wanted to write this few lines to help others in similar situations.

The first thing i want to tell you about this “rules of life” is that i did not come up with them on my own. I found them in writings and other mediums, crafted from people smarter then me, but they resonated within me and i accepted them and applied them in various situations in my life, so they gradually moved to the position of life rules for me.

I have four and a half life rules on stubbornness, persistence and discipline (will explain the half part), that I applied in my journey to became a developer.

Rule number 1 and a half:

Rule number one and a half is actually consistent of two rules, but they are very similar to each other, so I count them as one and a half. Age quod agis is the first one. This Latin proverb literally translates as “Do what you are doing”. It means that you should do what you are doing the best way you possibly can, not to do something for the sake of finishing a task. You should have this approach for every piece of code you write. No matter if it’s a simple exercise or your first or fifty first project, you should always try to do your best. This kind of approach of honoring your craft will make you а better developer, more valuable team member.

The half part of this rule is a saying by Theodore Roosevelt, Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. For me, this saying by Roosevelt means that instead of finding excuses for not doing something, you should step up and do the job that needs to be done. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you should accept the limitations of what you can, what you have and where you are, on the contrary, only if you do the work that needs to be done you can change this circumstances. If you use them as an excuse to not give your best, you will never be able to change them into being able to do whatever you want, to have whatever you want and to be wherever you want to be.

Rule number 2:

My rule number two is — “Death is light as a feather, but duty is heavier then a mountain” — Robert Jordan, “The Wheel of Time” book series. When you start the developer journey things look very scary. It is hard to learn something completely different from what you have been doing your whole life so far. Giving up is very tempting. Thai is why i access this kind of tasks with the attitude of Robert Jordan. Giving up is easy, but you have a duty to perform. If you have decided to became a developer, giving up should not be an option. You will end up trying to became a developer every six months, but you will never succeed.

Rule number 3:

My third rule is “None of us knows how long he shall live or when his time will come, but soon, all that will be left of our brief lives is the pride our children feel when they speak our names ”. This is a line from the movie “47 Ronin” (2013). Everything we do in this life we do it for a reason. It is a result of a choice we make. What is your reason to became a developer? Why do you want to go thru all this trouble? You want to live your mark on this world? You want to make a lot of money? We are all concerned about our legacy in this world. If some of us aren’t, they should be. When in doubt remember your reasons. Mine are my children. Find yours.

Rule number 4:

My fourth rule is “Aut viam inveniam, aut faciam”. This Latin proverb translates to “I will either find a way or make one”. You should never be discouraged by the doubts of other people in you. You should never be discouraged by your own doubts in your self. And you will have doubts. It will be very hard in the beginning, you will feel like a complete idiot half the time. When you will get your first job, you will be struck by the level of your ignorance in comparison with your new colleagues. But you should only compare who you are today, with who you ware yesterday. And soon will discover that your colleagues know how you feel, they’ve been there, and you will receive support and guidance from them. That is why you should never give up. Find your way or make one.

These are the rules that helped me to stay focused and stubborn in the face of failure. Just like everything else in life, fight one obstacle at a time.


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