I’m 27 years old and just finished a boot camp to become an engineer, but my status as a professional hasn’t been consummated by receiving any money for my work. I supposed that makes me an amateur.
Being a boot camp grad is hard for everyone. There are many companies that just don’t believe our kind are really engineers after only 12 weeks. My peers are amazing though, and it’s unfair that we have to deal with that stigma. That’s not my biggest problem though. Not even close.
My biggest problem is me. I am consistent only in my ability to let myself down. If it weren’t for me, I’d be a really good programmer. I mean I seem to have some aptitude, I’m just really struggling to overcome bad habits, self limiting beliefs and an ass-load of fear. Together, plus some things I haven’t noticed and/or named, these traits make up what I call my “Psychological Technical Debt.”
For those not in the field, “technical debt” refers to the work you put off until later. This happens when you settle for code that works but is not the best it can be. It’s like driving on a spare tire, the car moves, but there are “buts.”
So, psychological technical debt is the self work that you previously avoided by pseudo-coping with your flaws. At some point, you’re going to have to dig into your inner dirt and pull out all the causes by their roots.
I think I may have found a root tonight. Although my conscious mind is 100% invested growth, my subconscious is clinging to a fixed mindset. How can I tell? Evidence slips out when I’m crying at my husband.
Tonight he told me I need to love myself.
Me: “it’s like if I told you ‘you just need to fly!’ I don’t even know where to start. It would be easier to love an enemy.”
Also me: “how can I love someone who only ever disappoints me?”
He pointed out that I can change if I work at it. There’s a bit of a chicken and egg problem here. The thing I hate most about myself is my ability to avoid work (often by creating a melt down over how much I hate myself for not working hard enough). Saying that I can change that by working hard is sort of frustrating.
But what if, instead of convincing myself that working is impossible because I don’t work, what if I challenged my core assumption, the way I would if I were debugging?
What if I can work?
After all, I made it through boot camp. Someone must have been doing that work. If I accept that thought, I have something to work with.
So I can do work. Actually, looking back on boot camp, I can work hard and proactively if I have a clear task.
I have an objective: become a proud and competent, employed software engineer with lots of money and a side project. But there are too many tasks leading up to that. So I’ll have to prioritize. That sounds like work. Lucky thing we just established I can do work.
But I need to work consistently. So my working can’t be contingent on the belief that I will reap the rewards, since my subconscious doesn’t believe I will work hard enough to get there.
I need a hopelessness-proof plan…
Haha, I’ll get back to you on that.