HFocus: honesty evaluating myself at skill-garnering habits

My Learning style

I’m not the kind of geek who stays true to one programming language through their entire life. Listing all the languages I’ve done some code in taught a lesson right here: I should pay a little more attention to structurally motivate my learning: I mean to set not only S.M.A.R.T. goals but a framework of learning that tells me why I am devoting time to it.

A novelty junkie

This was also my problem: the balancing act of energy between many courses was difficult for me. I tended to go 110% all in with one course. It was the course that felt most interesting and, perhaps, novel. I loved to explore hard new stuff.

Before entering technical uni, I’d already coded for 14 years. So I was quite experienced, but also in a way, “locked in” a way of thinking, especially regarding the imperative style of coding. There’s basically five main paradigms in computer programming. One is imperative style languages; you tell the computer what to do, in a rather linear fashion. The imperative paradigm is something I happened to pick up first.

The very first programming course at uni was painful, because in it, I had to completely unwind and rewind my thinking process about programming. The course used “functional programming” methodology, whereas self-taught you’d always picked the “imperative” style – a straightforward idea of telling the computer exactly what to do. 

The final outcome, however, was that I had an incomplete Master’s degree at 102 ECTS points, which is along the 42% (out of 100%) completion line. I essentially dropped out 8 years after starting. The average graduation time in my line of study (Master’s, Computer Science in Helsinki Uni of Technology) was at the time quoted to be 7.8 years. So I was actually darn slow!

Meaning of Work and achievement to me

I’m driven by

  • expectations of being able to change the world to better
  • through process engineering and influencing people
  • teaching some of the ways things are best done; example: I have a life long interest in teaching how to efficiently use software and computers in general
  • I love to advise on computer security issues, and want to protect people from online scams and all kinds of malware
  • understanding and optimizing a human activity in congruence with a process that is guided by code

This was cathartic. Share your thoughts, and see you in the next blog! Thanks!

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