I’ve been working as a computer programmer for more than 20 years, so you’d think I would feel comfortable with it. And I do, to a certain extent, but I confess to a certain amount of Imposter Syndrome.
You see, I didn’t study computer programming in college. Not a single class. I passed out of it by taking the Advanced Placement (AP) test based on a high school class that was so long ago we learned a language called Pascal.
Now, you don’t need to have studied computer programming in college to do the job — I’m living proof of that — but early on in my career, i found myself hugely intimidated by things like “business rules” and “design patterns” and other things I’d never heard of. I thought that because I didn’t learn about these things in college, I was never, ever going to get it.
Then one day something miraculous happened. I had to learn Java. There was just no avoiding it. And I discovered that once I got past that mental block telling me that I would never understand Object Oriented Programming, the actual concept was pretty simple.
It wasn’t magic at all.
There I was, staring at what had seemed completely impenetrable a week earlier, and it was (at least on the surface) simple. Emboldened, I started tackling other things I’d been intimidated by.
One by one, the walls collapsed.
Turns out that if you’re determined, there’s not much that can’t be understood if you break it down into small enough pieces.
Most recently for me, it was Machine Learning. Sure, it looks like magic, but when you come down to it, it’s just not that complicated. Don’t believe me? Check out the course I did for Manning, Machine Learning for Mere Mortals.
So stick around! We’re going to take lots of topics that seem like you have to have a PhD to understand them and break them down so that anybody can do it.
Got a topic you’d like to tackle? Let me know in the comments!