Just met with my employer’s Director of Tech Integrated Services asking for some advice and direction. Between that meeting and the articles below, my confidence just got a big boost. The Director said that a skill more valuable than coding (“learning to code is easy”) is the ability to design an intuitive, friendly, useful interface. I’m an Instructional Designer–making things easier and more effective for the user comes naturally to me. I can’t believe there are entire jobs for UX/UI design. Of course, I can’t believe that “instructional design” is a thing either. My job bores me out of my freakin’ skull. Whenever I re-watch Good Will Hunting there is one moment I always feel describes the last 7 years of my “career” as an “instructional designer” surrounded by other so-called “instructional designers”:
“I don’t want to spend the rest of my fuckin’ life sittin’ around explaining shit to people … Do you know how easy this is for me? Do you have any fuckin’ idea how easy this is? This is a fuckin’ joke. And I’m sorry you can’t do this. I really am because I wouldn’t have to fuckin’ sit here and watch you fumble around and fuck it up.” – Will Hunting
I paid way too much for a B.A. in Organizational Development and didn’t read or hear anything I hadn’t already figured out for myself. I’m a couple months away from a Master’s in Education and wasn’t told anything I didn’t think was freakin’ common freakin’ sense. So much wasted time and money.
What I love about these free courses I’m taking now and the Associate’s degree I’ll begin later this year at a community college is I’m actually learning something. I’m being challenged and stimulated–something no job in the last seven years has even remotely come close to doing.
I’ve been fighting the fear I wouldn’t be able to learn or do enough to prove myself but now I feel even more optimistic than ever.
I thought “FizzBuzz” was just a silly word somebody at Codecademy made up. But, apparently, it’s “an interview question designed to help filter out the 99.5% of programming job candidates who can’t seem to program their way out of a wet paper bag.”*
The exercise in question at Codecademy was to write a loop with an if/else statement that counted from 1-20. If the number is a multiple of 3, substitute the word “Fizz.” If the number is a multiple of 5, substitute “Buzz.” If both, “FizzBuzz.” If neither, just the number.
Hmm … “if/else” … that would be a good name for a blog. Not a band, but definitely a blog.
Jeff Atwood, “co-founder of Stack Exchange, “Indoor Enthusiast” and author of the Coding Horror blog, quoted Reginald Braithwaite quoting Imran Ghory (maybe somebody will now quote me quoting him quoting them):
“199 out of 200 applicants for every programming job can’t write code at all. I repeat: they can’t write any code whatsoever … [and] … have absolutely no hope of ever producing working software” – Reginald Braithwaite
“People who struggle to code don’t just struggle on big problems, or even smallish problems (i.e. write a implementation of a linked list). They struggle with tiny problems.” – Imran Ghory
* http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?FizzBuzzTest (this article linked to Atwood’s)
I am so registering at Stack Exchange right now and buying two of Atwood’s books:
- Effective Programming: More Than Writing Code for $2.99
- How to Stop Sucking and Be Awesome Instead for $3.99