Maybe it's just because I've been setting up wackloads of dev environments and picking projects, but this whole Prepping for Outreachy business is making me think that there's a lot more to jobs than all these job interviews involving little code challenges get at. There's a baloney-ton of:

  • Talking to people
  • Figuring out what to work on
  • Stalking channels on IRC

Nah, actually I guess this stuff is probably pretty specific to my current situation. (The last one was kindof a joke, except it's definitely true.) I am also spending a ton of time waiting, for:

  • Tests to run
  • Setup scripts to run / Installs + Downloads to finish

like sometimes more than an hour. What! Never in my life have I waited so long for anything.* I guess I sortof also wait for

  • Answers on how to proceed / Help
  • PR approval / Feedback
  • Conversations to happen on IRC that I can stealthily glean information from

Hopefully once I am more involved in the community and more informed about proper processes and procedures, I will feel less of a need to do that last one.

Anyway, it just feels like I do a lot of "meta" tasks, and less actual "programming" tasks lately. To counter that, I've also been trying to throw a few HackerRanks in to keep myself sharp. When I can ignore the hair-rip-out-inducing input forms of these HackerRanks, they are pretty fun lil thangs! I remember some people at RC raving about how addicting they are, and now that I spend all day job hunting (sort-of), they certainly are a tasty treat...I can very much see how one might wind up not wanting to walk away.

Another note - my monitoring of IRC is not good for me. It's like when online-checkins started at RC; I see what everyone else is doing, and how they're interacting with others, and I get sad that I'm not doing that. Let's look at some possible solutions (gee, I hope these fancy new markdown tables I just learned how to build render into HTML (did I use the word 'render' gramatically there?)).

Solution Pros Cons
Don't lurk on IRC. Wait, why does this column exist. The pro of all of these is obvi to not get sad. FOMO! Miss out on: helping people, seeing other people be helped, gossip, internal decision making, bugs, feature and product discussion
Participate Ah this has a bonus pro of obtaining more information and potentially making contacts! May annoy/burden people, takes time, must constantly check because I can't figure out how to get notified, have to pick 0) channel and 1) topic and 2) words

My biggest concern with participating more is that these people already spend a lot of their time managing wannabe contributors and I want to be independent and only ask for help when necessary. At the end of the day, it's probably just like most things - there is no right answer. Just whatever.

This post has rambled. I'm out.

* It is definitely a lie that I have never waited more than an hour for anything. Things I have waited more than an hour for include:

  • Flights (to get on)
  • Flights (for other people to get off)
  • Bedtime
  • Dancing
  • Mail

However - when I wrote that, I was reminded of the thought that "Never in my life have I worked so hard for anything.", which is how I feel about programming. This probably deserves to be an article on its own, but it's a truth - never in my life have I worked so hard for anything as I have to learn to code. This is a fact that continues to awe me. Stay tuned for further notes on this matter.