Last Known Good Configuration is a blog where I try to explain programming as I know it to whomever will listen in the hope that I can help someone else on their journey to becoming a better programmer.
When I was starting to learn to program, I would see my peers publishing articles about their milestones - when they learned a concept or mastered a new part of tech, they’d memorialize it by consolidating the information into an article on Medium or some other platform. And part of me always felt jealous of that. That they felt comfortable enough to share their vulnerability like that - admitting that they didn’t understand it right away, acknowledging that it was a process.
By the time I’d gained enough confidence in my own abilities, gotten over my imposter syndrome as it were, I felt that the mini milestones I achieved weren’t worthy writing about.
But the truth is that the reasoning is the same. Fear. Fear of appearing the fool, of being proven wrong, of being called out as not understanding something well enough.
“Amy’s not naturally smart, she just works hard” - a sentence fragment meant to inspire my brother who was “naturally smart” to work harder, but only really succeeded in making me feel like I would never reach the ceiling others could.
Am I working hard enough? Will I ever?
It is my firm belief that there are no dumb questions, only people too self-absorbed or impatient or tunnel-visioned to see the difference in view, to work out the gaps necessary to bridge misconception. Questions might seem stupid, but we often underestimate the amount we know, take it for granted, and forget that not everything we take to be common knowledge actually is. And we can forget that just because we’ve come to a conclusion about something doesn’t mean that we’ve come to the right conclusion, or for the right reasons.
I’ll admit that although one of my passions in life is to mentor and teach, I still fall short at times. It’s easy to fall into the temptation of offering a solution instead of encouraging someone to come up with their own solution.
But I’m working on it.
I want this to serve as a reminder to sit down and make the effort to truly understand the code that I’m writing in order to help other people better understand why it’s written the way that it is. And I want to share that journey.
So, if you can tolerate my sense of humor and my stumbles in the dark, maybe we can do this thing together.
We have nothing to fear but fear itself.