Last weekend I biked my first century. It was an “easy” course and was supposed to be a beautiful day. I wasn’t expecting anything to go wrong, but as luck would have it, a lot did. I struggled to finish.
Looking back, I think there are a few reasons why it wasn’t as easy as I had hoped:
- I got 5 hours of sleep the night before
- I didn’t train much
- I didn’t drink enough water the night/week before
- I got lost, and ended up biking an extra six miles
Whoa, back up… what was that last one?
“I ended up biking an extra six miles”
I’d like to call these my “bonus miles”. Even though I went off-course at the time, lost a few minutes off my time, and made the rest of the race a little harder… it forced me to push myself a further, get a better workout, and gave me the confidence that if needed, I can go even further. It also taught me a valuable lesson – don’t get lost. So even though it was a short-term loss, it ended up being a long-term gain.
So how does this relate to programming?
Bonus coding. Sometimes we get lost in what we are programming. Sometimes it’s a miscommunication. Sometimes it’s a false assumption. But often times we find ourselves in a place where we’ve coded for a long amount of time and end up having to throw it all away. It’s not the best feeling in the world – it actually makes you feel like you’ve just wasted valuable time from your life. But it’s more than that. You’ve gained more experience in the wrong way to code. Like biking, it’s a short-term loss, but a long-term gain. Just learn from it and try not to repeat the same mistakes.
Just remember in your coding that your career isn’t a sprint, it’s a century – a marathon. Go at a steady pace, learn from your mistakes, and don’t get yourself down at short-term losses.