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      1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      2  2019-07-06 10:12:49 UTC
      3 ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      4 
      5 On moments of clarity and the impostor syndrome ...
      6 
      7 I've been programming lately just for fun, I write a lot of scripts and
      8 little programs daily for my job, but I don't consider myself a
      9 programmer/developer. What I do is usually simple, glue scripts to
     10 automate tasks.
     11 
     12 Usually I do shell scripts, that solves 80% of my problems. I'm
     13 comfortable on the command line and the i/o and redirection of the shell
     14 looks really natural to me. I've also written some little cli tools
     15 in Go for work, when having a binary with no dependencies was a good
     16 feature.
     17 
     18 I wrote some stuff on Perl in the past, I even maintain a couple of
     19 silly modules (one of them is even used by other people ...). And I like
     20 Python more than I care to admit (it's really fast for building a
     21 complicated script to solve a problem).
     22 
     23 Anyway, I thought I could learn some more stuff just by implementing
     24 some silly stuff in different languages and see how is "the journey" on
     25 each of them.
     26 
     27 For starters I chose to implement a really simple REST API that, given a
     28 string via POST returns a hash of it (md5, or some sha variant). I
     29 choose to implement that on C (cgi), Python and Perl.
     30 
     31 I obviously discarded shell script for this, and ditched Go. Truth is
     32 that I like the idea behind the language, but the syntax bothers me.
     33 Also, I struggle to understand correctly its interfaces and the use of
     34 go routines and channels. As I said earlier, I'm not a developer.
     35 
     36 And that's where C comes in. I never written anything in C, but some
     37 time ago I read about [BCHS][1] and, as a full time BSD user, I loved
     38 the idea. Not for big projects, but for my own stuff running on chrooted
     39 httpd (OpenBSD one) could be fine. So I started with this for my silly
     40 learning project.
     41 
     42 I used [kcgi][2] to make my life a little easier, and I'm surprised how
     43 much I enjoyed it !
     44 
     45 I'll put the code somewhere when I complete the implementation with the
     46 other 2 languages.
     47 
     48 All this long and boring introduction is just to describe not only the
     49 good time I had coding this, but the 3 or 4 "aha !" moments I had while
     50 reading manual pages on section 3 ... I went to duckduckgo just a couple
     51 of times. All was already on my computer, all on the command line. And I
     52 could understand almost all of it !!!
     53 
     54 I have these kind of moments from time to time. I could not find a
     55 pattern for it. I've worked as a system administrator for more than 14
     56 years now, and I remember times of being ... stuck (lacking a better
     57 word), where understanding new concepts was/is a huge task. And some
     58 times of clarity where I'm just like a teenager with a fresh mind. I
     59 read stuff that I understand easily, maybe things I struggled to
     60 understand for years now seem easy to the point of thinking of my past
     61 self as an idiot ... Not sure if other people feel this from time to
     62 time. It's a fantastic feeling but on the other hand a bit sad when you
     63 get "back to normal".
     64 
     65 What I wish I could do is remember things as I used to do ... Truth
     66 is that with age I don't now remember stuff that well, not specifics
     67 anyway. What I do remember now is more like "oh, I knew this at some
     68 point, I think I have to read this or this book or that or that man
     69 page" and then it all comes back more or less easily depending on the
     70 complexity of the topic.
     71 
     72 
     73 And the other topic I wanted to write about (and is kind of related to
     74 the previous one) is impostor syndrome.
     75 
     76 I'm looking for a new job at the moment. I've been working on the same
     77 company for more than 6 years. I would stay here as long as they have
     78 me, but truth is, that after the company was sold to a bigger one things
     79 started to change, and I do not like the direction they are taking. So,
     80 no rush, but I want to get another job before I regret being here.
     81 
     82 That triggered a lot of feelings that I did not feel for a very long
     83 time (well, long time for the IT industry). I did not apply for a job on
     84 the last 6 years, I did not have an interview, and I did not have to
     85 "sell myself and my skills"
     86 
     87 I know I'm good at what I do, I know this because companies just want
     88 money, if you cost more than your "value" for the company you don't last
     89 long there. Is just logic. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise. If they
     90 keep you there is because you make a profit for them one way or another.
     91 
     92 But that's not how it feels. It always seem that everybody else is
     93 smarter, are more prepared, are younger and willing to work for less
     94 money ...
     95 
     96 I guess part of that is that I "follow" (on the fediverse or RSS or
     97 whatever) people I admire, and they are really smart and prepared folks
     98 that do great things for OSS.
     99 
    100 All that makes me feel like cheating. For instance when I had to update
    101 my résumé the other day. My mind went constantly in this train of
    102 thought: _I've been using and maintaining a cluster of technology X for
    103 the last Y years, but ... really ... I don't know this thech that well.
    104 The folks at Z project, they know what they are doing. I'm just a monkey
    105 with a keyboard_.
    106 
    107 This drains you, It took me more than a week to update my résumé and I
    108 still think is a piece of shit. It also took me a couple of days to have
    109 the courage to send it to a company I think I could fit in (spoiler,
    110 they do not think the same hahahaha, but other 2 do, so is not all lost)
    111 
    112 Anyway, this is the bigger entry I've ever written, and by far the most
    113 personal. It was not planned, I was reading an introduction to linkers
    114 and suddenly I had the urge of writing this ... Human mind is weird.
    115 
    116 If anybody reads this (which I truly doubt), have a really nice day. And
    117 remember that you do have value, even if your mind tries to tell you
    118 don't.
    119 
    120 :wq
    121 
    122 ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    123 
    124 [1]: https://learnbchs.org/
    125 [2]: https://kristaps.bsd.lv/kcgi/