We build temples - in the code and in life. My experience developing my second Android application
Greetings readers Habra. Your attention is invited to the translation of the article “Building Cathedrals - In Coding, And In Life. My experience with publishing my second app at 19 ” Kunal Shandilya.
The beginning of growth brings a person new difficulties. By accepting these difficulties, a person ensures his further growth. In spite of mental exhaustion, headaches and countless disappointments that June brought me, I would repeat the same thing if I had a second chance. And below I will explain why.
Somewhere in mid-June, I decided to re-engage Android development. I took a rather long break in programming and I was impatient to start experiencing stress again due to bugs in the code and to make my life terrible, but meaningful. So I started working on a project called “Remember” - an application that helps people remember something on the Leitner system . As in the other cases, I made this application, first of all, for myself. I carefully planned the work on the project and thought that I would finish it in 30 hours.
So it happened. Joke! I just wanted to be proud of myself for at least a second. Of course, I did not finish work on my application in 30 hours.
As a result, the work on the project took a whole week - after fifty hours of powerless knocking with the fist on the table, nervous glances at the phone screen and nightmares about the millions of beetles eating me, my application was ready. Yes, the return to programming was a terrible experience. Yes, it made me lose a huge amount of nerve cells. And yes, I liked it. One of many reasons: books / college / online courses / videos on YouTube / articles from Medium would never give me as much experience as I got in 50 hours of work on my project.
I realized that a quality product at the expense of delaying the deadline is always better than a half-baked product dumped on the shoulders of beta testers. I realized that semi-compliance with quality standards, especially in the area of UI / UX, is a short-sighted and dangerous decision in the long run.
But the most important thing that this project taught me is the importance of the timely transfer of attention from a general perspective to private details and vice versa. I can say without exaggeration that I will remember this lesson for the rest of my days.
Having bent over with a aching neck and fiercely looking at my laptop, not being able to understand for what the hell is the reason my application cannot connect to the cloud, I was far from in the best of spirits. Hunger piercing me didn’t make things much easier. But what was left for me? I have already eaten all the not very healthy snacks that were at my disposal (which means for the coder: “those that I could reach with my left hand”). And believe me: I was not going to experience the pain of rising from a chair in order to take an apple - at least until my application connects to the damn cloud.
Add to this the constant attempts of my dog to make me walk with her and you can imagine how tired I was; this is not taking into account my unbearably slow connection speed with the Internet.
* (not that I didn’t like to walk with my dog at all - just at that moment I was tense and completely unprepared for this lovely part of my life. I had to get my damn application to connect with the damn cloud).
Spontaneously and a little impulsively, I shut my laptop. I just couldn't work anymore. I wrote the code all day and was mentally exhausted. When I reached out to pet the dog, I noticed that the edges of my laptop left deep marks on my right wrist. I seemed to have become a slave to my laptop. It's funny that it was. I grinned, thinking about it and relaxing a little - at this moment in my mind one of the most beautiful poems I read in my life came up:
We- excerpt from the “Keeping Quiet” of the poet Pablo Neruda
keep it still.
Once recording on the for face of the earth,
the let's not speak in the any language;
our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
would be all we together
in a sudden strangeness.
In the cold Fisherman sea
Would not harm whales
and the man Gathering salt
Would look AT a His Hurt phone hands.
Who prepare green Those wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
Sounds familiar? For me at that moment - yes.
The world all the time becomes more noisy, requiring to compete with other people. It is becoming more and more difficult to choose a moment just to sit down in silence and think. This is a crime in which we all are to some extent guilty. We seldom stop to look at our hands, which are exhausted by work. We almost never stop thinking about the work that we sometimes even hate to take time and think about why we do it.
We rarely stop trying to get the app to connect to the cloud in order to spend time walking the dog.
We fumble about things all the time / do mundane things / call it what you want. We rarely stop to take a step back and look at the big picture. I remember once trying to paint a portrait of one of my favorite actors. I was given a heavier nose, so I had to roll up my sleeves and spend hours to bring to light the best nose I was capable of. I was damn pleased with this nose. However, this pleasure quickly dissipated when I looked at the whole picture and realized that the nose was disproportionately large in comparison with other parts of the face.
This ugly portrait is an excellent metaphor for the presentation of my state of consciousness, because this is how a person buried alive in a grief of trifles looks like - ugly. Ugly and useless.
Walking along the street with my dog, I continued to think about what was revealed to me, until it was imprinted in my brain. I found this idea very important and consider it as such to this day. I constantly reminded myself of the main task that my application had to solve - about why I started working on it at all. It was impossible to completely immerse in design issues, such as choosing colors for buttons, while forgetting about the purpose of my work — to help a person memorize things more effectively. I was ashamed to realize that I paid a lot of attention to the flies, without understanding the elephant.
A certain amount of meditation helped me realize that the tendency to drown in trifles was not only about programming. Almost all of my thought processes and work strategies were infected with her — be it writing articles, preparing for exams, reading books, or making important life decisions. The problem of myopia seemed all-pervasive to me.
Fortunately, in fact, I intuitively knew what had to be done - and, I think, this decision is known to most people. We all have the means to cope with this problem, to move away from the details when necessary, and sometimes to return to them when it is really required. We just don’t use them, because we’re too busy drawing the nose and forget that it is part of something much larger. What is the solution? The concept is simple, but not easy to implement. You need to stop regularly and think about your work as a whole. Ponder the goals of what we do. To see the whole picture again. Do not forget that it should represent the project as a whole, while working on the details. Paraphrasing Aristotle, we must find a middle ground.between attention to detail and the overall picture.
I can not confidently say that I myself managed to find this middle ground. I would like to think so, but this is definitely not the case. From time to time I find myself completely consumed with questions about the size of the buttons, about the problems of temporary failure of small parts of the application's functionality, or vice versa, I devote too much time to planning and cannot get to work at all. But I am working on it. I am learning and this is important. This is important not only if you are a student, but throughout life.
One day a traveler walking along the road wandered into a quarry in which at that moment there were three workers. Everyone was busy working with stone blocks. Interested in what they are working on, the traveler asked one of them what he was doing. "Do not you see? I am cutting a stone! ”Answered the worker.
Having learned nothing new, the traveler turned to another worker with the same question. "I process the stone block to make sure that all its faces are squares equal to each other, so that it fits perfectly into its place in the wall."
This answer brought the traveler a little closer to understanding what these people are doing, but still left some ambiguity. Then he turned to the last man. He seemed the happiest of the three workers and answered the traveler’s question:
"I am building a temple."