RC Week 1

When I talked to a “never graduate” of The Recurse Center, they highly recommended writing a weekly reflection. So I’m here to do that. But they also recommended not worrying too much about style and form, so I’m also here to do that.

I’m one week into the 12 week experience which is like 10%. I keep thinking about how much I’ve learned in that 10% and going between “if I’m 10 times better at software than I am now, that would be pretty good” and “10 times better is just scratching the surface.” I’m trying to ignore the analysis because if I’ve learned anything from people sharing their RC experiences, it’s “don’t overthink it.” Besides meeting a ton of batchmates who are impressively talented, enthusiastic, varied, supportive and honest, I’ve:

  • Used a mac for the first time in 10 years
  • Learned about git and related tools and workflows
  • Pair programmed solutions to two leetcode problems
  • Made a full-stack todo list app in django and react (admittedly from a tutorial)
    • Then left the tutorial and converted it to mySQL and deployed it on a digital ocean droplet I configured to deploy the site
  • Learned a ton about django, react, and css.

Getting to wake up every day and decide my own learning plan is amazingly freeing and effective. Many times a subject comes up and I can go “stop — let’s learn about this right” whereas in the past I probably would have just mashed buttons until that thing worked (that’s how I ended up learning git this week). I’ve been focusing on tutorials and classroom learning over my old “just make it work learning” because I know I can always hack something together but I want to move beyond that during my time at RC. I’ve been able to experiment with new ways of working, like using The Pomodoro Technique to stay focused, but still give myself breaks to interact with batchmates and the outside world–like right now I’m on a 25 minute timer to write and share this post.

I thought the virtual experience would be lonely or lack a level of seriousness, but it’s has been nothing like that. I’m finding it extremely natural to have focus. I’ve lost my appetite for loads of social media and news this week and every day has flown by

And that timer has expired so I’m going to wrap this up and hit “post”.