It sounds so obvious that it almost goes without saying: of course we’re more engaged in work we like. And everyone loves an engaged worker. And every worker loves engaging work. Why are we sometimes then so dismissive about liking our work?
We find motivation in many ways. Some motivations will prove to be more reliable than others. There are barriers to start and keep going – to act. Sometimes looking within ourselves for motivation will be more helpful than other sources. We can be better able to put ourselves out there and make of our lives what we desire.
We have limits to our learning. These limits might include mental capacity, emotional readiness, time, or interest. We have thresholds for how much learning we can handle at a time and quotas for how much we feel we need. Find your optimal zone for learning and thrive there.
When we are seeking a new position or an advancement in our current career path, we are asking others to take a chance on us. Hiring managers, peers, teams, whole companies are among those that we ask to take a chance on and trust us to do a new thing. Sometimes the most important person to convince in taking a chance on us is ourself.
The life of a programmer is mostly a never-ending struggle. Solving problems in an always-changing technical landscape means that programmers are always learning new things. In this case, “learning new things” is a euphemism for “battling against our own ignorance.” Even if a programmer is just fixing a bug in code that uses a familiar technology, sometimes the software we create is so complex that simply understanding what is going on can take an entire day.
If you write code, you will struggle. Most professional programmers learn to struggle hour after hour, day after day, without getting (too) frustrated. This is another skill that will serve you well.
Exercism.io is a fantastic site and tool that provides a wealth of daily code exercises. If you want to learn to be better in a language, it’s a great resource to do exercises and receive feedback.