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Ngacho
Ngacho

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Navigating thy desert of despair

In the culmination of all the frustrations that had been building up in me, I threw my hands in the air, and flipped my laptop. The resounding bang that followed was akin to what I had been feeling for many days now, almost weeks. “No looking at code this entire weekend,” I resolved, and something within me settled. As a glimmer of hope started shining within me, I thought if there is any light at the end of the tunnel, I should start looking for it. I had never experienced this in all my months as an Android developer. Everything was overwhelming, activities or fragments, things I knew, and things I didn’t know but needed to know… you name it. At some point, I thought Android wasn’t for me.

As most passionate developers do, I hardly avoided code all weekend. In fact, I started looking for options. I had read about MOOC.fi and 'The Odin Project', and after a lot of deliberation, I decided on 'The Odin Project', mainly because MOOC.fi taught Java, and it is Java for Android that had me pent up all these frustrations.

The web was exciting, it was enormous, maybe more enormous than Android, but it looked exciting. I started learning things: the difference between the web and the internet and the important skills to have as a web developer. I started looking at command line, and programming seemed all beautiful and good once more. It took me one article to figure out that what I had been feeling before was just a part of a programmer’s journey.

In essence, I was mainly frustrated because I was sure my Android programming journey would end somewhere, I was just never sure where nor how I’d get there. I was just drawn with the “Mirages of Mania”–dozens of tempting resources that appeared to have all the solutions I was looking for, but didn’t. I sought The Odin Project thinking it was the salvation I needed: that it would make me a real developer, while Android would not.

Thanks to that article, I self-diagnosed and started looking for solutions. I needed a strong goal; I needed a strong path; I needed to focus and avoid distractions. You bet this is what I did. I set myself strong goals to improve my Android development skills. I started learning Kotlin, which I had been postponing for months now even though it is crystal clear is the future of Android development. I decided to level up my Java skills through Michael T. Goodrich and Robert Tamassia’s Data Structures and Algorithms. I must say the frustrations are now long gone, they have been replaced by the desire to chart forward. I don’t know if my path will work or not, but the person who suggested I was in the Desert of Despair also recommended focusing and avoiding distractions. Who am I to dispute?

It has been going not so well, but in the desert of despair, we simply persevere.

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