The Collab Lab (15 Part Series)
Tuesday was New Year's Eve. Amber and I had to reschedule our session and the plan is to get together tomorrow for pair programming. I didn't look at much related to coding at all. That's all I have for The Collab Lab today.
I'm writing in past tense now because technically it's Wednesday. For the purpose of every day tasks, I count a day as the time between when I wake up and when I go to sleep for the night.
I wrote a Twitter thread that got a bit more attention than usual. I shouted out Collab Lab in this thread because I am constantly pinching myself at how well my teammates and mentors communicate as a distributed team. Corrections and guidance are handled gently and with respect. There is an enforced code of conduct. It never feels chaotic or like there's no adult in the room.
I witnessed the hell people went through in the program that I alluded to. I experienced it to a degree myself. I've had people contact me and tell me they've never felt more anxious since starting that school. They felt like going through hell is just part of what needed to happen to make it in this field. Each one of them took personal responsibility for those feelings.
This bothers me. People are looking for a better quality of life through a software development career. The people who are most heavily marketed to for these programs don't have professional experience as software engineers and don't have friends or mentors in the industry. We literally have no idea what it's like or what it takes to succeed as part of a professional dev team. People trust this school to prepare them for the real world of work in this field.
To make the first introduction to this world "hell" doesn't sit right with me. I worry about what it means to produce software developers at scale with this idea of how a workplace should operate. The baseline and accepted norm is going to be the dysfunctional environment they were trained in.
I have the privilege of interacting with and learning from professionals who do this for a living. These people don't create hell for me. They are patient, they give thoughtful feedback, and they encourage learning by doing. Mistakes are going to happen and that's okay. Having seen both sides, I feel obligated to let my peers know that better conditions exist.
How many people are going to give up and leave because they don't want to put up with anxiety inducing and abusive environments? How many will persist and end up in jobs where they are undervalued and mistreated?