How important are those two words especially coming from someone whose opinion you value? It was vital for me today, those two words "Good job!" coming from a friend and a mentor.
I was having one of those days where I was getting rather overwhelmed today. With all the effort that I have been putting into learning programming, I was having that kind of a day where I was feeling incompetent. The question if I would ever get good enough was hovering and traumatizing me. I buzzed up my friend and asked if we could meet. My friend a software engineer by trade has been programming ever since I met him back when we were still kids. He had graciously offered to give some of his time to mentoring me whenever he could. There have been times when I have gone to him showed him my projects and he has helped me figure out concepts and given me coding tips. Never though had he said a good job or really given me the compliment of any kind. As a matter of fact, he has always pushed me and said there's a lot for you to learn mate, keep at it.
Today, however, when he said it, it felt like I had really achieved something. Funnily, when I think about it, this "good job" from him did not come because I had mastered some algorithm or learnt about some data structure. As a matter of fact, it came from what I thought was me solving a minute issue.
So I had been using the will_paginate gem the other day, and I had encountered an issue with the gem will_paginate_bootstrap. For some reason, the gem was not being applied to my HTML file. After reading the documentation on the homepage, I figured that since will_paginate_bootstrap gem was not being maintained it might not work with the latest Bootstrap 4, the version I had been using. So I opted to use the bootstrap_will_paginate gem instead, and it worked in an instant.
As I related this what I thought was a minor victory of mine, he said "Good Job". Furthermore, he added, "much of programming in rails is about being able to figure out what gems will work for you and what won't." Until then, I did not think that figuring out something like this even counted as programming, but apparently it did.
All of a sudden, I found this new vigour and if ever I needed a validation that I was doing well and I was learning - this was it.