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Becoming the teacher

tonytins profile image Tony Bark ・3 min read


When I first decided to become a developer for .NET, I really needed help but I never got it. I didn't know that many programmers. All I had were books and YouTube videos to turn to. As nice as those are, all I ever wanted was a teacher.

All of this was all originally meant for a open source reverse engineering project that I poured so much support into, despite my open fits of frustrations with the people in charge. I learned to code by developing tools for them. Their backwards priorities meant I had no choice but to step in because no one else would. I wasn't going to give up learning and used that opportunity to do so. But I would eventually be kicked over unwritten rule that applied to everyone. Only the team could share progress even though the code was right there for anyone to compile. Not even between friends was allowed.

My problem had more to do with the fact there were only a select few I knew who had any experience in programming, and most of the people were on the other side of the world. The one person I thought was a good programmer was looking more like a fraud.

Prior to that project, this person I knew, at the time, with any sort of understanding was someone I met back in '09 on Ventrilo. He claimed to be so good at what he did that he would tell stories about how he threatened people that he would hack their PCs in a heartbeat if you got on his bad side. He was all I knew that I could relate to on this topic and I looked up to him because of his self-proclaimed familiarity with C. But his outlandish stories always felt hard to swallow.

The reality was by the time I had been kicked from the project, we reconnected on Discord, and was already feeling confident in myself as a programmer the best examples he would share was always beginner stuff. He claimed to be "rusty". Problem was I kept having to branch off within the same projects because his code would quickly stagnate. I still helped him. I showed him what I knew and showed him my changes built off of what I learned. At that same time, my questions regarding his legitimacy as a wise programmer began to brew. I wish our friendship didn't end and glad it didn't end on that note but, in retrospective, the cracks were always there.

Today I commonly build simple to complex CLI programs in both C# and Rust when I'm not tinkering with Godot. I'm more a visual person. Next step is proper server-side stuff in ASP.NET that can communicate with my other projects.

Overall, I got to where I'm at now in spite of the cards I was given. Now, I have friends who are curious about programming and come to me for advice and/or direction. And I'm flattered. I don't consider myself a pro by any means but I am knowledgeable because of the efforts I took to become a confident programmer and I'll happily to share that knowledge. It's been a roller coaster of a ride to get here but I'm glad to be here.


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