Having lived in one repository for a few months now, I have naturally grown more and more accustomed to it. I am currently at a stage where the challenging part of adding a new feature or fixing a bug is merely talking about the solution. It’s not that understanding the details and the impact of my work was trivial before; it’s just that the actual implementation has definitely become more approachable. With every new project, I can spend more time focusing on how it would fit in the overall system rather than how to write the bulk of the code.
During the first couple of weeks of work, I was obsessed with getting tickets finished in the least number of days. To be completely honest, I actually counted the number of tickets I completed in a week and compared it to previous numbers. After bringing myself down one or two times, I realised quickly that this unhealthy exercise is not perfect, as some tickets are intrinsically more complex and take longer. With fresh enthusiasm, I decided to change the metric: from the number of tickets per week to the number of lines of code per day instead.
I spent my entire degree not knowing the difference between workdays and weekends. I studied on most Saturdays and Sundays, and I took time off whenever I felt like it. Did I have the most organised schedule? Clearly not. But it was the flexibility I was after. I could have attended any event at any time of the day just fine without any repercussions on my work. Fast forward a few months, full-time work mode is on, my calendar is booked Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm, and I had to learn to separate work from life. Let me explain.
There exists only a limited number of genres that I can listen to while coding. Most songs with vocals are way too disturbing, and I can still not concentrate even if it is, say, the violin that plays the vocals. Like the rest of the Internet, I’ve had a positive experience with lo-fi hip hop for a while. Like the rest of the Internet, I’ve grown too accustomed to it.
Hacker News is a great community for all things technology. It’s the place where I spend most of my free time, always impressed by the various people I get to meet. And so, with the mandatory excuses for directing my attention to such earthly matters, I wanted to check which users are the most active on the forum. The connoisseurs out there might already think https://news.ycombinator.com/leaders, yet that was not enough for me. I didn’t want an all-time, static ranking; I was interested in the most active people at this specific moment. As I could not find what I was looking for anywhere, I decided to build it myself. Now I can find the users that showed a huge engagement recently, the users that have something important to say. Check it out here: https://why.degree/hn-top/.
Technology evolved and developers can not understand everything anymore. So how does the world survive then? People specialise, that’s how! After you finish your degree, you don’t train to become a Computer Expert, but rather you focus on one area in particular: databases, security or WebDev, for example. Everyone knows that, yet not everyone knows all of the possible options from the start of their career.
Young developers are different. They were taught to have Stack Overflow up all the time, to have a working environment set up in minutes and the firewall turned on by default. Taking this last example in consideration, I can attest that’s right. Until the Networks course, Windows Firewall and Uncomplicated Firewall on Linux was the furthest I have ever explored the system.
Extending on the about page, I want to emphasise even more the importance of creating personal projects, having independent work and going far beyond what a degree might teach you. Just so that we are on the same page, I will not take into consideration the reason for choosing a Computer Science degree, nor the money aspect of doing a degree, but rather I will assume only that you are doing a Computer Science degree and my focus will be on how to make the most out of it.
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