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Search - "did anyone get the reference?"
I tutor people who want to program, I don't ask anything for it, money wise, if they use my house as a learning space I may ask them to bring cookies or a pizza or something but on the whole I do it to help others learn who want to.
Now this in of itself is perfectly fine, I don't get financially screwed over or anything, but...
Fuck me if some students are horrendous!
To the best of my knowledge I've agreed to work with and help seven individuals, four female three male.
One male student never once began the study work and just repeatedly offered excuses and wanted to talk to me about how he'd screwed his life up. I mean that's unfortunate, but I'm not a people person, I don't really feel emotionally engaged with a relative stranger who quite openly admits they got addicted to porn and wasted two years furiously masturbating. Which is WAY more than I needed to know and made me more than a little uncomfortable. Ultimately lack of actually even starting the basic exercises I blocked him and stopped wasting my time.
The second dude I spoke to for exactly 48 hours before he wanted to smash my face in. Now, he was Indian (the geographical India not native American) and this is important, because he was a friend of a friend and I agreed to tutor however he was more interested in telling me how the Brits owed India reparations, which, being Scottish, I felt if anyone was owed reparations first, it's us, which he didn't take kindly too (something about the phrase "we've been fucked, longer and harder than you ever were and we don't demand reparations" didn't endear me any).
But again likewise, he wanted to talk about politics and proving he was a someone "I've been threatened in very real world ways, by some really bad people" didn't impress me, and I demonstrated my disinterest with "and I was set on fire once cos the college kids didn't like me".
He wouldn't practice, was constantly interested in bigging himself up, he was aggressive, confrontational and condescending, so I told him he was a dick, I wasn't interested in helping him and he can help himself. Last I heard he wasn't in the country anymore.
The third guy... Absolute waste of time... We were in the same computer science college class, I went to university and did more, he dossed around and a few years later went into design and found he wanted to program and got in touch. He completes the code schools courses and understandably doesn't quite know what to do next, so he asks a few questions and declares he wants to learn full stack web development. Quickly. I say it isn't easy especially if it's your first real project but if one is determined, it isn't impossible.
About six months of sporadic development where I send him exercises and quizzes to try, more often than not he'd answer with "I don't know" after me repeatedly saying "if you don't know, type the program out and study what it does then try to see why!".
The excuses became predicable, couldn't study, playing soccer, couldn't study watching bake off, couldn't study, couldn't study.
Eventually he buys a book on the mean stack and I agree to go through it chapter by chapter with him, and on one particular chapter where I'm trying to help him, he keeps interrupting with "so could I apply for this job?" "What about this job?" And it's getting frustrating cos I'm trying to hold my code and his in my head and come up with a real world analogy to explain a concept and he finally interrupts with "would your company take me on?"
"Do you want the honest unabridged truth?"
"Yes, I'd really like to know what I need to do!"
The next day I got a text "I was thinking about what you said and... I think I'm not going to bother with this full stack stuff it's just too hard, thought you should know."22
I was laid off. The reason? Well, they didn't really want to say but they were clear it wasn't due to performance. (Thankfully, I got severence pay.) From my perspective it really came out of nowhere, no warnings or even hints that this was coming, which has me spinning. 😵 If I'm doing well at my job and the company is doing well, how in the seven hells could I get laid off??
What they said was partly the reason didn't seem true, or not the whole truth. They essentially stated that "they talked with everyone I worked with" (probably not true based on their decision, but who knows) and came to the conclusion I wasn't suitable to work on large teams, and that's the direction they are moving in. As if it wasn't something that could be improved on 🤔
I'll be the first to admit I'm not the best communicator face-to-face, mainly due to my social anxiety but also because I have too many thoughts. It can be difficult to condense them down for other people in the heat of the moment. (I'm an INTP, if that helps you to understand what I mean.) However, I know I'm a pretty good communicator overall since I listen and pay special attention to phrasing and word choice. So most people I worked with there seemed quite satisfied with communication with me. There were only 2-3 out of more than 12 who I had any difficulty working with.
So why did I have trouble properly working with a couple people? I hesitate to say this but, like other jobs I've had, well... they didn't have either the experience or knowledge to understand me. Basically, they were stupid. I was pretty frustrated working with such inadequately prepared people on a complex project with ludicrously short deadlines, and had no desire to work overtime so I could educate or guide them.
So what is the real reason I lost my job, if not performance? Could be I pissed off the stupid (and loud) ones which hurt my reputation. My main theory, however, is that I was raising the cost of the company's healthcare. I had a diseased organ so I did miss some work or worked from home more than I should have, and used my very good health insurance to the fullest extent I could. Of course, if they say that's the reason then they can get sued.
Huge bummer, whatever the case. I definitely learned some lessons from this situation that others in a similar position could find useful. I can write that up if anyone expresses interest.
Honestly though, this is a good thing in the end, because I was already planning to leave in a month or 2 once I found a better job. I was waiting for the right time for the project I was on and for my own financial stability. So I'm trying hard not to let this affect my self-esteem and think of it as an opportunity to get my dream job, which is working with a remote-first company that is focused on improving the human condition.
Being unemployed isn't ideal, but at least I didn't have to quit! And I get to have a bit of a vacation of a sort.6
Apparently my learning style is more rote memorization than learn-by-doing and I've been trying to learn by doing for years as a hobbyist.
It took a fucking *national quarantine* to get me to try something different and I'm blown away.
What would have taken me many months to learn I've all but grasped in detail in a matter of 20 hours of study over the course of a week.
I keep getting a uncaught reference exception.
The important thing to realize about learning is NEVER be obstinate about it. Try many things, and don't get stuck in one way of learning unless you know thats what works for you.
This is why having study partners and mentors are important.
I think experience/practice and rote learning work in tandem. Rote learning lets you skip the much longer step of grasping the fundamentals, bootstrapping the process of learning the abstractions that are composed of those fundamentals.
I'm still adding cards to my anki flash card deck, but if anyone wants it I'm willing to share. It's mostly just 1. practice questions, 2. detail questions (what are the types? What does this regex do?, etc), 3. implication questions (heres this bit of code. It's XYZ, why did it fail? Correct it.), combining core details to memorize, and the application of the facts learned.
It helped me to learn and I'm apparently retarded, so if you're new to programming and want to learn JS, it can probably help you too. Unless you're more of a tard than me lol.1