I lost my wallet this morning on the Bart train. When I got to the terminal exit and reached for my ticket: no wallet. I had no identification, no money and no way to get out of the Bart terminal without a ticket or money. I was overwhelmed with feelings of panic.
A very nice Bart employee listened to my dilemma, took a report for the lost wallet, and let me out of the terminal. I walked to the building that holds the coding boot camp in full-on worry mode and started calling and canceling everything in my wallet that a malicious person could use and abuse. By nine I was finished reporting my lost credit cards, bank card, monthly train pass…. and hardly ready to tackle the days coding challenges. Nevertheless, I tried to put the lost wallet and the possible abuse of my personal information out of my mind.
Every morning our class is given a coding challenge called a toy problem. We are allotted an hour to come up with a solution. As soon as I opened up the problem, my phone began to vibrate with a number on the screen I did not recognize. I answered and sure enough, my wallet had been found. A nice man, Tom, found my wallet and turned it in at San Francisco International Airport.
What does this story have to do with writing computer code? I learned that having a bad day when you write code makes it almost impossible to concentrate, a must in a logic based environment. Solving even the smallest problem takes concentration. And the bigger the problem, the focus I need to come to a solution grows exponentially. My lost wallet made me mentally incapable of working efficiently.
My day did get better and I was able to make meaningful progress through the class material. It will be a few days before I have a bank and credit card again. But I have the ability to focus thanks to a good samaritan who did the right thing.
Thank you, Tom!