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Discussion on: From Chef to Programmer: Lessons From The Kitchen

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thecodetrane profile image
Michael Cain

I appreciate the article, as a fellow nontraditional programmer; a lot of good stuff here.

I would offer a bit of caution with Passion Is The Differential. I like programming a lot, but I’m not all that passionate about it. I got into the field because it is secure and lucrative, which I think is the primary reason why a lot of us switch careers to it. For those that are passionate about it, and can spend a lot of their own time working on OSS, developing tutorials, etc. I applaud you and I’m even a little envious. That said, if you were simply putting in your 40 and making an effort to modestly improve your skills every day, there is no shame in that.

I think being more pragmatic approach to the concept would be Grit Is The Differential. As you aptly pointed out, there are going to be days where the going is tough and you have to simply do it. Getting stuck, troubleshooting bugs all day, and the endless frustration of mismatched APIs is part of the gig. This job, like any other job, is going to have days where it sucks. Part of being successful in this field, IME, is having the tenacity to push through.

Thoughts?

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jeremy profile image
Jeremy Schuurmans Author

I think that's a really excellent point, and I'm glad you brought that up. I can only ever write about my own experience, and so when I wrote that I was thinking of my own feeling that if I loved cooking more, I would have felt more motivated improve, thus becoming successful. But just because my own lack of passion was a de-motivator, doesn't mean that I wouldn't have been able to find another source of motivation. The same holds true for anyone.

I don't think that being absolutely in love with a job is a prerequisite for anybody. I think that if someone wants to program for a living, they should do it, regardless of whether or not they live and breathe code. Even passion doesn't make up for being scrappy and working hard.

I've been searching for something I love and am good at my entire life. I feel lucky that I've found it in programming, but I don't want anyone to think that they would be somehow unable to be great at programming because they lack passion for it. All I'm pointing out is that I've noticed that the most successful people I've seen tend to have a passion for their work. But I'm limited by my own experience because that's all I can write about.

All our stories are different, and we are on our own journeys.

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thecodetrane profile image
Michael Cain

Certainly, and your experience is as relevant as mine. I mention it because I think there can be this “over-exhuberance” in our field. “Passion” becomes code for “working long hours and weekends”, which I feel can contribute to the stigma and ageism that is already plaguing the industry.