h—– layout: post title: “Prelude to Coding” author: Alisa Chang date: 2013-06-09 00:34 comments: true published: true

categories: [Adventure game, Musing]

$ emacs -batch -l dunnet
Dead end You are at a dead end of a dirt road. The road goes to the east. In the distance you can see that it will eventually fork off. The trees here are very tall royal palms, and they are spaced equidistant from each other. There is a shovel here.

Every once or twice in a lifetime, you’re given this incredible gift: The realization of a dead end, coupled with an opportunity to start over. You might choose to ignore the chance and unhappily continue along the same old but ‘safe’ path. But I won’t. Not me. Not anymore.
> Take shovel
> Go East
E/W Dirt road
You are on the continuation of a dirt road. There are more trees on both sides of you. The road continues to the east and west. There is a large boulder here.

There’s something to be said about wanting to make a change but not knowing what to do about it. It’s called: Not enough data.

Here’s what my life’s looked like in recent years:

I used to want to become an animator. Maybe I should do that.
Digging here reveals nothing.

I love to cook. Maybe I should go to Culinary School.
>go west
Dead end

Hm. Maybe this job’s not so bad after all.
>go north
You can’t go that way.

Plus I’m good at it…
You manage to get about two feet up the tree and fall back down. You notice that the tree is very unsteady.
>damn it
I don’t understand that.
>screw you
I don’t understand that.

In the interim everyone around me keeps telling me to do what I love. Do what you love. What does that mean? I keep on my ‘safe’ path until…
You begin to shake a tree, and notice a coconut begin to fall from the air. As you try to get your hand up to block it, you feel the impact as it lands on your head. You are dead.
You have scored 0 out of a possible 90 points.

Some time after the coconut incident, it occurs to me that there’s always been one constant for happiness in my life: solving problems through applied technology. I dig it. I geek out on it. It’s my thing.

And this is sort of how I ended up at the Flatiron School.

I don’t think I’ll ever be done debugging my life. But what I do know is that it feels great being at Flatiron. I’m surrounded by awesome people that share an insatiable desire to learn. One week in, and it’s clear to us all that this is not your typical continuing-education course. The new order of the day is to let go of all pretenses and free your inner nerd. Like Avi said on Day 1: Be open to learn and don’t be an asshole.