When I first started reading my copy of Linux Kernel Development it was slow going. Even the old information in the preface took disciple. Although I could understand each individual quantum of information, I felt lost, confused, and foolish.
The other day, though, I was surprised at how quicky I could move through the text. I could read it almost as fast as I can read fiction–the new information later in the chapters, even. Although I shouldn’t be, I’m always amazed when I get to this point.
It seems uncanny, and even unfair. When I think back over the past several months, though, I can at least intellectually understand how it happened. I’ve put in the time and the effort, even though I didn’t think of it that way in the moment. I’ve written code, deleted code, copied and pasted code, ran code, and broken code (sometimes on purpose even). I’ve become a programmer.
It wasn’t a gratuitous gift from the universe, and I didn’t steal it from anyone. I earned it. I didn’t do it alone, though. I’ve tried that before; but although I rarely got hung up on a technical problem for long, the feelings of powerlessness held me back. This time I’ve had incentive, support, and feedback. It’s made all the difference.