I’m sure you will agree with me that hearing about how the pandemic is affecting our mental health is getting tired. It’s nearly a year in and, honestly, it isn’t getting better. I have been reaching out to my friends for advice about how to feel better and one thing that keeps coming up is this - make time for things you enjoy. Pick up a hobby that doesn’t involve social gatherings. This is easier said than done.
This brings me to the point of this post. Recently, an article written by a colleague was shared with me. I immediately opened it and got a rush of dopamine. Alyson, a software developer at DotModus, published her first article in a series documenting a personal project she was working on. It was a no brainer that I had to shine a spotlight on it and share her motivation with the world. So, we set up a fireside-esque chat with her to just speak through what she was doing and why she was doing it.
I’m not going to go into too much detail about the project (you can read about it here) but in essence, Alyson is creating a virtual filesystem using Go. Her motivation, she explained, was three-fold: contribute to the world of opensource, learn a new language, and improve her communication skills. As a result, she decided to document the on-going project on a very public platform. That way, she could get feedback from the community in real-time.
Unsurprisingly, the community is brutal and the pressure to perform well is obvious. But Alyson said that she liked it. She told us that the deadlines and expectations motivated her. But what inspired me most was that she was embarking on this project to better herself and her professional skills.
Written communication is difficult and developing a quasi-non-verbal voice takes a lot of practice. Explaining complex concepts and processes in a relatively simple but effective way depends on having a firm understanding of the concepts you’re writing about. The best way to do this is to practice and get comfortable.
As this is an on-going series, we can expect new articles weekly (hopefully). This allows us to watch her project evolve in real-time and see where she takes it. Alyson explained that while she doesn’t have solid plans for the future, she intends to let this project lead into new ones. Once this personal goal is achieved, she will move on to the next one and further improve her skills.
Taking the time to work on professional and personal skills is an admirable task - especially during the pandemic when energy and motivation are at an all-time low. I really admire the drive she has to expand her skills and her willingness to put herself out there for strangers online to criticize her. I encourage you, dear reader, to follow and engage (nicely) with her on her journey.