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Discussion on: [On-Demand Talk] Redefining Your Programming Purpose

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Thank you for this informative and inspiring talk! I'm wondering if you can tell me how you managed to surround yourself with those people who could sense what you needed to learn and what kind of support you needed? Was some of it luck? Basically, I'm wondering how you went about finding such a great community of mentors?

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tracypholmes profile image
Tracy Holmes Author

Whew LUCK was a BIG part of it. The rubyistas I hung out with were pretty good about figuring out HOW I needed to learn. It was def easier with the Ruby Tuesday meeting. Outside of our Ruby Tuesday meetup, we'd sometimes meet at coffee shops and work and chat, etc.

The person that helped me figure out I was trying to do too much was someone that was less..."clique-ish" and spent some time getting to know me. She's AMAZING. But she was able to figure out my motivations for some of the stuff I was doing (or wanted to do), so would follow-up with me to see how things were going during our Sunday coffee sessions.

The person the fussed at me, knew I needed some big sister butt kicking and made me apply to something I didn't think I was qualified for. Which was the start of a long history of us fussing at each other, but always supporting each other.

In all of these scenarios, I think they all saw I genuinely wanted to learn, was out of my element, and didn't know how to vocalize what I wanted or needed.

But also, something I had in Austin was Meetups. Which didn't really exist in my home state/town. I honestly just started throwing myself at a few things to force me to leave my house and get to know what was going on (though I did stand in the corner quite a bit at those meetups!)

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

So awesome!!

It sounds like you definitely found some really helpful folks and did so by putting yourself out there and building up a personal network of encouraging peeps.

I really enjoyed hearing how ya categorized the different types of help ya had and folks ya learned from. I think I could def use someone to occasionally fuss at me and urge me to step outside my comfort zone as a community manager, haha!

Meetups are such a great tip too for folks looking to build up their personal network, but you're totally right that they are more available in cities. I'm sure online meetups are possible too, but I generally slant toward in-person myself. Nothing quite like hanging out in the real world (i.e offline) with folks who have similar interests.

Thanks again for the awesome talk and now, awesome answer!! 😀