Remember when you were just a little kid and your older family member’s seemed super impressive and extremely complicated?
Did you recall that when you thought back to those moments years later, you realized you had become the older person with all the hard work they “just did”? Congratulations, you’re smarter than the you from ten years ago! As trivial as it seems, I feel like it can be used as a decent measure to track progress. One of my first ventures into programming was when I attempted to learn C++ when I was, what, twelve? C++ isn’t exactly a beginner friendly language (though depending on what you want to learn can be a good starting point), and when they started explaining pointers I struggled for a day or two and then just gave up. My little baby mind couldn’t grasp their concept.
Only weeks ago, I taught myself everything C++-related I need to know to work with it. That is, I know the foundation, the concepts behind it, and to use the standard library because it’s damn large and has all the wheels I might ever want to invent pre-built for me. Looking back, I have no idea how pointers seemed so hard to me. Maybe the explanation wasn’t that good? A pointer is just a location in memory, that’s all there’s to it. (On the other hand, I definitely can, because hey, twelve-year-old me didn’t know fuck-all about low-level concepts.)
Since that one negative experience pointers have always seemed like something super daunting to me. It feels really cool to add them as another tool onto my belt, conquering my childhood nemesis and becoming someone I’d have idolized. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I’ve finally done something I used to think I never would be able to. That’s growth.
But hey, if you haven’t grown compared to your pre-teen years then there’s definitely something concerning going on.