Youth and The Long Road [ARCHIVE]

by Isaac Sanders

When I first took a look at Google+, I was really impressed that the cool features and the innovation that went into it. I immediately signed up for an invite. Unfortunately, their servers hadn’t scaled up to that many users yet, so I waited. When I went to check today, I was promptly informed that I can’t use it because I am not yet 18.

I am constantly reminded of my age throughout the day. There is often something that limits me because of my age. For example, since I was younger, I have always wanted to work in a job. I was always so eager to work, and mad that I had to wait till I was 15-16 to start most jobs.

However, there is one thing that my age hasn’t prevented me from doing. I can still learn and work hard. I have never let that stand in my way. In third grade, I wanted to go to an engineering camp for sixth graders, and I went. I had a lot of fun, and I wasn’t behind anyone there. I started taking classes at OSU when I was a Sophomore in High School. I have this opportunity to work with EdgeCase this summer, while most of my friends are sleeping and working a few hours in a part time job. While watching Joe and the other EdgeCase employees, I have chosen to walk The Long Road.

In Apprenticeship Patterns, the authors mention the pattern of The Long Road. The Long Road is about being steadfast in one’s commitment to becoming a software craftsman. It means that one chooses to Draw My Own Map, by choosing to forgo higher salaries and more prestige to keep learning. It means that money and responsibility will not be one’s motivators, but the promise of autonomy, purpose, and mastery can be one’s goals. One will be motivated by the freedom to pursue what one finds to be the best answers, by the opportunity to pass on one’s knowledge and experience to other apprentices and journeymen and by the chance to truly master one’s skills as a developer.

There is always that possibility that I may not work as a developer, and take A Different Road, by following another path. I may return, if that happens, but if I do not, the lessons that I have learned, and will learn will come with my for a long time to come.

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