(If you are not familiar with the Programming in the dark series, please read part I here and part II here. And for you guys who haven’t heard of Terry Ross yet, he is our first blind intern.)


Picture this….


I can code stuff from the ground up, pretty much. I’m getting the hang of methods in Java, and I’m learning to get creative. My logic is improving. This is a great day—a perfect day. Everything works. The only errors are syntax errors that is easily fixed. I can do this. I’m on a buzz. I can’t sleep. I think in code. When getting out of bed in the morning, I’m puzzling and scheming. I dream solutions, too. It’s unnatural. It’s awesome. It’s crazy. It’s the best thing ever. I’m motivated.


Then you have that bad week. You learn a new thing. You don’t know what you’re doing. Nothing comes together. It’s like you’ve learnt nothing. Everything you thought meant something actually means something else. The rules change. You have to rewrite your understanding from scratch. Your tools don’t work with your screenreader. Now what? Can I still do this? Am I still capable of learning?


Yeah, of course I am. I can do this! But do I still believe in this thing? Do I have enough self-confidence to pull this off?


Like everything you do, you have your highs and lows. When you’re a beginner, you yo-yo between being up there in the clouds like some deity planning the creation of the next world, and right down there in the slums of self-doubt where everything’s out of tune and you just don’t know, man. But the trick is to keep in mind that you go through this. Believe that you’ll get through it. There are others like you out there doing stuff that is a lot harder. Believe you’ll find alternatives to stuff that doesn’t work.


This is a paradoxical journey that we must all go through. It’s a critical building block that makes us who we are. It’s life.


It is fair to say that, no matter what you do, the deck might always be stacked against you, but take it as a mountain that’s climbable rather than an obstacle you can’t overcome.


What makes this whole thing cool is recently Dané started coding, too. That’s like wow. We encourage each other. Keep each other on a straight course. It’s made such a difference to know someone is there, sharing the struggle. And on those bad days it’s useful to have someone who’s focused and whose tumblers are all aligned when mine aren’t, and vice-versa, I’m sure.


If I had anything to say about this whole thing? I’d say do it. It makes your life interesting. It develops you in other ways, too. It forces you to actually think. One thing I’m taught here is how to plan my stuff out. To think logically and apply it to a real-life scenario. To think about things carefully before implementing them.


So like I said, do it. Reach for the stars. Rule the world.