Of course it will.
About a week ago I joined Google Code-in, a contest to introduce pre-university students (ages 13–17) to open source software development. More about it in my previous article.
Because I wanna get as far as it’s possible in my case, I’m trying to do as much tasks daily as I can (sometimes it’s not even 1 task), making sure that I deliver the best possible quality I can provide. If I’d be at least finalist my name would be written in the GCI website in finalists section and it would surely help me in school and to get some internship or even job. Some tasks are easier and some of them are harder. Some of them are just a breeze and some are pain in the… stomach. So — for example — when you’re tired or have much stuff going on, you pick easier and when you have time and wanna do something more satisfying, and helpful you can go with the harder ones.
Yesterday while being on my way to school I was browsing trough various tasks and I thought to check out FOSSASIA on GCI. Below organisation description there are also its current leaders. Last time when I checked it, there were 2 names written. Now it were 6 and one of them was mine!!! It actually made my whole day, I immediately made screenshot and sent it to my parents with messages like: PRAISE THE LORD! I’M IN THE TOP 6! They just sent me smiley faces and when I came back home they even said that if I feel exhausted (and I really felt) and I need more time to do the tasks I can even stay a day in home. I decided to do it on Thursday since I needed some time for the task I was currently choosing to get accepted and I felt that I’m still able to go to school one more day.
This evening I picked a task to choose an issue on pubiccode.asia repository and work on it. That’s the issue I chose. I wanted to pick something related to code but I had only few hours to complete my task and make sure my pull request is merged. Actually I thought it will be really easy at first. I’ve already done things similar to this several times and few hours should be much more than I need. So I forked it, submitted GCI task and commented issue that I’m working on it. And then unexpected happened. It was absolutely my fault since I should first read all documentation. Instead I just read a part and when I opened the project in my code editor with the smile on my face that I’m going to end it with no bigger problem, well, that’s how I reacted:
It turned out that website is using Hugo framework which I never heard before about. It’s written in Go!. All I know about Go! is that’s it’s developed by Google. I guess.
Website consisted of many folders and files and I had absolutely no clue where to put my code and what to do. Actually I had even no idea how to run preview since simple Bracket’s live preview option wasn’t working with it. I was basically lost in this lush jungle of files. And as I was reading Hugo documentation and some YouTube tutorials I came up with some thoughts: Why am I doing it? Why I chose this task? Maybe I should abandon it?
I started thinking, what if this task will eat my whole time this week? I can’t let one task stop me. Is it worth at all? It was Tuesday evening and the next day I had to wake up early and go to school. Considering my GCI habit (look, previous article) — very early. I was also working on Polish translation for CoderDojo project and some school stuff. But I tried to imagine a Google Code-in Winner who abandons a task just because he haven’t read the whole documentation and he’s not fully comfortable with its technology. So after some deep thoughts and fight with myself I decided to keep this project. I prayed to God for helping me with this task, then I took a break to think about the solution (my mind was already overloaded). My main problem was that I didn’t know where to put the script and write CSS. I also wasn’t sure if this project uses jQuery. And preview… I started browsing for specific solutions of my problems and after no more than 3 hours I was running my Hugo server with preview and I had written JS script in the separate file, and it was working (hurray, just 3 hours!). I also had some CSS but it wasn’t working at all apart from changing font color. This was my struggle till the end of the day because after next hour I had to pack my bag and go to sleep. It was already too late for me to get enough sleep.
On the next day I woke up few minutes after 5 a.m. to finish my project but an hour wasn’t enough for me (even though I fixed some major problems). But when I entered the train and I wanted to check something on my phone I realised that it’s not in my pocket. And after few seconds of looking for it I also realised that it’s lost (I know, I’m so perceptive… people keep telling me that all the time). I left train on the next station and I walked 2 times, exactly the same way as before, to the place where I was using my phone the last time. But I couldn’t find it so I returned home to change all my passwords which were saved on phone. In case that something like that could happen I had my name and my dad’s number written on the unlock screen but no one called. But okay, it’s not article about my phone so let’s move onto our main story. It was already too late for me to go to school so I stayed at home and started doing my task. And after nearly an hour of trying to figure out why part of my CSS isn’t working I noticed that my class name has no dot sign at the beginning, so I just wrote this . and everything started working! I don’t know how about you but when I’m working long on some issues and I finally figure it out I start laughing and talking loudly to myself. My mum even thought that I found my phone. Two days later my pull request has been merged and now I’m working on another issue with this project since I already know how to work with these files.
Well, there are many things you can learn from this story, like always read full documentation or don’t lose your phone, but the moral I had in mind when I started writing this article is: challenging yourself and pushing to the limits pays off, and that’s probably the best way to become better in what you do.
Thank you for reading! This article is also available to read on Medium (this link!). Feel free to comment or contact me and if you like this article… please, show me by liking it!