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  • Writer's pictureTim Buchalka

Mindset Mistakes That Will Sabotage Your Career in Programming and Cause You to Fail

Today I want to talk about something interesting and potentially, it could be negative because I'm gonna focus on something that, if you follow this line of thought through, it's gonna seriously impact on your ability to succeed in anything, including programming. Let's have a talk about that today.

I'm talking about something that can potentially derail a career and basically stop you from succeeding, basically, in anything in life and any goal that you're actually trying to attain.

I'll give you a bit of context. The idea for this topic came about, based on the release of new content for my Java Masterclass. What I'm doing is going through that entire course, 77 hours, and I'm remastering the content from scratch. I'm going through and recreating videos, making it a better experience and releasing the entire 77 hours of remastered video for free to students. Now I'm doing that progressively, a section at a time and the idea is to reduce the impact of switching to the old style content to the new style content so that students can actually switch a section at a time.

Now, the content is a lot better. It's based on student feedback. I've improved things, I've fixed bugs, the recording's better, and the font sizes are better. It's just basically a better experience, in my opinion. So far, the vast majority of students are actually saying that they love the new content. It's interesting, however, because I've got a few students who've looked at the whole situation the wrong way. That is the reason for this blog post. It's all about focusing on the right things.

I'm not going to show the details of these students. I'm only gonna show the messages they've left but I'm not going to talk about their individual names because I don't want to embarrass anyone. The point is, I'm giving this and showing you this, so that you can hopefully learn from this and make sure you don't fall into the trap, at the moment, they're falling into.

So, they're focusing on a short term problem, and not a long term gain. What I'll do is I'm just gonna show you a couple of the comments on the screen and we'll have a bit of a talk about what they said. This is first one:

Well, that just about blew my mind. Here's another one where this person is complaining that some of his bookmarks are gone. Not all of them but he's saying all of them. The reality is, I've replaced 40 videos so far, so it can't be all of them.

So basically, both those things are short term problems. Again, I'm not trying to embarrass any particular person here. The point of this is they're looking at a short term impact and go, "Ah, my bookmarks have changed" or "Oh, okay, I've got to re-watch a video". Big deal. I'm sorry, but big deal. You need to actually look at something in the right context here and realize that, "Okay, I've got a brand new set of training here that's gonna help me reach my goals of becoming a programmer faster".

Yes, you might have to re-watch a couple of videos, you might have lost a bookmark, which you can fix in about two seconds flat but the training that's been released is literally going to help you become a programmer quicker. So this is a classic scenario where someone's looking at a short term pain point and not what the long term solution is. If you do that, if you focus on short term problems, in general, that's where you're gonna be stuck in life. You're going to be stuck on this short term problems, because they'll come up all the time. So that's just one example with the course.

The other things I want to talk about relate more to things in general. For example, when you're learning how to program, you'll get frustrated; you'll get frustrated and you'll be annoyed. If you're in a constant state of confusion when you're learning how to program because it's something new, it's something that you need to get your head around and it's something you need to think and put some serious thinking time into, in order to succeed, you are going to have times where you're frustrated. If you let that frustration overtake you, and you end up focusing on that and giving up or, you know, throwing the computer through the window or whatever it is, you're focusing on the short term problem, and not the long term solution.

The long term solution is to battle through it. Use persistence, and I've got a post here talking about that and how important that is. If you continue to work through your solution and go through it and think, "Okay, I'm gonna get some short term problems but I'm gonna work through them. I'm gonna succeed", then you will succeed in life and certainly in programming.

Getting back to these students focusing on the bookmarks and so forth, what they need to look at, in my opinion, is to be focusing on what is the long term benefit here? The long term benefit is, you've got better course training, better material, to make you a better programmer quicker and to teach you Java in a better way.

I mean, just think back to when I started programming back in the 1980s. There were no video courses, only books, you know, big tomb books. It was very, very hard to read. It will put you to sleep reading. That was the only way to learn how to program. These days, you're literally spoiled for choice. You've got a course here, this course on Udemy. It's such a cheap course and the complete contents, I'm remastering it, completely for free. I don't think there's a scenario where you should be complaining about that. Well, I mean, obviously you can, because people can complain and do whatever they like, but my point is by you focusing on that and complaining about something like that, you're really losing the plot, so to speak, and focusing on a short term problem. You aren't gonna succeed as a programmer, because you're gonna be caught continually with little problems that pop up from day to day.

Imagine the scenario, if you're working, you got to the stage when you're working in a job, and your boss said something that annoyed you. Are you going to have a rant there and say, "Right, that's it. I quit this job. I'm gonna go and get another job because I shouldn't have to learn this new language or whatever". These things happen in life. The reality is, you've got to really just think, "Okay, I've gotta deal with this and work through it and come out the other side "a better programmer"".

In this scenario of the students, this is what I really don't understand about the Masterclass course: you're getting all this new content for free, you're getting better content, and surely that's a positive thing that you can see that's gonna make you a better programmer in the long term. Okay, big deal, you've lost a couple of bookmarks and you need to spend a bit of time re-watching some videos but think of the long term benefits.

I know I'm being a little bit harsh and I don't mean to come across being too harsh. But look, I think you really need to put some thought into this. If you're reading this post and thinking, "Well maybe they've got a point. Why should they have to redo the bookmarks?". I'm putting this to you as well, that maybe you are actually thinking about this the wrong way and focusing on the short term things. So do you agree with me or disagree? Leave a comment and let me know what you think about it.

Am I on a rant? Should I be re-looking at this and saying, "Okay, well, maybe what I'll do is, I'll delete that new content and put the old content back. I'll just release a new course and ask people to pay". That's obviously the other option, instead of giving it away for free. So, tell me your comments, good or bad. I'd appreciate your feedback. Tell me what you think of this situation and how you're feeling about it and let's all, learn something from this.

Thanks for reading! You made it to the end of this post! If you've got any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

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