(This story is part of the weekly assignments for my internship at Nearsoft. I hope that some of the insights I learned this week can help others in their learning journey. Previously: Your Personal Brand: Week 2)
“It is only against the big waves that they are required to use all their skill, all their courage and concentration to overcome; only then can they realize the true limits of their capacities…”
This past week, I’ve engaged in coding problems, technical interviews and studying. Now that this phase is almost coming to an end, here’s a few insights I’ve gained these past seven days:
Effortless Mastery and Performance Under Stress
In his book “Effortless Mastery”, Kenny Werner explains the key to getting “into the zone” and some major advice of how we can achieve peak performance, even under pressure. He’s field is music, however, his advice can be applied surprisingly well to performance on Software Engineering, more specifically — coding interviews.
Werner states that we should strive to “train with complete devotion; [but] perform with complete detachment.” This means that we should study, practice and do whatever’s in our power to be prepared for the coding interview and then, “overcome all habits of mind which inhibit excellence in performance” as Timothy Gallwey beautifully remarks in “The Inner Game of Tennis.”
On that same book, Gallwey also explains that there’s two games that we “play” whenever we face a challenge: the outer game (the rival) and the inner game (our mind) and the latter “is played against such obstacles as lapses in concentration, nervousness, self-doubt and self- condemnation.” These habits inhibit us from performing our best at a coding interview by being judgmental of ourselves and not letting our full potential out.
“It’s not about the win or the loss; if we’re here to experience, then we are free.”
The Aftermath of a Coding Interview
So, what happens after a coding interview? One thing is certain: sometimes we pass it and sometimes we don’t. However, every time, it’s an opportunity to learn “the true limits of our capacities”. The obstacles in the interviews are a very necessary part in the discovery of our weakness and strengths and we should relish them to channel our efforts of learning.
Jocko Willink (“Extreme Ownership”, retired navy official), talks about the aftermath of losing and how we should take advantage of these situations by learning from them and not dwelling in our mistakes.
Some Technical Things I Learned
“…The potential may have always been within them, but until it is manifested in action, it remains a secret hidden from themselves. The obstacles are a very necessary ingredient to this process of self-discovery.”