When someone is asked to describe me, the word ‘shy’ does not come to mind. I am not a quiet person and I don’t fear asking questions. In fact, I know that pushing myself to never be embarrassed and to ask any question that came to mind as I was learning to code is absolutely what helped me progress to where I am today. However, recently, I’ve found myself holding back and keeping a bit quieter and why? Because I think that I should know better.
When I first started on this journey of learning to code, I knew nothing and I mean, nothing. I had never opened the terminal before, had never used the command line, really didn’t know all that much beyond basic information about computers in general. Because I had no knowledge, I decided I could ask anything. Nothing was off limits and nothing was a stupid question because everything was new to me. In my first full time contract position, I asked lots of questions. I was able to do this without fear and without concern because I told everyone that it was my first full time position and I still had a lot to learn.
I wrote a post a while ago about how the things you worry about change as your progress from super new to new and then new to first full time position, so I think this is a thing that happens when transitioning from a first position to a second one.
Recently, I’ve been afraid to ask questions. I know that’s silly and completely unwarranted. Everyone knows that for your entire life as a programmer, asking questions is the best way to learn! I hope to never stop asking questions! So, what’s been stopping me. Well, part of me feels like I should know better. I’ve been learning for a while now… I’m not completely brand new to programming anymore, but what does that mean? How much should I know? Is it okay to ask to be reminded of things? Or to need a refresher? Are other people judging me when I ask a question? Especially if the question seems super simple?
Logically, I know asking questions is great. The more questions I ask, the better I’ll get. And the better I get, the more confident I’ll become (or at least that’s what I think). But even though I know all of this and it makes sense in my mind, a small part of me is still worried about what other people think of me, about how much or little I progress on a regular basis, and about what I now or don’t know. I just keep reminding myself that asking questions is good! And that asking makes me better! And finally, that if I don’t ask… even the simple questions that I might be embarrassed about having to ask, then I’ll never know the answer and that’s even worse.