The Boy Who Cried 'Code'

September 12, 2013
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Sweat accumulated on my palms as I sat in a cold, plastic chair while I pondered how I would hurdle past this dilemma. My programming teacher, Mr. Welch, was contentedly at his desk reading through the local newspaper. At a glance, he did not appear to be intimidating whatsoever seeing as how he was a man of short stature. However, his crystal blue eyes could penetrate brick walls and always sent chills running down a student’s spine. I gazed over at his desk, ensuring I did not make eye contact with him, as he directed his attention towards me.

“Can I help you?” asked Mr. Welch.

“I don’t believe so. I’m stuck on this one part of the test though,” I replied while I turned towards my monitor which displayed a myriad of colorful code, “I am still trying to come up with some ideas for the problem at hand.”

I was in Programming 101, learning to utilize and memorize Java code as part of the class. And the test was impossible, I mean, I had never encountered such an overwhelming programming problem until I decided to take my teacher’s Java coding test. I had not a clue in the world as to what I should do next. I exhausted my repertoire of useful code snippets I had learned over the years, but nothing seemed to fix the program on my computer that was broken. Error after error, I spent many minutes wondering if the best course of action would be to rewrite the entire program from the beginning. I decided to give it a try, seeing as how my time allowed for the test was gradually whittling away and I had not been able to discover any other solutions.

Putting my seemingly amazing idea to work, my newly acquired issue turned into a race against the clock. I had little over an hour to finish crafting and compiling a program which, for a young developer such as myself, was a daunting task. My fingers glided over the smooth, black keys on the keyboard in front of me. I become conscious of the fact that I was holding my breath for an extended period of time and my heart was pounding rapidly as I typed out the program I deemed to be worthy of a grade. I felt extremely nervous as this test grade reflected my ability to use Java code as a programmer.

With only a few minutes left to spare, I clicked submit at the bottom of the test to send my assignment to my teacher. I swallowed the lump that had built up in my throat and took a deep breath to calm myself as I stood up, pushed my chair in, and strolled out of the dimly lit schoolroom.

Impatiently awaiting my test results, I began to second guess myself, wondering if the way I approached the problem at first was incorrect. This self-doubt turned into stress as the days flew by and I still had yet to receive my evaluation for the assessment I had so worriedly submitted.

After a long while, I received an email regarding the test results. I had failed the Java program test. The score I achieved was less than proficient and I read my instructor’s comments in the body of the message to comprehend why I scored so low.

Apparently, I had approached the situation correctly. However, rushing my typing created many mistakes in the lines of code I produced and that was a huge factor in why I scored so terribly. In fact, my teacher noted that if I had taken my time to review my own work before I had submitted it, I would have been able to catch many of those mistakes myself and correct them for a much higher grade.

After all of this, I learned through my colossal disaster in the programming class that one must always take time to evaluate their own work. Without performing such a simple task, regardless of the occupation or situation, an individual might find themselves with issues and complications that could have been easily avoided. Never again shall I ever find myself in such a precarious predicament.

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SunLuver said...
Sept. 19, 2013 at 3:20 pm
Very nice! Although I think that some commas were misplaced throughout. Go through and slowly check each comma placement! :)
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