“Be The Nerd — Quit Facebook”

As I wrote early this week, I decided to quit Twitter and other sources of extraneous information for a period of time in order to better focus on my friendships, work, and school. This was an extremely rewarding experiment, and I learned a great deal.

Part of the reason I quit was because my brain was never bored. I never had a down moment in my life because I filled every second with some form of information intake or entertainment. This break from social media let me feel that boredom. I felt like I had more space to stretch out and explore my thoughts and ambitions properly.

There has been a Facebook comment by Mark Zuckerberg floating around lately, where he tells a grandmother to encourage her granddaughter to “*be* the nerd”.

Facebook comment by Mark Zuckerberg

I highly encourage this, and I think it's fantastic that Mark left this comment.

Even better, perhaps, are Natasha Lomas's thoughts on this comment:

Facebook is a spare time killer. And spare time is where nerds are born — or rather self-made, by building and breaking things of their own making. Not by posting comments congratulating someone else on their creative new year plans.

[...]

Want to be a nerd? Quit checking Facebook every five minutes and go build something of your own.

“Coding is a Journey, Not a Destination”

Owen Williams writes for The Apartment about learning to program, and I have to say I agree with everything he says.

Coding is something you have to refine and keep up with constantly. It’s a constantly evolving landscape, where new standards, ideas and strategies emerge. It isn’t like math, or learning to ride a bike where you kind of learn it and it rarely changes – this is something that changes every day.

Programming isn't a means to an end. It isn't a one-way ticket to a destination. Rather, coding is a never-ending journey. It's something that you always get better at the more you work at it.

Coding is a journey, but I also like to think of it as an art. The more you do it the more you learn, and the more you practice it the better you get at it. You learn little shortcuts, and you learn when to not use shortcuts. I always find myself working within restrictions1 and yet I still find myself doing amazing work. I think programming is an art because people use their creativity to work within limitations to create solutions to problems, and that right there is what makes coding an art.


  1. Like Apple's App Store, iOS's SDKs, and the limitations of languages.