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Let me quote a friend that ranted about this very subject about a week ago:

I am of extremely average intelligence. On the absolute top of the bell curve, looking down at the rest of you. I am extremely tired of the whole attitude that _anything is possible if you just put your mind to it_. I put my mind to it. That is how I got through CS in university. I worked at least twice as hard as the people that said _just put your mind to it_ and then cruised through even the hardest course without ever studying more than an hour a day and then doing an all-nighter to get an essay in.

Working hard as hell to understand what some low-effort-high-intelligence "just put your mind to it" brat understood as soon as it left the professor's mouth is hard. It just shows me again and again that I drew the short straw in the gene lottery. I have to work a lot harder to do the same things.

Being told to just try harder by someone who's idea of intellectual work is "wherever my curiosity takes me" is really friggin taxing on my self esteem.

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Now, he was drunk and angry, but there is something to it. I think both him and I agree with you on a matter of principle, but it is more to it than that.




He might be right. But let’s not forget that experience plays a role. Whenever I think of creating crud apps now, I think “ah, easy”. I didn’t use to think that.

Some people start programming at a very young age, by the time they’re in college they have the ability to relate all kinds of concepts. An ability that I have as well now, which I obtained after my bachelor and used in my master.


Man this kinda feels like me, first I thought "anything is possible, just put your mind to it", but after encountering a crazy good programmer at my job I think differently.

I have a bachelor degree, 36 years old, and I feel like I have reached my ceiling. I still think that I make progression, but it is so slow compared to some really good programmers at my job.

It sometimes makes me feel insecure, and I think of quiting my job, because it feels like I will never be able to be as good as others. On the other hand, maybe I should just accept that this is it, it wont get any better.


I was mostly the follow your curiosity type with a few areas I worked hard.. I noticed much later that the reason I impressed teachers and later coworkers is that I'd seen everything before..

CS is an extension of math, a hard science where you seek validation from reality instead of others. If you take the style of the mathematician all comes easy. CS is an extension of linguistics, there might be a style that works there too, but there is also the lost people who count snowflakes instead of noticing snow is all about the same.




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