I am fortunate enough to have some friends who are much better at this whole programming thing than I am, and last night at the pub they were quite free with their advice. I admit to having a rather inefficient approach to coding, because for me it has more often been a recreation than a profession. Whenever I see something inefficient, I see it as a puzzle, optimization is a game to me. This is fine for silly personal projects, but I've now learned that it is a very bad way to do legitimate coding.

So this is a good way to open things up, a fitting first post: I really have no idea what I'm doing, or what I'm getting into. I know next to nothing about running a business, only a tiny amount about writing software, and effectively nothing about sales and marketing. Every step of the way is going to be a learning experience from start to finish, and probably the same lesson over and over for a while.

I have some advantages here: one is that I'm not frightened by that prospect. I love learning new things, I love sticking my hands in and mucking about and then learning how to muck things up a little less every time. So I'm excited, I'm ready for this.

Second is that I do have a fairly analytical mind, and I think about code in ways that are very useful, even if they aren't particularly graceful. My past experience with esoteric programming languages has I think made me more able to read and maintain optimized code, since I am able to visualize low-level processes sometimes better than high-level processes. On the other hand, my experience with very-high-level languages like Scheme and SQL has given me a basic toolset for working with more abstract structures.

Third is that I have the passion I need to turn insurmountable obstacles into interesting puzzles. I spent a long time being grumpy at people who said "all you need to do is find your passion, and you'll find a way to make it work." If you are reading this, I'm sorry I was so grumpy at you! I hadn't found it yet.

And of course I have people supporting me, giving me advice, and encouraging me. There are a lot of challenges ahead, so it's good to be aware of every advantage that I do have. Sometimes it just takes someone else's viewpoint to make it past a hurdle.

Here's hoping,
Xifeng
 





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