It's probably no surprise to anyone who's ever tried to write code that programming is never easy. Since I started programming 18 months ago, I've encountered this realization time and time again. Whether it's figuring out a new framework, understanding a new project, refactoring an existing codebase, or simply writing something that works as intended, it's an activity that is not for the faint of heart.
Early on, I thought naively that as I learned more I would run into issues less and less often. That couldn't have been further from reality. Eighteen months later, and now just over 6 months away from graduating, I feel it more than ever. The problems I was dealing with during my first few months in school weren't easy by any stretch of the imagination. For a beginner, some were extremely challenging. A couple in particular were most definitely beyond my capability at the time.
This past week has been an exercise in perseverance. Perhaps no different from the week before it, nor any different from what this week will hold. I've become somewhat accustomed to this lifestyle now, and have grown to appreciate it greatly. Being challenged and pushed beyond my abilities has been by far the most important element in my progress over these 18 months. Don't get me wrong - there are periods of intense frustration that occur when attempting to wrangle technical challenges. I don't particularly enjoy these periods, but they are a necessary step in experiencing the thrill and excitement that comes in the end. That's what makes it all worth it.
Yet here I am again, absolutely puzzled, completely stuck, facing what seems like it should be an easy fix yet having made little headway. Fortunately I do have some people to reach out to, and that has been a critical part of the whole process. I've found the developer community to be great; perhaps because those who are giving advice know so well the frustration and defeat that occur so frequently. What I do know is that eventually things will click. Persist long enough, and a solution will reveal itself. Now, though, it's time to take a break and let things churn in the background. Sometimes throwing ever more hours at a problem isn't the way to discover its solution.