A Tale of Two Men

One of the men held me back. One of them gave me an opportunity to shine.

This is a post I originally wrote on Medium.


It was 2011, and I went back to university to finish my degree. There was a new student orientation I went to that had a student organization fair. They had booths for the various organizations around campus. I saw the one for the robotics competition team.

“What’s going to be your major?” asked the person at the booth.

“Computer science.”

“REALLY? We really need more computer science people!”

So I signed up. I didn’t know a thing about robots, but it seemed interesting. I had taken two circuits classes at my first university, so I figured I could probably pick up stuff fairly fast.

I was introduced to Dan*. He was the current software developer there. He had been a part of the team for several years, and single-handedly coded most of the robots for the past few years. I asked him how everything worked and he said he didn’t have time. I asked if I could see the code, and he wouldn’t show it to me. I asked how I could help out and he’d just tell me the robot was already programmed.

I went to the advisor. “Dan’s not really working with me.”

“Give it time.”

I gave it a month. I sat around each meeting doing nothing and not really being shown anything. I went back to the advisor.

“Just stick it out. There will be stuff to do.”

I “stuck it out” for another month of sitting around doing nothing. I went back to her.

Please read the rest of this post on Medium.

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