Hey Heather, it's me again.
* I went through some old drafts that were polluting my directory. This is the last post I’ve revised; the rest have been discarded.
tl;dr: It only needs to make sense to you.
On your path as a software developer, there’s at least a slight chance someone will subtly or directly questions your motives. Maybe it’ll come from a person who’s close to you and who you respect. Or perhaps from a stranger. Maybe you’ll read a chat log or questionnaire, or you’ll hear something on a podcast and you’ll feel like what they’re saying is directed at you. Maybe it’ll be a vague comment. But whichever way the question arises, to you it’ll feel like they’re saying “Why are you even doing this, you’re not even that good”.
The answer to this question “why are you even…” only matters if it makes sense to you.
That’s it. That’s the whole idea. Does it make sense to you?
There are no illegitimate reasons. Heck, you don’t even need to understand your own motivations. “It looks cool” is a valid reason. Doing it for someone else is a valid reason. Doing it for status is a valid reason. Doing it to later become a carpet salesperson? If you can weave those things together, sure! Why not. It’s fine.
And really, you don’t even need to answer the question. You can decide whether or not to reflect on it. And sure, writing down the reasons for yourself may help whenever your own doubts creep in. But the general point is that you have the agency to decide why even do a thing.
You probably already went through the thought process in some form. If you want to revisit the question, that’s up to you.
It’s fine if you do, and fine if you don’t.
As for the “you’re not even that good” part. Please. If I stopped doing everything I wasn’t very good at, I’d still have someone holding my fork and tying my shoe laces. At some point in my life, that was likely the most challenging thing I was ever asked to do.
PS: more adult shoes should leverage the power of velcro.